Exclusive, up-to-date information for ISWA members from ISWA officials.

Board Members and Working Group Chairs report on their current activities on behalf of ISWA.

 

  Issue 1
17.12.2012

  1. Visit to Chile and Argentina

 A Report by President David Newman

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to be in Santiago Chile, on November 15th to meet the new National Member of ISWA for Chile, AEPA. Managing Director Mr Hernan Duran welcomed me warmly and with members of the association illustrated the situation of waste management in Chile. A lively discussion took place regarding EPR, recycling and renewable energy legislation. Chile currently landfills almost all of its MSW with landfill costs between $12 and $20 per tonne. I have invited the Chileans to write a report on their sector to publish in WMW but I am happy to share my notes with whoever is interested in knowing more.

I explained the strategy of ISWA with regard to the need to find financial resources to progress waste management infrastructure in rapidly developing countries, as well as illustrating ISWA's activities and the opportunities for cooperation. In October 2013 (14/16th) a waste expo will be held in Santiago and ISWA will help promote the event as well as contribute to the associated Conference programme: An appointment for all of us interested in developing waste management in Latin America.

David Newman with Hon Maria Ignacia Benitez and
Herman Duran de la Fuente

I was accompanied to Santiago by ISWA past-President Atilio Savino, with whom I earlier met the Minister of Environment of Chile together with Hernan Duran. We underlined the need for strong support of a waste platform in the COP18 Climate Change negotiations in Doha and the Minister, Hon Maria Benitez was supportive of our position.

On November 16th, together with ARS President Atilio Savino and Managing Director Ricardo Rollandi, I met with the Under Secretary of State of Argentina for the Environment, Hon Juan Jose Mussi. Argentina is undergoing a rapid process of investment and modernisation of its waste systems, particularly in Buenos Aires where the existing landfills are about to close. I discussed this situation with the Under Secretary as well as Argentina's position vis-a-vis the Doha negotiations. We will undoubtedly have Argentinia's support for our waste platform.

 


David Newman with Hon Juan Jose Mussi

Accompanied by Atilio Savino and Ricardo Rollandi, I met with the Buenos Aires Urban Area Minister of Environment, Diego Cesar Santilli, who explained to me the city's strategy over the next years for its collection and treatment systems as they hit the wall of exhausted landfill space. It is a race against time! Watch this space for further developments.

Finally an appointment for our colleagues in Latin America, and elsewhere, will be the city San Juan in mid November 2013 when the Province will hold an international conference on waste. I met the charismatic Governor of the Province Jose Luis Gioija who ruled there for nine years, presiding over rapid economic growth of the area.

 

This beautiful region, to the west of Buenos Aires under the Andes, faces incredible logistic and environmental difficulties in organising its waste collection and treatment systems, being spread over a huge mountainous area with small pockets of population in distant locations. An area known for its wines, trekking, horse riding and of course, mineral extraction, this city should provide an interesting background for a regional event leading into the ISWA World Congress in Brazil in 2014.

October and November 2013 look to be busy times in southern South America.

 2. DepoTech 2012 in Leoben, Austria

 A Report by Vice President Helmut Stadler

Specialist conferences always offer the possibility to gain new insights and information as well to come into contact with a lot of specialists and professionals. For this reason ISWA Austria cooperates with top events in the waste field and was therefore a cooperation partner of DepoTech 2012 in Leoben, Styria, Austria. From November 6 to 9 I attended this conference, which was arranged by the well-known Montan University, which is based in the little city of Leoben in Styria. It was the eleventh DepoTech, which changed - as the name shows - from a special conference on land filling techniques to a comprehensive event covering all topics of waste management, which takes place each second year.

With more than 500 participants DepoTech has turned out to be the largest waste management conference in Austria. The contemporary and up-to-date issues, the quality of the lectures and the general organizational set-up has established its reputation far beyond the Austrian borders.

Representatives from economy, science and research, politics, lobby groups and public authorities were invited to submit a lecture and/or poster on the conference's focal points waste management, waste and landfill technology and contaminated sites. 101 presentations were held in 3 parallel sessions during 3 days. 46 posters, technical visits and a technical exhibition accompanied the program.

I represented as well ISWA as the Austrian "Association for awarding of a certification of Entsorgungsfachbetrieb - V.EFB" ( www.vefb.at), which provides certifications for "specialised certified waste management companies". As the chair of this association I provided a presentation on the latest developments.

