Global News

Issue 35, June 2015

News from the President

David Newman
David Newman

Dear Friends, Colleagues and ISWA Members


An intense period of activity in our waste world always comes just before the northern summer holidays, as if our colleagues are burning their last energies before running for a beach or mountain to recover!


Korea, Greece, London, Brussels have been my destinations of the last weeks and Singapore is approaching in July, my last pre-holiday journey for ISWA. And ISWA too has many events underway including study tours and conferences around the world.


I'm pleased to announce our new cooperation with Texas University at Arlington on landfill training for developing countries,  see the relevant article in this newsletter, which goes hand in hand with the activities at our other training centre, Singapore. Hopefully these experiences will help form a new generation of waste managers capable of taking our industry forward into the next decade.


Our Task Force on Resource Management spent two intense and well organised days in Paris in June discussing our report on waste and resources, due to be published for the Annual Conference in September, and thanks to Veolia for hosting the event.


And I just finished helping to edit  Antonis Mavropoulos's study on the health impacts of open dumps, quite a dramatic report showing how tens of millions of people worldwide are suffering severe health problems from uncontrolled waste dumping and burning.


These will go hand in hand with the ground breaking report ISWA and UNEP publish in September called the Global Waste Management Outlook, and I know you already are aware of its importance  in terms of defining our industry over the next years.


All this is good news.  But the paradox of this time of relative economic growth and prosperity comes from the very hard times many recyclers are going through as prices fall; we know how paper and plastics are suffering, but gate fees for organics also are falling;  in part ( in the UK for example) because very high renewable energy subsidies are creating greater competition for organic feedstocks, in part because more organics treatment facilities are opened and operating ( northern and central Europe) driving down the prices.


This volatility is destabilising the industry at a time when, in the EU and USA at least, waste production is levelling off or indeed has been falling steadily.  The logical consequence of this, in any industry, would be consolidation. That is difficult in a sector often owned by public bodies.  We shall see how it plays out - certainly in the USA blood is being shed (not literally of course !) 


Join us in Antwerp on September 7th and be part of this debate.


Best wishes
David Newman
President, ISWA

ISWA World Congress 2015, 7-9 September, Antwerp: Register now!

Two of the many interesting keynote speakers: Achim Steiner, Executive Director UNEP...
Two of the many interesting keynote speakers: Achim Steiner, Executive Director UNEP...
...and André Kuipers, Astronaut & Ambassador of Earth
...and André Kuipers, Astronaut & Ambassador of Earth

How do we deal with waste and materials in densely populated cities?

What is the role of local authorities and world-wide organisations, NGOs, industry and research in the development of new tools and measures?

And how can we come up with a world-wide balanced solution for the materials challenge?


If these questions are of interest to you, if you would like to discuss with representatives from UNEP, the World Bank, OECD, the Clinton Foundation etc., join us at the ISWA World Congress 2015, 7-9 September in Antwerp, Belgium!


The ISWA World Congress 2015, as always, 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 Congress will once again 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.


Register now! Go visit our new website for the latest details and for registering for the ISWA 2015 World Congress!


We are looking forward to meeting you in September in Antwerp!

Win a free trip to the ISWA 2015 World Congress!

Once again, ISWA is offering the chance for one lucky person to come along to our annual congress and most anticipated event of the year in Antwerp, Belgium between the 7th and 9th September 2015.


Correctly answer all questions to win a free registration to the ISWA 2015 World Congress in Antwerp, Belgium (worth €800), including economy class flights, train to the venue, and accommodation for three nights.


For a chance to entire our prize draw, answer all five questions correctly here. Please note that you are limited to one entry per person and any multiple entries will not be registered. 


The answers to all of the questions can be found on the ISWA website.


*please read disclaimer on at the bottom of the quiz for full terms and conditions. 

