An Honorary One-on-One with James Law

Apr 2, 2024 | ISWA news, Uncategorized

James Law, P.E. BCEE, LEED AP, SC, IWM

James Law, P.E. BCEE, LEED AP, SC, IWM

Vice President, SCS Engineers

James Law is a Vice President at SCS Engineers located in Richmond, Virginia. He has over 38 years of experience in civil/geotechnical engineering and solid waste management industry on both national and international projects. He served as a board member of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) from 2017-2023 and was elected to serve as an Honorary Member of ISWA. Currently, Mr. Law is the Chair of the ISWA Working Group on Landfill (WGL) and the Task Force on Closing Dumpsites Global Initiative. In addition, he is certified by ISWA as an International Waste Manager with International status.

For over 30 years, Mr. Law has been a member of the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), which is also a National Member of ISWA representing North America. He is a member of the Technical Division in Landfill Management. He holds SWANA’s Manager of Landfill Operations (MOLO) certification as well as Liquid Management Bioreactor certification.

Mr. Law is currently licensed as a Professional Engineer in multiple states in the USA. He is a Board-Certified Environmental Engineer (BCEE) in Sustainability by the American Association of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (AAEES) and accredited as LEED AP BD&C by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

He believes with his international engagement, specifically with ISWA, he can contribute and share his experience and knowledge with Global South countries and how he can unite all membership bases to positively impact the vision and future of ISWA’s mission.

An Honourary One-on-One with James Law




On Joining ISWA – the beginning

“I joined ISWA probably during or right after the 2008 World Congress in Singapore where I gave a presentation on Landfill Slope Stability Evaluation as well as conducted a training workshop on leachate generation estimation using the HELP model. At ISWA, the ability of a waste management professional to network with the industry and gain valuable experience from peers on some key international issues and challenges such as land, water, and air pollution prevention and resource management has been my biggest motivation and reason to join ISWA.”

Personal benefits of an ISWA Membership

“SCS Engineers has been an ISWA Silver organization member since 1998 and only this year (2024) we upgraded to GOLD membership. Hence, I enjoy a free internal membership through my company. For the last 15-plus years, I have had a huge network of peers and friends through ISWA national members and organisation members as well as individual or student members from many countries. I have learned so much from these people and been able to share my experience with them and enjoyed working on these international projects in providing assistance and consultancy which are very rewarding. Being part of ISWA, I have connections with the rest of the world to learn about business opportunities as well as new emerging technologies that apply to our waste industry and this for sure has helped with advancing my career over the years.”

On his role and journey at ISWA

“I began to attend and present at each World Congress in 2008. I also attended the Working Group on Landfill (WGL) planning meetings on and off until 2014 I was elected as the vice-chair of the WGL. Then in 2018, I was elected as the Chair of the WGL first term. At the same time, I was also the Chair of the Task Force on Closing Dumpsites. In 2022 I was elected to a second term as Chair of WGL. In 2017 when the World Congress was in Baltimore USA, I was elected to the Board of ISWA representing the organization members in, my first term. Then in 2019 and 2021, I was re-elected to the Board on a second and third term, respectively. Lastly, at the closing of the General Assembly meeting in Oman World Congress 2023, I was surprised and honoured to be nominated by our President, Carlos Silva Filho and the Board and was approved unanimously by national members to become an Honorary Member. All in all, my journey with ISWA is not over yet…. Stay tuned for Part 2!”

Favourite ISWA memory

“With countless trips to dumpsites all around the world attempting to solve at the time unsolvable problems and challenges, these were shocking moments of my life the living conditions of the waste pickers and badly polluted environment and yet little has been done about it over a long period. However, I was always cheered up by the warmth and hospitality of the people that I met in each municipality, in each country that I visited. There is hope for us to do something to change the dumpsite operations through proper and planned education and public outreach programmes while solving technology or financial challenges. My recent favourite memory is definitely the surprise that I received at the General Assembly in Oman where I got emotional and speechless when receiving the honour of my lifetime – an Honorary Member of ISWA. Thank you all!”

On ISWA’s positive influence on his career

“It is true that ISWA membership and its communities have absolutely had a positive influence on my career advancement this far. And the ISWA network has contributed to improve the circular economy and to promote better and sustainable waste management practices worldwide.”

An important learning experience to highlight

“ISWA, being a global waste and resource management Association, has evidently and successfully organized the first Waste and Resource Pavilion at COP28 in Dubai 2023, has showcased the depth and breadth of our waste professionals and experts who form the core group of our membership and are on voluntarily basis in supporting ISWA organized events. To experience the best waste management practices in circular economy and climate change challenges, one must associate with ISWA! An excellent example is our annual Winter School at the University of Texas at Arlington, Texas. Over the past 8 years, we have about 400 participants from over 90 countries and counting. It is incredible how much I learnt from the participants on waste management practices and needs in their respective countries and I feel blessed to be able to share my experience with them. The testimonies they posted on social media speak volumes. I am glad to be a part of the Winter School teaching faculty headed by Dr Sahadat Hossain.”

On the reasons to join ISWA (if you haven’t already!)

“I believe that one can really open their mind and perspective when they have a chance to interact with ISWA’s members and experts, whether they are teaching, sharing, or learning – You always gain something through ISWA’s network and friendship. I think when you become a member of ISWA, certain barriers such as cultural differences or countries of origin, become less important and you can tolerate such differences and become patient and listen more so you can understand better.”

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