With the publication of an Ordinance in the Austrian Law Gazette on 4 May 2012 this certification finally received long desired acknowledgement by law. This ordinance is based on Umweltmanagementgesetz (Law on Management of the Environment) and "Entsorgungsfachbetrieb" equates to EMAS certification.

The association, which grants the certification, V.EFB, is a joint effort by a number of public associations such as Verband der Österreichischen Entsorgungsbetriebe - VÖEB, Österreichischer Wasser- und Abfallwirtschaftsverband - ÖWAV and ISWA (International Solid Waste Association) Austria. It is an independent non profit association in accordance with the Austrian Vereinsgesetz (Act on private Associations), which is based on strong and strict rules.

Of special interest was the opening lecture of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Martin Faulstich (Technical University Munich and Center for Science Straubing), who is also the chair of the "Sachverständigenrat für Umweltfragen" (The German Advisory Council on the Environment) on "Perspectives of the Energy Turnaround". He stated that the modern industrial society is facing serious challenges arising from the world's growing need for energy and the predicted climate change. Therefore a radical transition towards sustainability for energy supply is necessary over the next few decades. Fossil fuels must be substituted by low or zero emission renewable energy carriers. A vision of a sustainable industrial society would mean a shift from 10 to 90 % renewable energy production,90 - 100 % recycling of raw materials for production and a change of lifestyle. Prof. Faulstich also referred to the ambitions of German "Energiewende" (energy transition).

In the different sessions current topics such as recycling, innovative processes, Waste to energy, WEEE , characteristics of pollutants, international waste management with reports about projects in China and in Jordan, hazardous waste, RDFs, safety measures, closed loop recycling management, landfill mining, landfill issues and others were covered.

All in all it was interesting not only for academics but especially also for practitioners from the industry who received a good overview of the latest (scientific) developments.

 

 3. Landfill Working Group Meeting and Technical Tour Valorsul, Lisbon, Portugal 7th to 8th November 2012

 A Report by Derek Greedy, Chair of WGL

The landfill Working Group held its latest meeting in Lisbon , Portugal at the kind invitation of Valorsul. The meeting was attended by 8 members from the working group and 3 guests from Valorsul one of whom was so enthused by the work of the group that she has asked to become an active member.

In an addition to the normal business there reports on the first beacon conference to be held in Africa on Sustainable Waste Management presented by Mario Russo and the latest in a series of master classes organised through the working group on Biowaste Management and this was presented by Luis Marinheiro.

 

The work programme has identified a further master class on advanced leachate treatment and this will be delivered early in 2013.

The landfill mining position Paper drafted by Richard Fisher from Cranfield University in the UK was fully reviewed and with a few very minor amendments would be circulated to STC for its approval. A statement would be added at the beginning of the paper to clearly state that it is not the intention of the paper to promote or discourage landfill mining but was prepared to identify potential issues should it be undertaken. A further amendment would be made to ensure that when remediating an open dump by landfill mining that any residual waste would not be returned to the open dump but that it should be disposed of at a controlled or sanitary landfill. As this was a position paper and not a scientific publication references and further reading would be removed.

 

 

Work on the State of the Nation Landfill reports is well advanced and it was agreed that they would be added to the knowledge base as appendices to a short summary sheet so that each report can be viewed as a standalone document.

It was agreed that in accordance with the work programme that work would now begin on producing a position paper on landfill aftercare and the potential long-term liabilities. In the first instance a report outline would be produced which would be circulated within the working group for comment. It is expected that the position paper would be completed within the working group by the end of 2013.

Following the meeting itself Valorsul gave some excellent presentations on the company, its mission and its landfills.  This was followed by a visit to the extremely well managed Mato da Cruz Sanitary Landfill site and bottom ash processing plant.

 

 4. Ecocrimes Conference, Rome, Italy

 A Report by President David Newman

On October 29th and 30th in Rome UNEP and the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute organised an international conference on Environmental Crime.

About 100 people attended from the world over; the debate dealt with such crimes as illegal logging, fishing and animal poaching, as well as environmental damage caused by illegal dumping, disposal of chemical waste, and of course waste trafficking.

I was invited to speak on Waste Recycling Markets and Waste Trafficking and with the help of Bjorn

Appleqvist of the City of Copenhagen and former ISWA President Jeff Cooper, gave a presentation representing ISWA's view on the issue. You will find the presentation in the Knowledge Base.

What emerged from the discussion is the need for a European Observatory on Illegal Waste Trafficking with the role of coordinating the national agencies, the NGOs and the legal operators, in their fight against illegal operations which damage our industry's reputation and create a financial distorsion harming law abiding companies- to not mention the environmental damage caused at the end of the pipeline.