Photos ISWA Beacon Conference Vienna

Over 100 people from 27 different nationalities and 3 continents gathered in ISWA’s “Home City” of Vienna, Austria, for the 5th ISWA Beacon Conference on Recycling and Waste Minimisation 27-29 May.


The Conference, jointly organized by ISWA, particularly by its Working Group on Recycling and Waste Minimisation, and ÖWAV took place in the stunning Wappensaal at the Vienna City Hall.


The focus of this year’s Beacon Conference was “Resource and Responsibility”, with special consideration to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), circular economy, re-use and resource efficiency. The conference highlighted the shift in focus over the last 25-30 years, not just in Europe but globally, from waste management to resource management. 


You can read the full report from ISWA's Managing Director here.


For the photo gallery from the Beacon Conference, click here.

SWIS: A Co-operation between the University of Texas and ISWA

The major facilities that are part of the SWIS for research and Training are the Civil Engineering Building...
The major facilities that are part of the SWIS for research and Training are the Civil Engineering Building...
...and the Engineering Research Building
...and the Engineering Research Building
Sahadat Hossain
Sahadat Hossain

The University of Texas at Arlington, USA has established the Solid Waste Institute for Sustainability (SWIS) to provide leadership and expertise to countries and cities around the globe in how to make waste management and landfills more efficient and sustainable. The mission of SWIS is to work on developing clean and healthy urban cities through sustainable waste management.


The center is developed in agreement with ISWA. As a first co-operation project, ISWA is working with SWIS for the ISWA-SWIS Winter School in January 2016 to be held Texas, USA (see article below!).


The major objective of SWIS is to research, develop and implement innovative solutions for sustainable waste management around the globe and mainly in developing countries. Some of the specific objectives of SWIS are:

1.     To provide better sanitation and reduce of effect of waste and waste management facilities on the residents living nearby uncontrolled waste management facilities.

2.     To educate and train solid waste management personnel involved in landfill operation from Texas, USA and other developed and developing countries.

3.     To help young waste management professionals develop business related to waste management, recycling and create jobs. This will ultimately lead to poverty alleviation.


MD. Sahadat Hossain, Ph.D., P.E., a UT Arlington civil engineering professor, will serve as director of the institute. The center stems from Hossain’s extensive work in the area of waste management and bioreactor landfill technology and research that his team has conducted in cooperation with the cities in Texas, USA and Ghana, Africa.


“Our global mission is training and education,” Hossain said. “Many countries don’t even know what a landfill is. They just dump their solid waste in open space or water streams. That spreads disease and creates serious public health and environmental concerns. In those countries, people living next to the open dumps are often making the decision of whether to buy medicine or eat. We want to solve the problem of why they’re getting sick in the first place by having an engineered landfill that’s managed and sustainable, and along the process contain the possible source of disease.”


Half the world’s population have no access to basic waste collection systems and live among the waste they discard or burn. This is often due to lack of understanding or training of challenges and importance of solid waste management and its impact on health, sanitation and sustainable cities.  SWIS aims to help close this gap.


David Newman, President of ISWA, said that “he is delighted to see this center established. ISWA already has a smaller training center in Singapore, but SWIS’s hands-on learning experience can be of real value to developing countries, especially focusing on their primary needs, to build well-managed landfills”.


SWIS will combine science, engineering, business and social science expertise in developing new methodologies and solutions in order to explore international paths to sustainable waste management. Many national and international solid waste experts are already affiliated with SWIS as advisor or research collaborator.


SWIS is housed at the University of Texas at Arlington, Texas, USA. The center is located close to Dallas‐ Fort Worth (DFW) Airport in Texas with easy and direct access to national and international destinations.


Contact Information: MD. Sahadat Hossain, Ph.D., P.E. (, Tel: 1-817-272-3577 (off), 1-972-955-5635 (mobile)

ISWA-SWIS Winter School coming up in Texas, USA

ISWA and the SWIS (Solid Waste Institute for Sustainability), housed at the University of Texas at Arlington, Texas, USA, paired up with the City of Denton, Texas, USA, to bring you the ISWA-SWIS Winter School on Solid Waste Management - LANDFILL & LANDFILL MINING.


