News from the President
Dear Friends, Colleagues and ISWA Members
The organisation of our Annual World Congress in Sao Paulo is racing along very well- over 700 abstracts were received and the organisers have now elaborated the programme. It is an exciting event with lots of collateral events included; IPLA will hold their annual meeting to talk about Zero Waste strategies for towns and communities in developing countries; the CCAC will hold a side meeting on the waste sector and short-lived climate pollutants; an ISWA Young Professionals meeting will further develop this enthusiastic groups’ activities, here highlighted by an art exhibition. And of course the speakers will lead us into the perpectives on waste in Brazil especially, and of course globally too. I cannot wait for the event, and I really look forward to meeting you there.
We have also been busy on the other side of the globe where ISWA cooperated with WMRAS on the organising of the WASTEMET conference in Singapore. This was a well planned event with a good participation of high level speakers- from Ministers to Mayors to policy makers and global companies, the debate was lively and thought provoking. Certainly the whole topic of EPR schemes in this part of the world raises many questions, expectations and (among producers) fears. I think the role of the waste sector is to help elaborate strategies that will satisfy expectation (of local and city communities) while ensuring the impact on producers is equitable and sustainable. But if one message was clear to me from the WASTEMET conference it was this: while EPR schemes will not solve everything, without the input of finance EPR offers, waste management systems will struggle to develop. And this is evident throughout the region today. Compliments to the organisers for an exciting and fulfilling meeting.
2014 'ISWA World Cup' in São Paulo, Brazil
Exclusive football tournament as a side event of this year's ISWA World Congress. Be part of it!
From 12 June to 13 July, Brazil hosts the FIFA World Cup, one of the world's most important sports events.
From 8 to 11 September, the city of São Paulo, Brazil, will host the ISWA World Congress, one of the world’s most important congresses in the field of waste management.
The ISWA World Congress will be the meeting point for the waste industry, attracting professionals from all over the world to discuss advancements, challenges, trends and solutions for the different types of waste.
However it is not only about waste, it is also about networking, exchanging knowledge, culture, social entertainment, business... AND ABOUT FOOTBALL!
On 11 September, 9am to 1pm, there will be an exclusive football tournament, the 'ISWA World Cup 2014', for the participants of the ISWA World Congress in a huge stadium in São Paulo (see photo).
All participants are invited to participate, we will inform you timely about the possibilities to register. Teams will be selected after we received all registrations.
The 'ISWA World Cup 2014' will be a mix of football action and an extra opportunity to socialize and network with friends. A visit to the Football Museum will also be included.
More detailed information will be available soon on the World Congress website www.iswa2014.org
Register now at www.iswa2014.org and be part of the ISWA World Congress and the ISWA World Cup 2014 in Brazil!
Young Professionals Group Debut in São Paulo
Panel discussion and art exhibition “New Visions and Innovations on Old Themes”
The ISWA Young Professionals Group (YPG), established at the ISWA World Congress in 2013, consists of 30 dynamic young professionals from 18 countries working in the field of waste management.
The young professionals’ first project is the panel discussion and art exhibition with the overarching theme “New Visions and Innovations on Old Themes”. This four-hour session at the ISWA World Congress in São Paulo consists of three sub-sessions with the following sub-themes:
Session 1: Paradigm Shift: Changing Lifestyles, Re-defining Responsibilities of Stakeholders and Communication Strategies
Session 2: Pilot Projects: Innovative Solutions for Easy Start-up
Session 3: Waste Management and Mega-cities: Patterns and Preventative Actions for the Future
Each panel will be made up of YPGs, Senior ISWA members and external guest panellists, achieving a fine balance of various backgrounds. It is aimed to use interactive formats to engage discussions among the panellists as well as with the audience. On the other hand, the art exhibition will be an enhancing element to the Panel Discussion, bringing about reflections on a deeper level on the challenges of waste management through artistic expressions.
The YPG Panel Discussion session will be an interesting element of the ISWA World Congress 2014. Come and participate in the session on 8 September 2014, 2-4pm, ISWA World Congress, São Paulo.
For more information about the YPG and its projects, please contact: iswa@ iswa.org
ISWA signs MoU with WMRAS and NEA in Singapore
On the basis of an existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed among ISWA, the Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore (WMRAS) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) of Singapore in 2010, the parties involved now signed an additional agreement.
The official signing of this new agreement took place during the opening ceremony of the Clean Environment Summit on 3 June in Singapore. Representatives at the MOU Signing Ceremony included Director of SEI Mr Ong Eng Kian, CEO of NEA Mr Ronnie Tay, Chair of WMRAS Ms Melissa Tan, Second Minister of MEWR Ms Grace Fu, President of ISWA Mr David Newman, and Managing Director of ISWA Mr Hermann Koller.
