Global News

Issue 31, October 2014

News from the President

David Newman

Dear Friends, Colleagues and ISWA Members


Waste managers are used to receiving alarmed calls for help but rarely I believe have we received one as urgent as this: two weeks ago the World Health Organisation (WHO) asked members of the ISWA’s Working Group on healthcare waste management to urgently help to prepare a guideline for the handling and destruction of waste generated in locations treating Ebola or suspected Ebola cases.


Existing waste infrastructure in the affected countries is limited and it is important that the management of waste is considered as an extension of clinical process. Despite harsh conditions and limited resources, healthcare workers are trying their best to manage waste effectively at source to minimize risks. The working group members and others selected by WHO were happy to share their experiences and give advice on best practice for a range of practical settings whilst being aware of limited resources.


This is testimony to the professional value of our Working Group, which should receive from all of us in the waste community our thanks for their continued commitment to helping health care managers understand how to manage hazardous waste during crises and emergency situation. The management of infectious waste, particularly in developing countries, often arrives untreated at open dumps, and is a dangerous convector of disease especially among the scavenger community working in those infernal sites. Therefore the management of this waste remains a challenge, also at the end of this emergency situation.


The Working Group on healthcare waste management recently published two new reports. You can find them in the article titled 'New ISWA Publications' below.


David Newman
President, ISWA

The World’s 50 Biggest Dumpsites

Dumpsite on Haiti. Image credits: Timothy Bouldry
Dumpsite on Haiti. Image credits: Timothy Bouldry
Waste Atlas Report Cover
Waste Atlas Report Cover

The Waste Atlas Partnership (D-Waste, ISWA, University of Leeds, WtERT, Sweep-Net and SWAPI) mapped and profiled the world’s 50 biggest active dumpsites in its 2nd annual Waste Atlas Report. The results of the report were firstly presented during the ISWA 2014 World Congress in Sao Paulo in September 2014.


The 1st Waste Atlas Report has revealed that almost 40% of the waste generated globally is unsoundly disposed of at open dumpsites. Most of these disposal sites are located close to urban areas, posing a major threat to human health and the environment.


But speaking generally about dumpsites is not enough. There is a need to draft a baseline by assessing the current situation, the health and environmental problems, the affected populations, the current and future risks associated with dumpsites.

No international, coordinated efforts have been made until today to catalogue the most risky dumpsites worldwide and to mobilize international aid for their upgrade, closure and/or rehabilitation.


The Waste Atlas Partnership decided to respond to this challenge and made the first list with the biggest active dumpsites of the world.


The 50 biggest active dumpsites should not be considered, simply, as local problems, since according to the report they affect the daily lives of 64 million people, a figure similar to the population of France and they are the receptors of 0.6-0.8 km3 of waste, almost 200-300 times the volume of the Great Pyramid of Giza.


“I really believe that the closure and rehabilitation of those dumpsites, and the development of sound waste management systems, must be considered as a global challenge and not a local one” said ISWA Board Member and STC Chair Antonis Mavropoulos during the presentation of the report at the ISWA World 2014 World Congress. “I am sure that the list provided by this report will serve as a first step towards the understanding of this global challenge”.


The enlisted dumpsites are visualized in order to provide a contextual snapshot of both the technical, environmental and social aspects of each dumpsite. The given information is related to tonnes of waste in place, type of waste, size area, tonnes of waste per area (waste concentration), informal recyclers, population and natural resources within 10 km radius and distance of nearest settlements.


This list would never be realized without the combination of crowdsourcing and scientific research. The Waste Atlas partnership is really thankful to the hundreds of contributors for sending data, highlighting for once more the need for contribution to the project in order to be sustainable, and it is also thankful to the University of Leeds for its scientific support that upgraded data collection and acquisition.


Download the report from:


There was already some media coverage on this outstanding project: e.g. The Guardian already reported on it. To read the article, visit The Guardian



The 'Global Waste Management Outlook'

Panellists f.l.t.r.: Surendra Shrestha, Director UNEP- IET; Philip Heylen, Vice Mayor, Antwerp; ISWA Board Members Gary Crawford and Carlos Silva Filho; Ms Raquel Lejtreger, Vice Minister Environment, Uruguay; Jordi Pon, UNEP –ROLAC, Panama.
Panellists f.l.t.r.: Surendra Shrestha, Director UNEP- IET; Philip Heylen, Vice Mayor, Antwerp; ISWA Board Members Gary Crawford and Carlos Silva Filho; Ms Raquel Lejtreger, Vice Minister Environment, Uruguay; Jordi Pon, UNEP –ROLAC, Panama.