The unique aspect of the Winter School is the blend of in-class and hands on training. The in-class, theory based training and hands-on, operational training are perfectly balanced - with one week dedicated to each. This is also reflected by the locations: first week courses are held at the University of Texas in Arlington close to Dallas and week two is taking place in the City of Denton – more precisely at the Denton Landfill.


Participants will not only learn to understand:

·        landfill siting, design and construction,

·        operation,

·        landfill equipment,

·        landfill leachate management,

·        landfill gas management and utilization (LFGTE),

·        including economic, health and sanitation aspects as well as

·        environmental risk assessment related to the landfill.


But also be able to enjoy themselves at a rodeo, at baseball, football and basketball games and of course (imagine a drum roll) - the biggest regional theme park in the world: Six Flags.


Intrigued? - Click here for more information.  

Task Force Resource Management workshop at the Veolia Campus

The ISWA Task Force on Resource Management held its special workshop on the 7-9th June, in Jour-le-Moutier, France at the Campus Veolia premises, kindly hosted by Veolia.


The closed event experienced a high interest and international attendance by over 30 ISWA Board and Working Group executives and invited representatives from prominent organisations, such as the OECD, the Sustainable Lifestyles, Cities and Industry Branch of the UNEP-DTIE, the European Investment Bank or the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM).


During the workshop the participants successfully cooperated to identify key messages for policy makers and the waste industry. These strategic messages will be conveyed in the Task Force main outputs, namely a scoping study about the on-going work in resource management trends and emerging ideas on the circular economy, a study on recycling efficiency and quality, three reports on delivery of goods by the waste industry and an overarching final Report.


The objective of the Task Force efforts is to promote and advance the waste management sector as a key contributing actor in the field of resource management. The final step towards achieving these ambitious goals will be a special session held on 9th September, organized during the Annual ISWA World Congress in Antwerp, Belgium.

CVORR 1st international dissemination workshop

CVORR Workshop at Camden Town Hall, London

On 8 May the first CVORR (Complex Value Optimisation for Resource Recovery) project workshop took place in Camden Town Hall, London. CVORR is a NERC (National Environment Research Council) and ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) funded research project running from August 2014 to July 2017.


Organized by the University of Leeds along with ISWA, the CVORR international dissemination partner, this Workshop aimed to commence an active dialogue and interface between project partners, key stakeholders and international experts on the systemic evaluation of resource recovery from waste, to inform evidence-based policy interventions and genuinely sustainable circular economy business opportunities.


Over forty professionals from the field and academia including the ISWA WG on Waste Minimization and Recycling joined the project workshop to discuss and further develop the CVORR methodology.


CVORR will produce a methodology for systems analysis of waste-producing processes that combines micro and macro approaches to measuring flows with methods to assess the value of these flows. Value is redefined as a complex variable with impacts and benefits in multiple dimensions including the environmental, social and economic domains that cannot be ‘collapsed’ on to a single parameter, for which time-dependence and variability must be considered.


This methodology will allow more objective design and evaluation of interventions intended to recover resource from waste, moving away from an ‘end-of-pipe’ paradigm where impacts on the wider system are poorly understood, towards a whole-systems approach that aims to prevent dissipation of value into waste and optimise the complex value of the whole system. The methodology draws on expertise in environmental, economic, engineering and social sciences; it is a radical interdisciplinary departure from established notions of waste management, developed with a large group of industrial, commercial and policy-making stakeholders during the Catalyst stage.


See also 



ISWA Study Tour on Sorting Plants in London, 11-13 May

A Report by Jeff Cooper, former ISWA President


The ISWA Study Tour on Sorting Plants was organised jointly by the UK MN, the CIWM, the ISWA Working Group on Recycling and Waste Minimisation and ISWA’s General Secretariat and was over-subscribed.  More than double of the number could have participated but numbers were limited on health and safety grounds by the capacity of the sites to be visited.


