News from the President
Dear Friends, Colleagues and ISWA Members
I was thinking about the European Week on Waste Prevention this month. A careful analysis shows that waste prevention policies are actually working in many different jurisdictions, national and local, throughout the continent. Of course, it is difficult to measure the effects of prevention in times of falling consumption due to economic recession in many EU countries, but the overall data is encouraging- a 55% fall in packaging waste per unit of Euro GDP in the last decade is a signifcant result.
New lightweight packaging materials reducing packaging weights are one cause, new technologies such as bioplastics another, campaigns against food waste, are all having a positive effect. But what is driving these? Well EU legislation and government policies are clearly the main driving forces. As EPR taxes have been introduced so industry has worked to reduce its costs, redesigning packaging to save resources and money. And campaigns such as Love Food Hate Waste in the UK probably have made some impact.
But my thoughts were also turned towards the developing countries, outside the EU but also the new members of the EU. It is difficult to have a conversation about waste prevention in these countries. Consumption is still very low, as is waste production, when compared to the more advanced EU nations and the USA. There is almost a question of environmental justice, the same the Indians throw in the West's face in every climate negotiation- you people, they say, have polluted for a century to get rich and now you tell us to stop polluting so we have to stay poor?
The same goes with waste: this is the first time in human history that untold millions of people can consume, or strive to consume, as in a western economy. So they buy their televisions, clothes, food, cars, drinks, build their houses and take their families on holidays immitating western consumption patterns. No bad thing at all, we should celebrate lifting millions out of poverty. But how can we tell them to consume less right now when this is their first chance to do so?
Moral of the story: talking prevention to the West makes sense because consumption is flat or falling. Talking prevention in Africa, Latin America or Asia is unlikely to have much effect. Best plan for waste systems to manage the ever greater volumes we are now seeing, day by day, being produced. There are some decades to live through before the developing world will start the prevention conversation.
ISWA invited to analyse new EPR-legislation in Chile
The challenges of the new Chilean legislation on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) were analyzed by invited international experts, among them ISWA MD Hermann Koller.
A seminar organized by the Association of Municipalities for Environmental Sustainability (AMUSA) brought together mayors, members of the parliament and representatives of companies in the environmental business to become acquainted on international experiences on EPR and to discuss about the impacts of the new legislation.
With the aim of promoting the importance of recycling and analyzing the relevant points of the new law on EPR, the seminar "EPR - a duty of everyone", organized by the Association of Municipalities for Environmental Sustainability (AMUSA) chaired by the Mayor of Vitacura, Mr. Raul Torrealba, was held end of November in Santiago de Chile.
The event was supported by the Ministry of Environment, SOFOFA (a local industry association), the Municipality of Vitacura, ISWA, KDM Empresas and Reclay Group (Germany) and was attended by mayors, parliamentarians and representatives of companies in the environmental field.
At the opening of the event, the Minister of the Environment, Mr. Pablo Badenier, emphasized that the challenge of EPR in Chile is to apply a methodology already tested in other countries, adapting it to the Chilean reality, where there are large producers and the municipalities are responsible for waste management.
"There are also partial challenges which as a whole will contribute to the implementation of the EPR; one of them is setting accurate goals for collection and recovery. If the goals are not ambitious, they will have no force for boosting improvements. But if it they are excessively high, their effect may be counterproductive, which would require unscheduled adjustments”, said the minister.
Leading the presentations, Hermann Koller, Managing Director of ISWA, gave a global waste management perspective in relation with EPR. "Annually 4 billion tons of waste is produced, as a world average, 70% is disposed in landfills or open dumps, 10% is incinerated and only 20% is recycled", he mentioned.
Mr. Koller noted that one of the first steps to change this fact is to impel the use of sanitary landfills, to which only products properly treated should arrive. Additionally, he referred to the importance that producers incorporate the costs of handling products up to the end of their lifespan, either considering recycling or final disposal.
Then spoke Mr. Derek Stephenson, Director of the Reclay Group, a German waste management company, who remarked the close relationship that municipalities and producers should hold. "With Their experience in the field of waste management, municipalities can help to identify the best recycling system for each community, turning more efficient the work of producers", he said.
