Official Farewell of ISWA Secretariat in Vienna

27 Nov 2019 -

Monday 18, November, at the City of Vienna’s Tandler Shop, marked the official Farewell Celebration of ISWA General Secretariat in Vienna before it’s transition to the City of Rotterdam in January 2020.


The hosts of ISWA in Austria were represented by Joseph Thon, Head of MA 48 Waste Management, Street Cleaning and Vehicle Fleet and Dr. Martina Ableidinger: ISWA Austria President, Deputy Manager of MA 48 and Head of Foreign Relations and Events.  Special guests joining us were the future hosts of ISWA in the Netherlands: Gerben Wigmans, Director General & Urban Management, of the City of Rotterdam, Olaf Prinsen, Manging Director of NVRD, the Royal Dutch Waste Management Association and Marc Tijhuis, the new Managing Director of ISWA January 1, 2020.


Invited guests including members of ISWA Austria as well as the ISWA Board, Scientific and Technical Committee (STC) and General Secretariat enjoyed an afternoon of pleasant reminiscing, presentations and celebrations. As well as Antonis Mavropoulos, the current ISWA President, we were honoured by the presence of five former Presidents, namely: Jean Paul L’Eglise (FR), Niels Jorn Hahn (DK), Håkan Rylander (FI), Dr. Atilio Savino (AR) and Christoff Scharf (AT).


The Tandler is the City of Vienna’s second-hand shop promoting waste prevention and reuse and has its own rather cool lounge area for business meetings and networking.   Selling items from the past in a setting for the future, it was the perfect venue for our farewell gathering on the theme of Time Travel. The presentations from Martina and Antonis reflected on the past ten years of ISWA’s transformation and members of the STC gave grave but pragmatic forecasts of the next ten years of difficult challenges in the waste management sector.


There was consensus that the last ten years in Vienna had seen ISWA professionalise and grown from an international association to a recognizable global stakeholder. The Vienna Grant provided annually by the City had enabled ISWA to take on new research projects, grow the number of publications, re-acquire Waste Management World magazine and elevate the Waste Management and Research Journal.


New campaigns were launched, and initiatives could be created from the popular Young Professionals Group, to the Initiative for Mayors and Municipalities, the ISWA Scholarship Fund raised €130,000. Social media has opened new outreach possibilities, our website alone receives 40,000 per month and there are 3-4,000 downloads of ISWA documents per month.

With members in 110 countries, membership has doubled, events have quadrupled, and more than 30 official partnerships with high-level organisations involved in Waste Management, sustainability and climate change, ISWA has developed from a membership club to the consciousness of the waste sector.


It was a wonderful tribute to our hosts and to the ISWA Austria members who played a strong role in the journey, and on behalf of ISWA we thank our hosts: the City of Vienna and ISWA Austria for their warm hospitality!


Finally, Marc Tijhuis, ISWA new Managing Director said: “As it was a Golden Age for ISWA in Vienna, so we hope that it will be at least a Platinum Age in the City of Rotterdam!” – we look forward to taping into the energy, creativity and forward-thinking city as of January 1, 2020 at the Cambridge Innovation Centre offices.


If you would like to get to know the City of Rotterdam, register for the ISWA World Congress 28-30 September 2020, in Rotterdam and join the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of ISWA!


Download the Ten-Year retrospective presentation here:  So Long-Farewell-Auf Wiedersehen-Goodbye

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