The participants included: 4 from Nigeria, 5 from Portugal, two each from Israel and France and Switzerland and one from Norway, Iceland, South Africa and Bulgaria.  Fortunately, we were blessed with warm and sunny weather throughout the Study Tour. The Study Tour was led by Jeff Cooper, former ISWA President and Julia Schoenherr from the ISWA General Secretariat.


We started the Study Tour on Sunday 10 May with a welcome meeting and dinner at the Green Room of the National Theatre.  The Green Room was an apt venue for the start of the Study Tour, given its sustainability credentials that include: glassware made from old wine bottles, re-use of old wine bottles for tap water, re-used furnishings from the National Theatre’s recent refurbishment and organic and sustainably sourced foot supplies.


The next morning started with a meeting at London’s City Hall with a welcome to the Study Tour and Introduction to Waste and Recycling Plans and Proposals for the Circular Economy for London featuring presentations from:

·        Andrew Richmond, Policy and Strategy Manager -  Energy and Waste, Greater London Authority, with welcome to GLA and strategic environmental planning for Greater London

·       London Waste and Recycling Board (LWARB) Programmes for Recycling in Greater London: Wayne Hubbard Chief Operating Officer, LWARB

·       Collection systems to optimise recycling opportunities from the public: Stephen Didsbury, Head of Environment Services London Borough of Bexley

·       Reach for the sky – improving sustainable waste management design for new build flats, Beverley Simonson, Local Authority Support Manager, LWARB

·       Regulation of Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs) to ensure optimum output quality from sorting plants: Sarah Blundell, Environment Agency

·       Q&A session


Our first site visits were to the east of London, starting with LMB Supplies, a textile re-use and recycling company in Canning Town with around 160 tonnes of textiles plus shoes and accessories from textile banks, charity shops and other sources sorted each week by a large and skilled group of workers.  These items are sorted, graded for quality and style differences in a very cramped factory facility on a site with just sufficient room for two large container trucks to be accommodated in the adjacent yard.  A large proportion of the textiles are processed and baled for export around the World. Laurence Barry and Ross Barry Managing Director, LMB Supplies were our guides on this tour of a unique facility in London.


Only 500m away from this first site visit is Bywaters MRF in, Bromley-by-Bow where we met David Rumble, Director of New Projects for Bywaters to examine a facility where 160,000 tpa of sorted co-mingled wastes from commercial and households are sorted for reprocessing both in the UK and overseas with the residues sent for energy recovery. 


On Tuesday 12 May we headed to the north of London, stopping for our first site visit to examine the processing of commercial, industrial and especially construction and demolition waste at  Powerday’s Waste and Recycling Centre in Old Oak Sidings.  Simon Little, Sales and Marketing Director for Powerday was our guide for this visit, which again was on a very constricted and difficult to access site.  The whole area is one of three major redevelopment areas within London highlighted in the Mayor’s sustainability programme for 2050. However, the Powerday site’s significance has been recognised in that the waste sector has a significant role to play in the development of a more circular economy for London within the 2050 London Sustainability Plan. 


Our next visit was to another of the major London redevelopment areas, the Edmonton area of the Lea Valley.   The Eco Park is operated by LondonWaste on behalf of the North London Waste Authority, comprising 7 Boroughs in North London.  Our main host for this visit was David Sylvester, Plant Manager for LondonWaste.  In contrast to other sites the Eco Park has a large footprint so that over time it has been able to develop a substantial portfolio of waste processing and treatment facilities that have been built around the original 600,000tpa EfW plant that was opened in 1970.  These additional facilities now include:

·       Processing of IBA for metals extraction and use as a secondary aggregate

·       Composting of green waste in an IVC facility

·       A clinical waste treatment facility

·       Processing of bulky waste for re-use and materials recovery before processing the remainder for treatment through the EfW plant