KDM Empresas was also part of this event. This company operates a sorting plant of recyclable waste - adjacent to the main landfill of the country, Loma Los Colorados - and manages selective collection services in the Chilean municipalities of Ñunoa and Vitacura. Its CEO, Mr. Fernando Leon, stated the importance to deepen and continue joint efforts to successfully implement EPR. "This Law is an important step toward recycling and is the only action that shall ensure us high recovery rates of recyclable materials", stated the CEO.
ISWA/CAUES Expert Workshop on Food Waste, Chengdu, China
ISWA's Working Group on Biological Treatment of Waste jointly held an expert-level workshop on food waste management in China with the working group on food waste of ISWA's National Member: China Association of Urban Environmental Sanitation (CAUES) 26-27 November 2014 in the city of Chengdu.
Four ISWA Working Group experts engaged in substantial discussions with nearly fifty representatives of the academia and the food waste treatment industry in China, realising the particularities of food waste and its treatment complexities in China.
One example of such particularities is that food waste separately collected, treated and recycled in China is the stream from restaurants and hotels excluding household food waste. Another particularity is the extremely high water content of such food waste (up to 80 to 90%) due to the way how food is prepared.
In the programme of the workshop, the group visited a pilot plant for food waste in the city of Chengdu. The plant currently treats 200t/d of food waste from restaurants and hotels, turning it into humic acid which has the property to amend the soil. The overwhelmingly positive feedback from the participants shows a strong interest from the professional waste industry in China to align information and expertise in waste management with experts from other regions of the world.
The two working groups concluded the workshop with agreement on future collaboration.
World Congress 2015 Call for Abstracts: Deadline extended!
Present your work to a public of scientific, industrial and governmental representatives!
The ISWA World Congress 2015 organizing committee invites authors to submit abstracts for oral and online poster presentations within any of the congress topics. Introduce the results of your academic or scientific research to an international audience!
The new deadline for abstract submission is January 15th, 2015. Selected abstracts will be published in the Congress proceedings (ISBN classification). Detailed guidelines on the call for abstracts are available on the ISWA 2015 website.
In addition, you may like to consider to
Submit your paper for the WM&R 2015 ISWA World Congress Special Issue
Waste Management & Research (WM&R) the official journal of ISWA, will publish for the fourth time a Special Issue containing the best papers of the ISWA World Congress 2015.
WM&R invites authors to submit a full paper for the ISWA 2015 Special Issue. The detailed call for submission is available on the ISWA 2015 homepage.
The special issue editor:
• Dr. Costas Velis, University Of Leeds, School of Civil Engineering, UK email@example.com
The papers published in the special issue will be:
- Available to download for free
- Included in the index of major databases including Web of Science and Scopus and the Special Issues index on the Waste Management & Research home page
- Circulated to all ISWA members and WM&R subscribers
- Presented in the WM&R Special Session during the 2015 Congress and the print version distributed to 1000 participants attending the congress
- Promoted widely through various SAGE and ISWA promotion channels
To be considered for peer review, prepare your paper according to the WM&R format requirements, state the Special Issue designation in your Cover letter and submit a full paper in English by January 31st, 2015. Your paper could be included in the World Congress 2015 Special Issue.
Become the new sponsor of the WM&R ISWA2015 Special Edition!
We are pleased to announce that we are searching for a sponsor for the Special World Congress edition of our scientific journal, Waste Management & Research. This special issue is a staple of the ISWA World Congress and is a highlight for many of those attending.
It is distributed to around 1,000 participants at the World Congress and also to 1,400 ISWA Members.
The brochure offers an overview of the benefits of sponsorship, including:
· Your company name in the title of the issue.
· A dedication on the front of the special issue.
· A full page advert inside the journal and on the ISWA website.
· A banner at the World Congress promoting your company.
· The opportunity to contribute to the editorial.
This is an opportunity to receive exposure to 1,000s of waste management professionals across 96 different countries worldwide. For more information on the pricing of the sponsorship package please contact Julia Schönherr (jschoenherr@) iswa.org
ISWA supports 1st Africa Regional Workshop of CCAC MSW Initiative
ISWA was an active participant in the first Africa Regional CCAC MSW workshop held on 5-7 November in Nice, France.