The scope of the first MoU was to establish a Training, Advisory and Promotion (TAP) Centre in Singapore. With the new MoU, the parties agreed to jointly organise and hold a series of training programmes in Singapore through this TAP centre. The tripartite partnership synergises the international expertise of ISWA with the public-private collaboration experience of NEA and leading waste management players. It goes towards the development of effective waste management solutions, translated into environmental training programmes.
Inaugural ISWA TAP Centre’s Seminar on WtE in Singapore
Shortly after inking the MOU, reaffirming a commitment to the TAP Centre, (see article above), the three partners marked the first milestone in training collaboration with the ISWA-NEA-WMRAS Seminar on Waste-to-Energy (WtE) held from 5 to 7 June 2014 in Singapore. This inaugural 3 day seminar and study tour on WtE welcomed 27 participants from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and Oman attended the study tour.
In addition to two half day site visits, the seminar featured a team of WtE experts from Europe and Singapore: speakers from WMRAS and ISWA experts Bettina Kamuk, Jorgen Haukohl and Edmund Fleck gave lectures covering both basics elements and newest development in WtE. The sessions included the sharing of waste management policies and legislation in Europe and Singapore; examining the characteristics of high performance energy efficient plants through case studies; discussing the best practices for facility operations and maintenance.
The seminar was well-received. Participants felt that they had gained a better appreciation of environmental policies supportive of WTE development, as well as an exposure to viable business models in operating WtE facilities. “This three-day seminar provided a compact yet vigorous overview of key issues that matter to facility managers like me who have to oversee a technical team. I enjoyed the programme,” said for example Mr Jerome Baco, an industry waste management practitioner and WMRAS member.
ISWA visits the MENA Region
The ISWA Scientific and Technical Committee (STC) and members of the ISWA Board held for the first time a meeting in the MENA region.
The meeting took place alongside the 4th SWEEPNET Forum in Amman, Jordan, Moving Upstream – Waste and Resource Management with Social and Economic Benefits.
This year’s Forum enabled discussions with more than 250 participants from 24 countries through 60 speeches and presentations of high quality.
Approaches on Extended Producer Responsibility, Good Governance, Informal Sector Involvement, Private Sector Participation, Waste to Energy, issues on Marine Litter and Costs of Environmental Degradation due to solid waste practices were tackled by experts and practitioners (involving several ISWA members) who delivered their opinions and displayed their expertise in various fields, and showed new paths to achieve revolutionary solutions on the topic.
All the presentations and speeches are accessible on SWEEPNET’s website here.
580 participants at the 2nd ISWA/APESB Africa Conference
The 2nd ISWA/APESB Africa Sustainable Waste Management Conference held in Luanda, Angola from 22-24th April was a whopping success attracting around 580 participants.
The Programme was excellent and incredibly interesting with each session moderated by an honourable Minister of the Angolan Government such as Minister of Economy, Environment, Industry, Petroleum, Health, Education and Transport. This is a clear indication of Angola’s interest in Waste Management.
The congress also saw the launch of the Angolan Selective Collection Manual, to help the country reach its newly set recycling targets. On the last day a Landfill training course was offered attracting around 200+ participants.
Well done to APESB, ISWA’s National Member of Portugal for organising such a successful and valuable event!
ISWA develops a series of webinars for the CCAC
As part of ISWA’s role as Lead Partner of the MSW Initiative of the Climate & Clean Air Coalition, ISWA has been tasked to produce a series of Webinars.
The first set on Organic Waste Management & Treatment Options has been successfully delivered with the support of the ISWA Working Group on Biological Treatment of Waste. The Webinars aim to build capacity at the city level to reduce the impact of Waste Management Practices on Climate and Public Health.
Around 40 participants from Latin America, Asia and Africa participated in the live streaming.
The Webinars can be accessed at the following links:
European Group Meeting and Workshop in Brussels
From 16 to 17 June the ISWA European Group organised a workshop on the 'Waste Hierarchy: induced challenges' kindly hosted by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels, Belgium.
There were presentations made by 8 of the 10 ISWA Working Groups and debate by the 40 workshop participants on each of those presentations about the issues that were raised. An extended report of the proceedings during the day will be published in July 2014.
The workshop was held to examine the waste hierarchy because it is now a fundamental framework for decisions about European Union member state, business and even consumer attitudes and behaviour regarding resource utilisation and waste management.
However, its introduction into the Waste Framework Directive appeared late on in the legislative procedures, as explained by Andreas Versman, now a representative of the EESC Sustainable Development Observatory but who had previously been a policy officer in the European Commission DG ENV.