Our third day took us to the west of London.  We started with a brief view and discussion of the initial development and the subsequent expansion of the Smugglers Way site in Wandsworth.  This was a new containerised River Transfer Station developed by the GLC in the mid-1980s to replace an old barge transfer station dating back to the 19th Century.  Since that time the site has been extensively redeveloped to include a waste sorting facility, a covered HWRC site replacing the original CA site and a WEEE processing facility. The site is managed by Cory Environmental and since 2013 the residual waste handled is transferred in ISO containers by barge downriver to the Riverside 670,000tpa EfW plant operated by Cory in Belvedere, Bexley.


Our next site visit was hosted by SITA/Suez Environnement UK to the Transport Avenue Rail Waste transfer station in Brentford.  This site was undergoing transformation to fulfil the requirements of the new contract between the WLWA and SITA to divert its residual waste from landfill to an EfW plant, in this case in Avonmouth, Bristol, a facility that is more than 200km to the west of London.  Meanwhile most of the waste is being transferred by rail to a landfill site in Lincolnshire, more than 100km to the north of London, while 50,000tpa is temporarily being sent by road to the EfW Lakeside plant which is 15km west of the Transport Avenue plant.


 In the last afternoon the group went to the Lakeside Education Centre to examine the recovery of waste through the Lakeside EfW plant and the Grundon MRF, which specialises in the recovery of commercial and industrial wastes. 

The members of the group appreciated the opportunity to see so many different facilities during their brief stay in London and especially the chance to discuss with the plant operators so many issues that were raised in the context of their own future waste management plans.

UNIDO Biogas workshop in Vienna

Dr. Pradeep Monga, UNIDO, Director of the Energy Branch - Key Welcome Opening Speech
Dr. Pradeep Monga, UNIDO, Director of the Energy Branch - Key Welcome Opening Speech
Mr. Jukka Uosukainen, UNEP, CTCN Director – Welcoming Remarks
Mr. Jukka Uosukainen, UNEP, CTCN Director – Welcoming Remarks

In the run up to the Vienna Energy Forum 2015, organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) jointly with the Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs (BMEIA), the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL), the Energy Branch of UNIDO in partnership with the European Biogas Association, the International Center on Renewable Energy‐Biogas (CIBiogás‐ER) and the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) organized on 17th June 2015 a Workshop on Biogas for productive uses, industrial and mobility applications at the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria.


ISWA, which is also a member of the CTCN, was invited by UNIDO to attend the workshop and was therefore represented by the three Technical Managers from the Vienna-based General Secretariat. The workshop provided a forum for knowledge exchange and discussion amongst stakeholders from the public and private sector engaged with biogas‐based solutions. Industrial, agricultural and household wastes were discussed as the major input materials to the biogas production solutions. Innovative technological approaches and lessons learnt from ongoing international projects, insights into new developments for regulatory frameworks, as well as the possibilities to generate biogas, refine and use it as electric and/or vehicle energy source formed an integral a part of the day’s agenda. In addition, the workshop was enriched by the presence of representatives from the Brazilian Biogas Association (ABiogás), the German Biogas Association and the Austrian Biogas Association. The workshop also provided an excellent platform for networking opportunities for ISWA.

2nd ISWA/CAUES Int. Solid Waste Conference, China, 11-12 October 2015

Photo from the first ISWA/CAUES International Solid Waste Conference in Wuhan in 2013
Photo from the first ISWA/CAUES International Solid Waste Conference in Wuhan in 2013

The second bi-annual conference held by ISWA's National Member in China, the China Association of Urban Environmental Sanitation (CAUES), will take place this year in the beautiful city of Suzhou, China.


This year the theme of the Conference will be "Resource Utilisation and Landfill Diversion", having high-level guest speakers from the policy area and technical areas within China as well as international experts within ISWA's Working Groups and wider networks. Therefore the Conference will serve as a high-profile platform for information and ideas exchange.