Gary Crawford, Derek Greedy and Rachael Williams provided technical presentations, moderated sessions and facilitated dialogue among the participants.
The Workshop brought City and Government representatives from across Africa together with partners and actors of the initiative to share experiences, challenges, and opportunities for collaboration. The workshop also helped catalyse the forging of new partnerships between the MSWI global network and African cities.
Building on this workshop and partnerships ISWA will be visiting Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in mid-December to conduct an on the ground waste data assessment.
EU Healthcare Waste Management Project
‘Developing an EU standardised approach to Vocational Qualifications in Healthcare Waste Management’
ISWA is one of 12 partner organisations that has been engaged over the past year in this ambitious project which aims to provide a unified approach to the development of National Occupational Standards and Vocational Educational Training Programmes for Healthcare Waste Management across the EU Member States.
The methodology and the outputs of the project will reflect the best practices and best available technologies for the management and treatment of healthcare wastes.
In total the project involves 12 partner organisations which includes representative organisations from 7 EU Member States; two accession States and three umbrella organisations representing the waste, healthcare and private healthcare sectors.
The key outputs of the project for 2014 have been focused on:
o An assessment of the current VET availability across the EU countries, represented by the partner countries.
o Assessment of the core skills requirements for the role of healthcare waste managers
The project will run for three years, during which time engagement with a broad mix of key stakeholders will play an important role in the delivery of this project, moving forward the key outputs include:
- The development of a standardised EU vocational training programme for healthcare waste managers.
- The development of associated training materials to underpin the training programme.
- The development of an e-learning platform to facilitate the remote delivery of the training programme.
- An EU wide network of healthcare waste management professionals will be established
WEBINARS: Transitioning from Open Dumps to Sanitary Landfills
As part of ISWA’s role as Lead Partner of the MSW Initiative of the Climate & Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), ISWA has been tasked to produce a series of Webinars.
In November with the support of the ISWA Working Group on Landfill, ISWA prepared a set of webinars on transitioning from Open Dumps to Sanitary Landfills.
Throughout 2014 ISWA produced 3 series of webinars which aim to build capacity at the city level to reduce the impact of Waste Management Practices on Climate and Public Health.
The most recently prepared Webinars can be accessed at the following links:
WG on Biological Treatment of Waste elects new Vice-Chair
The ISWA Working Group Meeting on Biological Treatment of Waste held its second meeting of the year at the famous Ecomondo Fair in Rimini, Italy.
Eight participants from five countries attended the meeting which followed a technical visit to Europe's largest bio-waste treatment plant: the SESA plant in Este in the Padua region of Italy with a treatment amount of 380,000t per year. The plant employs an integrated approach, combining bio-gas production with composting; in addition, it operates a greenhouse for flowers on site which helps employment of socially marginalised people.
The members elected a new Vice-Chair: Jane Gilbert from the UK, who has been a long-standing member of this Working Group and has an extensive knowledge and experience on bio-waste treatment and recyling. See also ISWA Profile section below!
In addition, participants discussed extensively on the work-in-progress technical paper of this Working Group on the use and treatment of biodegradable plastics. Other agenda items included the progress of the Group's bio-waste regional workshop in Asia and Latin America, work programme of the Group and country reports, etc. The Ecomondo Fair was then an excellent programme to follow the meeting.
CIWM Report on The Circular Economy
The resource management sector has embraced the circular economy and is positive about the financial and environmental opportunities it offers, according to a new report.
The report, entitled 'The Circular Economy: what it means to the waste and resource management sector?' was commissioned by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM), ISWA's National Member for the UK, and is written by resource management specialists Ray Georgeson and Dr Jane Beasley.
[...]A key finding from the report shows that a majority of the industry see the circular economy as a "huge opportunity" to reinvent a whole sector of the industry and "to reap the benefits that this will generate such as upskilling the workforce and creating more jobs".
The report also shows that a majority of survey respondents support the statements linking the circular economy to becoming more resource and energy efficient.