The 'Global Waste Management Outlook' (GWMO), a joint project between ISWA and UNEP, was the key theme of the closing session of the recent ISWA World Congress.


Members of the Steering Group held an engaging session highlighting the need for this comprehensive publication. During this session the panel openly discussed a few of the most poignant challenges faced by advancing waste and resource management globally.


Meanwhile momentum on this ambitious project of ISWA and UNEP to develop the first ever comprehensive Global Outlook on Waste Management is steaming on in the background. The first draft has very recently undergone an external review. Thank you to the many of you who supported the review of this hefty document with your valuable comments and insights.


In case you missed the earlier threads on the GWMO, the GWMO aims to be the first of its kind, authoritative reference document succinctly addressing the global challenges, trends, financial models and policies across the waste sector.

Photos from the ISWA World Congress 2014

Carlos Silva Filho, new ISWA Vice President and host of the 2014 World Congress
Carlos Silva Filho, new ISWA Vice President and host of the 2014 World Congress
Opening Ceremony
Opening Ceremony
Before the Gala Dinner...
Before the Gala Dinner...
...and after: delegates on the dance floor
...and after: delegates on the dance floor
'ISWA Football Worldcup'
'ISWA Football Worldcup'

Almost 1,000 delegates from 64 countries gathered in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for the ISWA World Congress 8-11 September.


The participants were offered much during the three congress days: the extensive programme contained more than 220 speeches in 55 sessions and several side events like the IPLA Global Forum, the CCAC meeting and the RWM Trade Fair.


The ISWA Young Professionals Group, which has been established in 2013, organised a special session and an art exhibition that portrayed creative initiatives of the civil society engaged with the problems of solid waste.


One of the social events highlights of the congress was the gala dinner and the ISWA Award Presentation Ceremony in the HSBC Brazil Hall where a spectacular samba intervention and an exceptional show band made many congress delegates dance until very late night.


Last not least there was a football tournament organised for the participants as a side event after the congress…


To get an impression of THE ISWA event 2014 please visit the picture galleries below.


> General Assembly 2014

> World Congress Opening Ceremony

> World Congress Gala Dinner

> World Congress Various

> World Congress ISWA Young Professionals Group

> World Congress ISWA CCAC MSW Workshop

> World Congress Football Tournament

> World Congress Football Tournament Video


Photo credits: ISWA; Osíris Lambert, Clóvis Fabiano and Felipe Perazzolo

Call for Abstracts: ISWA WORLD CONGRESS 2015, Antwerp, Belgium

Antwerp Vice Mayor Philip Heylen
Antwerp Vice Mayor Philip Heylen

On behalf of the city of Antwerp, Interafval and ISWA, Philip Heylen, Antwerp Vice Mayor and chairman of the ISWA 2015 organizing committee, is looking forward to welcoming you at the ISWA World Congress 2015 in Flanders/Belgium!

Many waste management companies are making the area around Antwerp, Europe’s third largest port and the world’s second-largest petrochemicals zone, a show-case of best practices and trend-setting technologies. As a pocket-size metropolis, the city also has a lot to offer in terms of history, culture and gastronomy.

The ISWA World Congress 2015 in Antwerp will guarantee a balanced mix of internationally renowned keynote speakers, representatives of institutions and agencies worldwide that determine waste and materials policy, interesting insights into the latest scientific and technological developments in the sector, and above all, a lot of opportunities for networking and exchange of experience.


The ISWA 2015 committee invites authors to submit abstracts for presentation within any of the ISWA themes. Submissions are welcome for oral and online poster presentations. Abstracts must be submitted online via

Please note the deadline for abstract submission is 11 December 2014, 9am GMT!