I proposed a certification system for waste brokers. Surely it cannot be so difficult to create a European (at least) certification scheme which certifies that the company does not engage in illegal activities?

The proposals will now go to the UNICRI Board who will discuss them and if they are adopted, propose them to the UNEP and EU to bring forward.

 

 5. Visit to National Member Germany

 A Report by Vice President Helmut Stadler

On November 30 2012 ISWA -Vice President Helmut Stadler, Managing Director Hermann Koller and Member Service Manager Alfred Holzschuster met the German National Member "Förderverein VKU Abfallwirtschaft" which represents ISWA Germany) in Berlin.

The "Förderverein" was represented by the Spokesman Klaus Evertz and Berend Krüger, who was also a former Treasurer of ISWA as well as the organiser of the ISWA World Congress in Hamburg 2010 and also Edmund Fleck as board member of ISWA representing Organisation members.

More than 20 further people attended this fruitful meeting, as Olaf Wendler, the chair of WGLI and also a member of the "Messe München" (Munich Trade Fair), because ISWA has had very good cooperation for IFAT in Munich this year and plans to prolong this cooperation also at an international level (Shanghai).

In my welcome address, I stressed the necessity of serving the current members, in this case, especially the very important member Germany with a strong and (in terms of sustainability) one of the best in the Europe waste management industry.

MD Hermann Koller presented ISWA's mission, aims and scope, as well as the structure and the excellent track record of the last 2 years. He referred to the increased membership, knowledge base, the enormous increasing hits on the ISWA homepage, the project grant of ISWA, fed by the City of Vienna funds and the various events.

The "Förderverein" described the organisation of their work in different working groups as well as the efforts to establish new and chair and board members of the "Förderverein" organisation.

The German NM was motivated to plan and organise future events on interesting and up to date topics, nationally and at an international level. It is likely that in autumn 2013 they will organise such an event. They will also to try to involve more members in the different WGs and bodies of ISWA. They stressed the importance of linking up of their WGs with the work of ISWA's WGs. It is very important for them to have direct contacts at a technical and specialist level.

ISWA and I personally offered all possible support to the German NM to further and to enhance their work. This successful visit of our NM shows the importance of regular meetings with NMs and keeping contact with them. The ISWA GS will continue to organise such visits.

 

 6. International Waste Manager goes to Valorsul

 A Report by Derek Greedy, Chair of WGL and IWM Panel Member

As a silver member of ISWA in 2009 Valorsul felt that one of the benefits of belonging to the Association was that it could avail itself of the opportunity to develop its staff through the International Waste Manager programme.

As a result Valorsul gave the opportunity to its employees to make an application to ISWA to participate in the programme. The management at Valorsul, and particularly its Managing Director Joao Figueiredo, believed that the programme could help to recognise the skills and knowledge of its employees, it was a route for career development and that it provides a certification capability in the field of waste management where one does not exist within its own country.

As this resulted in a large number of candidates requiring certification at the same time it was felt prudent that an interview panel would be brought together to interview candidates face to face rather than at arm's length.  All of the candidates interviewed demonstrated their capability whereby each received one of the three levels of the award with 2 actually achieving the highest status of International Status.

It is perhaps worthy to note some of the comments made from the first cohort when they were asked to sum up what they had gained from the programme examples of which are as follows:

"... identify the areas in which I could improve my skills";

"... evidence of the effort of my company in investing in the workers";

"... wanted my academic achievements and my practical work experience to be assessed"; and

"... acquire competences that enable the continuous improvement of my professional activity".

A second cohort of 7 candidates was brought together in August 2010 and once again a panel of interviewers carried out the assessment on a face to face basis in Portugal.

The success of the programme for Valorsul was reflected by a third cohort being brought together in November 2012 when a further 7 applicants were interviewed (and a further candidate applied and was granted technical status without being interviewed).  Of these 3 of them had been interviewed during the previous rounds of interviews whereby they wanted to try and improve their status by demonstrating that they had gained the additional knowledge necessary to achieve a higher award.  This they did and all 3 managed to achieve the level of International Status which was a great achievement particularly for those who were at the Intermediate Status level from the previous round of interviews.  Clearly the programme had provided the stimulus for them to gain the additional knowledge of the wider global agenda.

It is hoped that other gold and silver members will note the success that the programme has brought to Valorsul and its staff and look to emulate them by encouraging their staff to join the programme.