For an article on the report, please visit Edie
To download the report, click here
CROWMA - The ISWA National Member for Croatia
The Croatian Association for Waste Management (CROWMA) was established on 22th August 2011 as a non-profit and non-governmental organization.
The foundation of CROWMA was triggered back in the 2009 when ISWA representatives invited a group of Croatian experts to join their association and Austrian representatives of ISWA participated on the first session held in Zagreb on 19th December 2011.
The goals the Association wants to achieve is a dominance of practical expertise and professionalism in the implementation of waste management:
- encouraging and promoting waste management in Republic of Croatia
- mediation and participation in training members of the Association and the wider community in the area of waste management
- carrying out programs to improve the professional work of members of the Association, through the organization of seminars, courses and other forms of education
- organizing study tours in order to inform members of the Association with the methods and mode of such or similar organizations abroad and in Republic of Croatia
- promotion of waste management at the youth and citizens in order to popularize and wider acceptance and implementation of waste management measures
- providing assistance to government agencies, public institutions and other organizations in waste management programs
- preparation and performance of programs and projects in the field of waste management
- issuing publications and other promotional materials
- organization of actions, festivals, performances, exhibitions and other events in the field of waste management
- conducting other activities in accordance with the program of the Association.
The President of CROWMA
Aleksandra Anić Vučinić is Head of Department of Environmental Engineering on Faculty of Geotechnical Engineering, University of Zagreb. She' s lecturer on Waste Management, Measurements and procedures in environmental protection. Also she's lecturer on Interdisciplinary postgraduate specializing study Ecoengineering; Courses: Instruments in environmental protection, Environmental management.
New Platinum Member: Reclay Holding GmbH, Germany
ISWA is happy to welcome and present a new Platinum Member!
The RECLAY GROUP is an international service provider for all questions related to packaging and waste disposal management. They develop collection systems for retail and transport packaging, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), used batteries and expired medication. They also trade in valuable recycled materials nationally and internationally.
The owner-managed Reclay Group advises industry and retail, as well as governments and NGOs on developing recycling strategies and on how to achieve their environmental and recycling goals.
Reclay Group is headquartered in Germany with locations in Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Slovakia, Slovenia and the United States with a total of 270 employees. Its consulting experience follows a global approach and extends across all continents. Reclay Group is proud to count over 3,000 companies, organisations and governments around the world among its clients.
For more information please contact:
Reclay Holding GmbH
Neustädtische Kirchstraße 6
Phone: +49 30 2064668
ISWA Welcomes a new Gold Member!
WM&R Editor’s Pick & Editorial: Open Access
Each month the Editor of WM&R hand-selects a leading paper from the latest publication, which is available to download for free. The chosen article for November is:
Municipal solid waste management using Geographical Information System aided methods: A mini review
“Computing power continues to increase dramatically, enabling engineers, scientists, and managers responsible for municipal solid waste management to develop and apply data analysis and modelling techniques that result in more efficient and effective solutions for collection, transportation, recycling, and disposal of society’s discards. This mini-review describes how GIS has been applied to manipulate large quantities of data and to display that data graphically, thereby enhancing the ability to understand the pros and cons of optional waste management approaches, and ultimately to select the best cost-effective option(s). Just as importantly, maps and other graphical outputs of GIS analyses facilitate the communication of oftentimes complex technical decisions to a community’s citizens who will rely on the waste management systems to protect their environment and public health, and who will pay to construct and operate these systems”
~ David E. Ross, SCS Engineers (retired)
The Table of Contents of the November issue is available at: http://wmr.sagepub.com/content/32/11.toc
Read the Editorial from the November issue here: Solid waste collection automation in the United States by Marc J. Rogoff
ISWA Profile: Jane Gilbert (United Kingdom)
Name and current position in ISWA
Dr Jane Gilbert, Vice-Chair of the Biological Treatment Working Group.
Company and current position in your company
I work for my own company, Carbon Clarity, which involves training, technical editing, communications, auditing and consultancy services. My specific focus centres on organic waste and its collection and treatment.
What is your background?
I have a bachelor's degree in applied microbiology, a Master of Business Administration, and a PhD in biochemistry. I was Chief Executive of the UK Composting Association for nine years, from 1999 until 2008.