New ISWA Publications

ISWA Guidelines for Preparing Tenders for the Provision of Healthcare Waste Infrastructure
These tender guidelines have been prepared by the Working Group on Healthcare Waste to provide guidance to international organisations and local governments to provide neutral and fair specifications when preparing a tender for Healthcare waste projects.


ISWA Guidelines on Training Strategies for Healthcare Waste Management
A high awareness of risks and issues associated with healthcare waste and up to date knowledge on how to manage healthcare waste from the point of generation until final treatment and disposal is key for successful and sustainable healthcare waste management. This set of guidelines developed by the Working Group on Healthcare Waste provides advice on what is needed to implement effective training across the healthcare sector.


ISWA Key Issue Paper: Role of Landfills in the transition to Resource Management
This innovative paper developed by the Working Group on Landfill highlights three ways in which landfills can support a transition away from waste management toward resource management. These include landfills as a sink for hazardous substances; as a strategic storage for resources and older landfills as mines for resources.


More papers and reports that have been prepared by ISWA are available in the
ISWA Knowledge Base.

ISWA Summer School 2014, Romania

Between 18 to 29th of August, ISWA in partnership with the Romanian Association of Sanitation and the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, organized the “Summer School On Material And Energy Recovery Of Municipal Waste in Developing Economies”.


This third edition of the ISWA Summer School brought together more than 30 students, master students, researchers, professors, PhD students, and experts from Germany, Austria, Finland, Serbia, Macedonia, Hungary, Ukraine, Oman, India, Estonia and Romania.


The event was held at the Faculty of Materials and Environmental Engineering - Technical University of Cluj-Napoca with participants indulging in a variety of lectures. For two weeks, participants discussed various aspects of sustainable waste management, among others: collection and transportation, transfer stations, sorting plants, biodegradable waste treatment, energy recovery and waste disposal. Classes were also focused on technical elements, economic and environmental scenarios specific for recycling and energy recovery from municipal solid waste.


The main objective of this summer school was to provide advanced the knowledge in integrated waste management planning to an international audience from developed and developing economies.


In addition to the theoretical courses, the program was rounded off by technical and social visits to an Integrated Waste Management Center  in  Oradea, to a hazardous waste combustion plant in Cluj and the famous Turda salt mine.

First ISWA Study Tour on Collection, Sorting & Recycling

20 participants from 11 countries attended the tour
ISWA MD Hermann Koller handing over the participation certificates
Participants visiting a metall recycling plant

The premier of the ISWA Study Tour on Collection, Sorting & Recycling, took place from 21 to 26 September 2014 in Austria.


After having organised three study tours on waste to energy very sucessfully, ISWA now invited for a 5-day Study Tour on Collection, Sorting & Recycling. This event has been conducted in cooperation with our partner TBHauer. And it has exceeded the expectations of organisers and participants alike.


20 participants from 11 different countries and all inhabited continents (Antarctica was not represented) drove 500 kilometres through Austria – visiting all sorts of sorting plants, treatment plants, collection sites and recycling facilities. Leaving no stone unturned and no question unasked on the deeper sense of material recycling in an integrated solid waste management system.


Here is some feedback we received from the participants:


Ricardo Rollandi, Argentina:

I would like to express how important was the study tour and having met you all, as well as having known the different very interesting European experiences.

I think we all learned a lot and I would like to congratulate the organizers for the very well coordinated week.


Walid Darwish, Egypt:

On behalf of myself and my colleague Dalia, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to everybody who led to the success of this study tour. My special thanks to the organizers and my respect to all the participants from all other countries who enriched and shared their experience through the discussions during the study tour.


Sorin Dumitru, Romania:

It was indeed an useful and interesting experience both on a professional and personal level, thus my colleagues and I would also like to congratulate the organizers and extend our gratitude for their hospitality.  In addition, please know that it was a pleasure meeting you and learning about different experiences in waste management around the world and we look forward to continue sharing ideas and knowledge and meeting again in another ISWA event.


Jacques Snyman, South Africa:

The study tour sincerely was very relevant and informative, well organised and managed.


For more details on this study tour please go to the ISWA event calendar.

Cooperation projects with UNIDO and CTCN

ISWA was invited and participated in the UNIDO-led Strategic Partnership on E-waste Meeting on 22-24 September at the headquarter of UNIDO in Vienna.