It was the European Parliament that had insisted that the hierarchy was put into the Waste Framework Directive and therefore because this was untaken so late in the legislative process there were many aspects that were unclear, subject to expert evaluation under the Commission’s auspices or left to the interpretation of Member States.
None the less we now have the concept of the waste hierarchy firmly embedded not only in European legislation and therefore MSs regulatory practices but also in everyone’s thinking about how we ought to manage resources and the wastes that result from their exploitation.
The workshop and the therefrom resulting report are therefore a contribution towards our future thinking about both the concept of the hierarchy and how it has been used (and abused?) over the past few years.
The report will focus on a number of the issues that are raised through the formalisation of the waste hierarchy into European and hence Member States waste legislation in 2008/2010 through the Waste Framework Directive. Although there are opportunities to opt out of the hierarchy for specific waste streams and treatments justified through use of life cycle assessment, these are necessarily tightly constrained. Each of the elements, but particularly recycling, has problems both with interpretation at a national level and for specific waste streams. The report will deal with different aspects of waste treatment and provide the opportunity to explain some of the difficulties and complexities involved in adhering to the assumptions inherent in the concept of the waste hierarchy.
Interested in the report? Check the ISWA news for the publication of the report from July on or write to email@example.com
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.
“Editor’s Pick” for May 2014
Organic Wastes, Feedstock for Bio-refineries Producing Fuels and Electricity
Organics comprise a significant fraction of the municipal solid waste (MSW) streams in both developed and developing countries. Therefore, as more cities set policies to substantially reduce the volume of MSW going to landfills, it is becoming increasingly important find ways to divert large quantities of organics, ideally by using such wastes as a feedstock for “bio-refineries” that produce liquid and/or gaseous fuels, electricity, raw materials, and even food. This review article summarizes information in the literature about a range of fermentation and other processes that can be applied alone or in series in commercial-scale bio-refineries that could use the organic fraction of MSW as the primary feedstock.
Along with the monthly editors pick the monthly Editorial makes for insightful and engaging reading. The very timely latest editorial is entitled “Register now for the residue world cup“ by Manfred Fehr, Federal University, Brazil.
Also a very recent article that should be read is Assessment methods for solid waste management: A literature review by Astrid Allesch and Paul H Brunner.
To find out about other interesting articles in this months issue of WM&R access the table of contents here
Profile: Ana Margarida Gomes (Portugal)
Name and current position in ISWA
Ana Margarida Gomes, Member of the ISWA Young Professionals Group (ISWA YPG).
Company and current position in your company
Researcher and PhD student at FCT – Nova University of Lisbon (FCT/UNL).
What is your background?
Post-Graduated in Bioenergy (FCT/UNL, 2012). Master Degree in Sanitary Engineering (FCT/UNL, 2010). Degree in Environmental Health (ESTeSL, 2006).
Did you always work in the waste industry?
Yes, I have always tried to developed my professional activity in the waste management sector. My work experience so far:
2006/2007 – Valorsul – Participated in recycling campaigns informing the public of how to separate waste for recycling.
2008/2009 – Interamianto – Worked as environmental and safety technician at a hazardous wastes (asbestos) removal company.
2009 – FCT/UNL – Participated in the research project MEDICREC as inquirer.
2010/2012 – Engiciclo – Worked as environmental technician at an environmental consulting organization dedicated to water, wastewater and waste management studies and projects.
What would you say is your greatest achievement to date?
To feel accomplished in my work and be constantly learning.
Best advice that you ever received?
“Be plural like the universe.” A sentence by Fernando Pessoa.
When not working, I enjoy...
... to learn something new, read, dance, go to the beach, walk, be a tourist or take some pictures.
Why did you decide to become part of ISWA?
One of the major issues why I decided to become part of ISWA was to be more active in the waste management sector and to enjoy all the knowledge and experience of a large network of experts.
When did you become nominated to your current position in ISWA?
Last year I received the invitation to join the foundation of the YPG, and for me it was a challenge that I couldn’t refuse. It has been a great experience, especially in last months regarding the preparation of YPG parallel session to ISWA 2014 World Conference, in São Paulo Brazil. Don’t miss it! It will be a great opportunity to meet personally some of YPG members!
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the waste industry today?
I think that the biggest challenge is to discover a balanced trade off between environment, economical and social concerns worldwide.
In your opinion, what are the industry’s strengths and weaknesses?
Strengths: mature technical/scientific know-how, advanced technologies capable of achieving high efficiency metrics.
Weaknesses: difficulty in conciliating the interests of the various stakeholders. The existence of unavoidable trade offs between the economical, the financial and the social.
What do you think the future holds for the waste industry?
Consider waste as a resource and not as "waste". The industry will also have to deal with a new set of materials that will pose new management problems.