Did you always work in the waste industry?
No, I spent a number of years as a post-doctoral research scientist, and also briefly worked in the pharmaceutical industry.
Did you ever have a mentor or someone you found inspirational?
I admire three people, who in their own ways have inspired me, not for who they were, but for what they achieved.
Firstly, I greatly admire the British naturalist, Charles Darwin, who set out his theory of the evolution of life on earth. His book, On the Origin of Species, shows phenomenal insight, bearing in mind that it was published almost a century before the structure of DNA was elucidated.
Secondly, I am in awe of the American agriculturalist, Prof Franklin King, who travelled around China, Korea and Japan in the early part of the 20th century, documenting sustainable farming practices. He was one of the first to highlight the importance of organic recycling, its role in maintaining soil fertility and in feeding the countries’ citizens. Farmers of Forty Centuries, is a must-read, in my opinion.
Finally, I think we are all indebted to Rachel Carson, for bringing to the world’s attention the harmful effects pesticide use was having in the 1950s and early 60s. Her book, Silent Spring, eloquently described the impact DDT and other pesticides were having, which was at great personal cost to herself.
What would you say is your greatest achievement to date?
Hmm, now that's a hard one! I think that some of the guidance I wrote during my time at the Composting Association was pivotal in helping shape the nascent composting industry in the UK. I developed guidance on health and safety, which is still in use, as well as developing a sampling protocol for bioaerosols.
Best advice that you ever received?
I think this was from my maternal grandmother, who said to me: ‘always listen to your inner self’. I think that some of the biggest mistakes I've made have been as a result of making decisions I that I thought others would approve of, rather than what I truly felt would be best. I should have heeded my grandmother’s advice!
When not working, I enjoy...
I enjoy playing the violin in a local symphony orchestra, although I do need to practice a lot more.
I also run with a local running club and occasionally take part in races. When not out and about, I enjoy gardening (and making compost, of course) as well as being a mother to my two children.
Why did you decide to become part of ISWA?
I am a firm believer that no one country or organisation has all the answers to all the problems it faces - we can learn so much from each other. By sharing experiences and knowledge we can help redefine problems and put new perspectives on things in a mutuality beneficial way. ISWA enables this through its working groups.
When did you become nominated to your current position in ISWA?
I became vice chair of the biological treatment working group in November 2014, although I have been a member of the WG since 2002.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the waste industry today?
I think the biggest challenge the industry faces is the increasing complexity of the wastes it has to manage. New products are being developed at an unprecedented pace, which combine different materials in new and interesting ways, however, this challenges traditional downstream recycling and disposal methods. It would be helpful for all if the wastes industry had a say in the design of new products.
In your opinion, what are the industry’s strengths and weaknesses?
The industry's strength lies in its diversity. There are a range of different solutions that can be tailored to meet different needs in different parts of the world There is an inherent flexibility in the system, meaning that large multinational companies through to individuals can all play a part - the formal to the informal sector. There is no 'one size fits all' solution, making the industry adaptable and flexible.
Its weakness, I think, lies in the fact that it is reactive to the wastes it manages, rather than proactive in their design and construction. If it were, then it would, in all probability be more efficient, effective and profitable.
Where do you see, if any, market opportunities for the waste industry?
The opportunities lie in the diversity of the wastes it treats. We need to develop and innovate to extract and recycle finite resources such as phosphorus and rare earth metals.
What do you think the future holds for the waste industry?
Now, I wouldn’t be foolish enough to attempt to predict what the future may, or may not, hold. However, it is clear that in the short to medium term, the industry will need to become better 'carbon and resource managers', playing a pivotal role in managing valuable, and finite, resources. I sincerely hope it will also form the mainstay of sustainable agricultural practices in the future.
ISWA 3 Months Trial Membership
The ISWA 3 Months Tiral Membership - the perfect opportunity to become familiar with our Association's work and activities. It's a convenient and easy way to decide if you wish to join ISWA as a regular member. Sign up now!