Present at the meeting were UNIDO’s partner organisations around the globe working in the field of E-waste management, ranging from research institutes, the Basel Convention, recycling centres, consultants, producers to on-the-ground implementers. Based on the World Café Concept for brainstorming and then synergy-finding, the three-day interactive meeting achieved a clear overview of common understanding and future outlook on E-waste management among the partners. ISWA is to play a more active role and provide expertise from its members on future projects and initiatives on E-waste management of global partners.


As a network member of the CTCN (Climate Technology Centre Network), ISWA was invited and participated in the 4th Advisory Board Meeting of the CTCN and its networking event.


The CTCN is a new initiative under the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) which was established in the end of 2013 with its headquarter in Copenhagen. The Network aims to provide technical guidance and capacity building to member countries who request technologies that mitigate or adapt to climate change. The Network has currently 20 members who provide expertise in various areas related to climate change, ISWA being the only member providing expertise in solid waste management. ISWA is currently engaged in responding to a request from Colombia about implementing MBT technology in the city of Cali, Colombia.


For further information on the CTCN please visit:

Atilio Savino back on Board

Atilio Savino
Atilio Savino

Following Carlos Silva Filho’s election to Vice President of ISWA at the General Assembly in Sao Paulo, a special election took place in October to find a new Board Member representing the Regional Development Network for the Latin America area.


Atilio Savino, former ISWA President 2008-2010, was nominated by ISWA’s National Member for Argentina, ARS, for the temporary Board Position. He stood uncontested and was therefore announced to the members of the RDN as their new representative on the ISWA Board.


Atilio will sit on the ISWA Board for a temporary term until September 2015 when the position will become available for election once again.


Congratulations and welcome back on Board, Atilio!

Greetings from Avfall Norge, the ISWA National Member in Norway

Nancy Strand, CEO, Waste Norway (Avfall Norge)
Nancy Strand, CEO, Waste Norway (Avfall Norge)

Avfall Norge (Waste Norway) is a Member Organization for the waste industry; our members handle waste from more than 95 percent of the households in Norway.


Our vision is that waste is a resource that deserves a managing for the benefit of the climate, health and the environment.


We aim to contribute to make Norway a leading nation in developing new and better waste solutions. Waste Norway is promoting a comprehensive waste policy, in line with national and international climate- and environmental requirements and objectives. We believe that waste is tomorrow's raw materials and that recycled materials in the future will need to replace much of today’s raw materials, taken from nature.


We work continuously to ensure best practice and good framework conditions for our members, which consists of 180 municipal corporations, inter-municipal waste companies and private enterprises.


Waste Norway is the main arena and driving force for developing the waste industry in Norway. A core mission is to facilitate and organize, continuing education, skills upgrading and development of the waste industry.

New Platinum Member: be'ah - Oman Environmental Services Holding

ISWA Platinum Member Oman Environmental Services, Oman

ISWA is happy to welcome and present a new Platinum Member!


Oman Environmental Services Holding Company S.A.O.C “be’ah” was established in 2007. In 2009, Royal Decree No. 46/2009, granted be’ah the mandate and the legal status as the entity responsible for solid waste management in the Sultanate of Oman. be’ah strives towards a vision to conserve the environment of a beautiful Oman for future generations.


be’ah’s main objectives are to control environmental damage incurred during traditional waste dumping processes; structure the waste sector and its related services in a sustainable manner; develop the industry; and support the economy.


Within this umbrella, be’ah works on moving towards sustainable waste management practices as per the international standards by establishing the required infrastructure, restructure the municipal waste collection services and improve public awareness of waste management.


For further information please contact:



Oman Environmental Services Holding Co. (S.A.O.C)

P.O. Box 1188, PC 130 Al-Aziba

Muscat, Sultanate of Oman


Phone: +968 24618270

Fax: +968 24618206

ISWA welcomes a new Gold Member!

ISWA Gold Member Steinmüller Babcock Environment GmbH, Germany
Steinmüller Babcock Environment GmbH, Germany

ISWA is happy to welcome and present a new Gold Member!


Please click on the logo to view the company profile.