Same as last time, the Conference will be followed by CAUES's 2015 International Municipal Solid Waste Treatment Technology & Equipment Expo, where further technology transfer and cooperation opportunities can arise.


For registration, please visit ISWA's Event Page:

ISWA Financing Opportunities Alert

This new ISWA Financing Opportunities Alert (click) is the result of a co-operation between ISWA and Finnova.


The aim of this co-operation is to provide ISWA members with regular information on calls related to waste management projects. 


Finnova is the European Foundation for funding of innovation in regions and municipalities. Its main objectives are sustainable development, environment, renewable energy, information technology and tourism.


Finnova offers:

  • acceleration internships in Brussels for technological based start-ups consisting of high performance periods of three months through  optimizing EU tools, EU funds, networking and supporting the internationalization of companies in the BENELUX market supported by BECI (EU Start Up Accelerator)
  • international communication and dissemination of EU projects (NOBEL GRID project)
  • support in legal, financial and commercial issues within the project implementation;
  • support in the creation of new business models;
  • networking and training activities.

News from the ISWA Young Professionals Group

ISWA Young Professionals at their last Meeting in Sao Paulo
ISWA Young Professionals at their last Meeting in Sao Paulo



In April we put a call out to YPs to ask whether they would like to take part in the mentorship program, which aims to:

· Integrate YPs into the larger ISWA family

· Help YPs to develop relationships with and insights from senior ISWA members...


11 YPs requested a mentor, and so far 7 have been assigned one.




On the 8th September, join us for the special session at the ISWA 2015 World Congress in Antwerp, Belgium. We will brainstorm with entrepreneurs from around the globe on:

· Challenging the paradigm for waste management

· Creating new and sustainable business models

· Making a positive difference to our world


We are running an exclusive workshop session from 13:30 - 15:30, where we will explore opportunities and barriers to entrepreneurship. From 16:00 - 18:00 we will host a high level panel discussion session, featuring Philip Heylen, the Vice Mayor of Antwerp, Antonis Mavropoulos, the Chair of ISWA's Scientific and Technical Committee, and representatives of entrepreneurs from around the world.


Places for the workshop are limited. Register at:

Introducing ISWA's Latest Staff Member

Marla McCarroll Pinto Rodrigues, new Technical Manager at the ISWA GS
Marla McCarroll Pinto Rodrigues, new Technical Manager at the ISWA GS

The ISWA General Secretariat is pleased to introduce a new staff member who joined the team in June 2015. Marla McCarroll Pinto Rodrigues, our new Technical Manager, is a dual citizen from Portugal and the USA. 


She has nineteen years of global professional experience in portfolio and project management, technical implementation, evaluation and advisory services in the field of sustainable development covering a broad technical base, coupled with a sound academic background.  Her professional path in working with and for the United Nations, World Bank, Private Sector Enterprises, Government Institutions, Academia and Civil Society has permitted her to live and work, as well as to establish and maintain effective partnerships and working relations in multi-ethnic environments in numerous developed, developing and transition economies. 


Marla will be managing projects and further strengthening the cooperation with ISWA’s partners and International Organizations on a global level.  She will also help develop the Regional Development Network in Latin America and will assist with some of ISWA’s Working Groups.   


Welcome, Marla!

New WM&R Associate Editor Mario Grosso

Mario Grosso
Mario Grosso

WM&R has the great pleasure to welcome Prof. Mario Grosso as new Associate Editor to the WM&R Editorial Group.


Mario Grosso is Associate Professor in Environmental Engineering at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Italy, where he is researching and teaching in the field of waste management and treatment. One focus of his research is applying Life Cycle Assessment to address key questions related to waste management, at both the technological and planning levels.


He is co-founder and member of the Scientific Board of the “MatER” Research Center (Materials and Energy from Refuse), established within the LEAP laboratory in Piacenza.