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News from around the Globe
AUSTRALIA: Sydney’s household waste to be converted to gas
In an abitious plan, the City of Sydney is planning to convert non-recyclable household waste into gas suitable for the supply network.
The strategy, which involves the construction of an advanced waste treatment plant, would see more than 90 per cent of waste destined for landfill converted to gas.
Currently, the City recycles 68 per cent of household waste, with the rest going to landfill at a large cost to consumers and the environment. Waste levies are now more $100 a tonne, and landfill gate fees are $270 to $300 a tonne, expected to rise to $400 a tonne by 2030.
Landfill is also a large source of methane, a greenhouse gas with 25 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. Adding to the emissions toll, trucks must currently drive 250 kilometres to dump at the nearest landfill.
For the full story, please visit Eco Business
EUROPE: "Best before" dates add to food waste, says EU group
"Best before" dates on food add to a mountain of waste in Europe and could be scrapped for some long-life produce, a group of European Union states have argued in a discussion paper prepared for an agriculture ministers meeting on Monday.
Food waste in the West has become a hot topic because of its environmental and humanitarian implications. A report last year found up to half of the food produced worldwide was wasted because of poor harvesting, storage and transport methods, as well as irresponsible retailer and consumer behavior.
The discussion paper, seen by Reuters and put forward by the Netherlands and Sweden, says date-labeling in many EU countries is adding to the problem and calls on the European Commission to consider whether products with a very long shelf life could be exempt from best before labels.
For the full story, please visit Chicago Tribune
INDIA: Toxic computer waste in the developing world
As the developing world continues to develop, standards of living and access to technology increase. Unfortunately, as personal computers, laptops and mobile phones become increasingly common so the problem of recycling and disposal of such devices when they become technologically obsolete rises too, according to research published in the International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management.
Neelu Jain of the PEC University of Technology, in Chandigarh and Pamela Chawla of the Surya World, Surya World Technical Campus in Punjab, India, have estimated the potential number of obsolete desktop and notebook computers and the quantity of various toxic components that will be generated from these devices over the next ten to fifteen years in India.
For the full story, please visit Science Daily
NEW ZEALAND: NZ considers mandatory product stewardship
New Zealand is considering mandating product stewardship schemes for four waste streams after voluntary arrangements failed to develop or adequately deliver.
The discussion paper proposes: electrical and electronic equipment; tyres; refrigerants and other synthetic greenhouse gases; and agricultural chemicals and farm plastics.
The latter two already have voluntary schemes, Refrigerant Recovery and Agrecovery, but both approached the government asking for regulatory intervention to create a ‘level playing field’ so the schemes can be more effective.
For e-waste and tyres, after various attempts with voluntary schemes industry representatives advised government that they will not set up voluntary schemes due to difficulty in getting full participation. They would prefer a mandatory framework instead.
The paper notes 11 voluntary product stewardship schemes have been accredited since the Waste Minimisation Act was passed five years ago. Nearly 34,000 tonnes of waste per year is being diverted from landfill for recycling or safe destruction under these schemes, equivalent to only 1.4% of the 2.5 million tonnes going to disposal facilities.
SINGAPORE: Water, solid waste to be treated at adjacent facilities
In the first initiative of its kind, used water and solid waste will be treated at facilities located next to each other in Tuas.
Singapore will see the implementation of more innovative environmental technologies, following announcements made at the Singapore International Water Week.
The National Environment Agency’s Integrated Waste Management Facility can handle up to 50 per cent of Singapore’s waste treatment capacity, when it is completed by 2024.
For the full story, please visit Eco Business
UK: Sainsbury's powers supermarket entirely by food waste
Sainsbury's in Cannock will be the UK's first supermarket to run on electricity generated solely from food waste.
The supermarket giant has partnered with leading waste management firm Biffa to convert food waste from Sainsbury's stores across the UK into energy, using Biffa's anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities.
Waste from Sainsbury's stores is turned into bio-methane gas, which is then used to generate electricity at the Biffa plant, which is also in Cannock.
Electricity for Sainsbury's Cannock store will then be directly supplied to the supermarket via a new, 1.5km-long electricity cable which will go live on 21 July. This new power supply means the Cannock store will come off the national grid for day-to-day electricity consumption.
"Biffa has provided Sainsbury's with a food collection and processing service for many years. By converting food waste to renewable energy demonstrates our commitment to innovation and the environment," said the managing director of Biffa's I&C division, Jeff Anderson.
Sainsbury's is already the UK's largest retail user of anaerobic digestion, generating enough energy to power 2,500 homes each year. Last June, Sainsbury's achieved its 20x20 sustainability target of putting all its store waste to positive use - and diverting it from landfill.
For the full article, please visit edieWaste