WM&R Editor’s Pick & Editorial: Open Access

Jagdeep Singh, lead author of this month's editor's choise artile
Jagdeep Singh, lead author of this month's editor's choice artile

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 September is:

Progress and challenges to the global waste management system

Jagdeep Singh, Rafael Laurenti, Rajib Sinha, and Björn Frostell


“We proudly present you the September 2014 issue of WM&R, a Special Issue thematically focused on the ongoing challenges for waste and resources management stemming from the increased urbanisation around the world. With an emphasis on developing counties, where most new cities population rapidly emerge, it provides us with new research and innovation on diverting wastes from landfill disposal to resource recovery, ownership of wastes, data quality and availability, and suitable decision-making tools. The editor`s pick article offers a perspective to some of the related challenges around the world, an overview of great importance towards comprehending our increasingly globalised world, as is also demonstrated by the recent ISWA Globalisation and Waste Management Task Force reports. Happy reading!”


The Table of Contents of the September issue is available at:


Read the Editorial from the September issue here: Cities and waste: Current and emerging issues by David C Wilson and Costas A Velis

Profile: De Leong Ho (Malaysia)

New ISWA Board Member Mr. Ho De Leong
New ISWA Board Member Mr. Ho De Leong

Name and current position in ISWA

De Leong Ho, Board Member and Representative for the Regional Development Network for Asia Pacific.


Company and current position in your company

Chairman of Waste Management Association of Malaysia; Chief Operating Officer of SWM Environment.


What is your background?

I am a Malaysian Chinese.  I obtained primary and secondary school education in Malaysia and was active in sports that led to being awarded State Athlete of the Year in 1974.  I studied Civil Engineering in  the UK and graduated in 1980.


Did you always work in the waste industry?

I spent 15 years in the water supply business before moving into waste management in 1995 when our French partner in the water business suggested the idea of privatisation of solid waste management in Malaysia.


Did you ever have a mentor or someone you found inspirational?

I have always found men who value diligence and integrity are inspirational.  Ultimately, I draw my inspiration from God.


What would you say is your greatest achievement to date?

Building the waste management company from scratch to an organisation with more than 7500 employees,; and running a fleet of more than 1000 vehicles with an annual  turnover exceeding USD250 Million under a 22-year Concession.


Best advice that you ever received?

If you don't ask, you will never know the answer.  Or in the biblical context, Ask and You shall Receive!


When not working, I enjoy...

Listening to Music - Classical Rock, Singing, Travelling.


Why did you decide to become part of ISWA?

In 2007 after meeting up with a representative from WMA Australia which was  the ISWA  RDN ASIA PACIFIC  then. Together with the encouragement and support from Danida, a Danish Agency I decided to become part of ISWA during the  ISWA Congress in Amsterdam.


What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the waste industry today?

Political Priority and Public Apathy. Many developing and  third world counties do not see waste management as a priority in their  national budget with open dumps contributing to the greenhouse gas  emission and causing groundwater pollution and causing  various health issues. The lack of  allocation of funds to treat and disposal of waste in a sanitary manner are doing grave damage to the wellbeing of the countries. Public apathy with regards to littering, illegal or indiscriminate dumping of toxic materials and irresponsible manufacturers appear to be the biggest challenge facing the waste industry today.


In your opinion, what are the industry’s strengths and weaknesses?

The waste industry opens up a host of  economic benefits to the economy of the country and creating  green jobs vital for the sustainability of the our environment. When the industry is not well regulated, it leads to  a host of issues such as health, pollution and criminal activities.


Where do you see, if any, market opportunities for the waste industry?

The market opportunities are huge in the waste industry. Unlike development, waste generation continues regardless of the economy is good or bad. Consumption leads to waste generation and the demand for secondary resource as an environmentally sustainable option to exploring and exploiting raw materials  presents a huge opportunity for the waste industry.


What do you think the future holds for the waste industry?

I think the future of the  waste industry is very bright as global demand for food, energy and goods continues to increase with progressing nations and increasing population. Waste management will continue to evolve with the advent of new technologies with better ways of handling, treating and harnessing waste as a resource and as we move towards a circular economy.