News from around the Globe
Call for SPIRE 2015 - Recovery technologies for metals and minerals
Metals and other minerals, such as non-ferrous and ferrous metals, ceramics, glass, cement and chemicals are utilised in numerous applications in many industrial sectors. Their demand, in particular those used in specialised applications, will increase in the coming years. Because of their increasing importance or economic value, a key issue is the development of processes for an effective and efficient recovery of these materials, from primary sources or from waste streams of the current industrial processes. Novel integrated recovery processes should result in increased resource efficiency and sustainability for the European industry, allowing the recovery of significant amount of metals and other minerals, even from low concentration streams. This should lower the dependency on imports of these materials, sheltering Europe from possible shortages in supply and reducing production costs and environmental impacts.
Major improvements in separation processes are needed to achieve an efficient and cost effective recovery from the different streams in the process industries.
Closes: 4 February 2015
For more information, visit The European Commission website
AUSTRALIA: Federal funds for clean burn in South Australia
Funding has been secured for a demonstration-scale fuel plant in the Australian State of South Australia, which converts marine microalgae into green crude.
Organic-waste-to-energy experts Muradel developed a pilot plant to test its Green2Black technology in 2011, and now the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has stepped in to take it to the next level.
Muradel has isolated and evaluated a particular microalgae species, which is highly-productive, tolerant to a wide salinity range, and can be successfully propagated in outdoor, low-cost 'raceway ponds' (so-called because they resemble a horse-racing track).
The same company has also developed an innovative low-energy algae harvesting and concentrating system that will be further improved and integrated with the algae fuel production system.
The $4.4 million grant for the $10.7 million project means Muradel can combine the two technologies at a much greater scale.
For the full story, please visit Green Career
BELGIUM: Scientists turn sawdust into renewable fuel
Belgian researchers have developed a new process allowing them to turn sawdust into the building blocks for gasoline.
Scientist at KU Leueven university have discovered a way to convert cellulose - the main substance in plant matter - into hydrocarbon chains, which can then be used as a 'green additive' - a replacement for a portion of traditionally-refined gasoline.
The researchers suggested the method would be particularly useful in Europe where natural sources of oil and shale gas are limited.
For the full story, please visit Edie
CHINA: How China profits from recycling the World's waste
The world now produces over four billion tons of waste every year. China buys some of it - mainly scrap metal, plastic and paper - to feed demand from factories and construction companies.
On Dongzhimenwai, a street in downtown Beijing, people gather to sell their waste. Old ladies line up with carts of plastic bottles, stacks of newspapers and even bits of toys and metal kitchenware they've collected. The plastic bottles are melted down to make everything from acrylic clothing to electronics.
Buyer Liu Aiguo explains what happens to this so-called trash once it's in his hands. "I fill up the truck, and then I drive it to Tongzhou town outside the city, to a holding depot that takes it to factories," he says. "We buy plastic bottles and bales of paper, and we buy steel. But it depends on the quality. We can also go and collect from offices that have a lot of paper."
The materials are sorted and then sold on to factories that will melt down this plastic and turn the stacks of old newspaper into rolls of paper for use in new fibre.
For the full story, please visit World Crunch
UK: Scientists turn old toothpaste tubes into fuel (VIDEO)
Nestlé, Kraft Foods and Mondelez International are part-funding a new commercial-scale recycling plant that can turn old toothpaste tubes into aluminium and fuel in just three minutes.
Previously, this type of plastic-aluminium laminate waste - also used in drink pouches and pet-food packaging - was consigned to landfill, meaning around 16,000 tonnes of aluminium was squandered each year in the UK alone.
But researchers at the University of Cambridge have been exploring how laminate packaging would react to intense heating - known as microwave-induced pyrolysis.
For the full story and video, please visit Edie
UK: New energy-from-waste plant hits Exeter
Devon County Council has opened a new energy-from-waste facility which will generate renewable energy from 60,000 tonnes of household waste in Exeter and surrounding areas.
The plant, which opened yesterday on 16 October, 2014, will export energy equivalent to heating 5000 homes in the form of electricity. The feasibility of using steam generated by the plant for a district heating network is also being explored.
At the opening, Councillor John Clatworthy highlighted energy from waste as the best way to deal with waste which can't be reduced, reused and recycled.
For the full story, please visit Edie