The end of an era was reached in Shanghai as Francis Veys attended his final Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) convention as the world organization’s director general. Veys steps down from his post Aug. 31 of this year and will be succeeded by BIR’s current general manager, Alexandre Delacoux, who joined the Brussels-based body in 2012.
Veys’ contribution to BIR over the course of 38 years, including more than three decades as the head of the Brussels secretariat, drew rich praise from a succession of speakers in Shanghai, including a heartfelt vote of thanks from BIR’s re-elected World President Björn Grufman at the general assembly May 28. “He has always been the man behind the scenes and not the diva in the spotlight—the mastermind behind the organization as it is today,” Grufman told attendees.
Among Veys’ many skills, he has been “a perfect diplomat” and a “multitasker” who hasrepresented the recycling industry “in a proactive way” and has “chosen his staff well,” Grufman said. Under the Veys stewardship, BIR’s membership had effectively tripled.
In response, the outgoing director general listed all of the BIR presidents whom it had been his “pleasure and honor to serve.” Veys also directed a special thank you to his “super team” at the Brussels secretariat and to his family.
Although relinquishing his role as director general, Veys will continue to work with BIR in an advisory capacity, notably for convention planning.
Another recycling industry leader was honored at the BIR General Assembly in Shanghai, with a presentation being made to Ma Hongchang, who until recently was vice secretary general of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association Recycling Metal Branch (CMRA). Praised by Grufman for his instrumental role in the development of stronger links between BIR and China, Ma envisaged a “bright future,” for CMRA/BIR co-operation.
Also at the General Assembly, BIR treasurer Ranjit S. Baxi confirmed that the world organization had recorded “healthy” financial results in 2012 despite the difficult economic conditions.
The 2013 BIR World Recycling Convention & Exposition was at the Pudong Shangri-La Hotel in Shanghai May 27-29.