ISWA 3 Months Trial Membership

ISWA 3 Months Trial Membership

The ISWA 3 Months Trial 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

AUSTRALIA: National radioactive waste management facility

The process to identify a site for a radioactive waste management facility in Australia could be widened.


Radioactive Waste 2The Federal Government has released a notice indicating its intention to consider opening a nationwide volunteer process for land owners to nominate land for such a management facility.


Nominations for a volunteer site are currently open to Aboriginal Land Councils in the Northern Territory under the National Radioactive Waste Management Act 2012. The Act also provides for a nationwide process.


For the full story, please visit EnviroInfo

NEW ZEALAND: PVC hospital waste recycling programme

A group of enthusiastic staff including representatives from clinical, management, procurement and logistics have got a pilot PVC recycling programme off the ground at Dunedin Hospital.


The pilot recycling programme has been set up in partnership with Baxter Health Care Limited (Baxter), who supply Southern DHB with various PVC medical products. The DHB uses a large number of PVC products such as IV fluid bags, oxygen masks and tubing, which previously ended up in the general waste collection and sent to landfill.


Baxter has successfully run recycling programmes in hospitals in Australia and aims to replicate this in New Zealand. The company has organised the purchase of collection bins and provided informational materials to educate hospital employees about the recycling programme.



A group of enthusiastic staff including representatives from clinical, management, procurement and logistics have got a pilot PVC recycling programme off the ground at Dunedin Hospital.


The pilot recycling programme has been set up in partnership with Baxter Health Care Limited (Baxter), who supply Southern DHB with various PVC medical products. The DHB uses a large number of PVC products such as IV fluid bags, oxygen masks and tubing, which previously ended up in the general waste collection and sent to landfill.


Baxter has successfully run recycling programmes in hospitals in Australia and aims to replicate this in New Zealand. The company has organised the purchase of collection bins and provided informational materials to educate hospital employees about the recycling programme.



For the full story, visit




WORLD: Trillion-pound potential for cleantech SMEs

There is a potential £1tn market for clean-technology SMEs in developing nations, according to a report by the World Bank Group and the Carbon Trust.


Entitled Building Competitive Green Industries: the Climate and Clean Technology Opportunity for Developing Countries, the report identifies China, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa as the top three target areas with an expected market size of £253bn, $213bn and $143bn respectively.


The most promising opportunities are predicted to be in wastewater treatment, onshore wind, solar panels, electric vehicles, and small hydro.


Opportunities are reportedly available for SMEs across the entire cleantech value chain, and are particularly prevalent in minor equipment manufacture, installation, civil works, retailing, and operations and maintenance activities.


Knowledge of local markets, the need for specialisation, and lower financial and technical barriers to entry makes these activities especially accessible to SMEs.


For the full article, please visit Edie

EU: Five waste disposal reforms to create EU circular economy

The European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services (FEAD) has published its six-year strategy for achieving a circular economy throughout Europe.


Driving the Circular Economy, launched in Brussels, outlines a variety of sustainability and waste-management improvements for European policy makers.


The Strategy was welcomed by the EU's outgoing Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik, who said: "The role of the waste management sector is crucial in the transition towards a circular economy."


"We want an economy where virtually nothing is wasted, where we get far more value from resources by designing products which last longer; which can be easily repaired; reused; remanufactured; and which eventually can be recycled or safely returned to the environment."


For the full article, please visit Edie

USA: U.S. nears solution for safe disposal of Ebola waste

The United States is days away from settling the critical question of how hospitals should handle and dispose of medical waste from Ebola patients, a government official said on Wednesday.


Experts have warned that conflicting U.S. regulations over how such waste should be transported could make it very difficult for U.S. hospitals to safely care for patients with Ebola, a messy disease that causes diarrhoea, vomiting and in some cases, bleeding from the eyes and ears.


Safely handling such waste presents a dual challenge for regulators, who want to both prevent the accidental spread of the deadly disease and avert any deliberate attempts to use it as a bioweapon.


Most U.S. hospitals are not equipped with incinerators or large sterilisers called autoclaves that could accommodate the large amounts of soiled linens, contaminated syringes and virus-spattered protective gear generated from the care of an Ebola patient, said Dr. Jeffrey Duchin, chair of the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s Public Health Committee.


For the full story, please visit Euro News