He was founder of AIAT (Italian Environmental Engineers Associations), where he coordinates the Scientific Committee. He is vice-president of ENEP, the European Network of Environmental Professionals. He is member of the Scientific Committee of “Climalteranti” (, a scientific blog dealing with the climate change debate.

ISWA Profile: Dr Anne Woolridge (UK)

Dr Anne Woolridge, Chair of the Working Group on Healthcare Waste
Dr Anne Woolridge, Chair of the Working Group on Healthcare Waste

Name and current position in ISWA

Dr Anne Woolridge, Chair of Healthcare Waste Working Group


Company and current position in your company 

Technical Director, Independent Safety Services Ltd


What is your background?

My first degree is in Computing Information Systems and after that I became a Senior Business Analyst in the financial sector. I had two young children and decided to spend time with them rather so I worked part time for my husband’s consultancy and was able to spend time with them, at this stage, still no idea that I would be doing what I am now.  I had always had an interest in waste management and the environment.  My grandparents lived very close to a hospital incinerator and when I was a child, it used to belch out black smoke, this was before hospitals lost their Crown Immunity and did not have to comply with all the clean air regulations.  It always worried me, but I had no idea that I would end up in the field of healthcare waste management, however an amazingly fortunate sequence of events, plus a lot of hard work has led me to where I am now.


Did you always work in the waste industry?

After a while, working part time, in 2001 I returned to University and enrolled on another BSc in Biology and Waste Management, I completed the first year then jumped straight onto a MSc in Environmental Management where I managed to work healthcare waste into pretty much every piece of work and every assignment.  I then became a research assistant and lecturer at the University, but not solely focussed in waste management. After a couple of years a PhD programme was announced at the University. I wrote a proposal to the funders requesting support for a PhD which would investigate in detail unexplored aspects of healthcare waste management.  Whilst doing my PhD I also qualified as a University Lecturer. After my time in academia I left to become a healthcare waste management consultant and also became an exam qualified as a Dangerous Goods Safety Advisor, this is not limited to waste but covers all dangerous goods.   I have been in the field for 15 years now and recently achieved International Waste Manager status.


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

In the very early days encountered a lot of barriers to the research I felt was important, however one Professor saw the potential of what I was trying to achieve and supported me.  He opened doors for me and left me to decide whether to go through them or not.  One of these doors led me to the international arena presenting on the academic conference circuit, while another one led me to meeting the wonderful Dr Bill Townend who did encouraged me to attend the ISWA healthcare waste working group.


What would you say is your greatest achievement to date?

Being married for over 25 years, having two wonderful children and getting up every morning still looking forward to a day working in healthcare waste.


Best advice that you ever received?

Never give up.


When not working, I enjoy...

Going to gigs, concerts and music festivals, principally heavy metal. I was at Download Festival in June.I also enjoy crafts such as jewellery making and knitting.


Why did you decide to become part of ISWA?

I became a member of ISWA when I started my PhD to access the resources.


When did you become nominated to your current position in ISWA?

I became the Chair of the HCW WG in June 2014.


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

For the sector of the waste industry that I am in, the biggest challenge is keeping people safe.  Healthcare waste ranges from domestic/household type waste that has very little hazard associated with it, right though to items contaminated with infectious body fluids that have the potential to do real harm. We also have hazardous chemicals and pharmaceuticals, which can also cause harm.   This is an international problem and while the developed nations have a range of high tech solutions there are still nations who need assistance with basics.


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

From an ISWA perspective the strength is in the knowledge of the members, I was on the ISWA Resource Management Task Force recently, and the depth and breadth of the discussions was impressive.


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

Opportunities for recycling of some waste streams, not all have the potential, but there are large volumes of clean paper and plastic that could be recycling. Also single use medical instruments can be collected separately, cleaned and then enter the metal recycling stream. I am no proposing cleaning them and using them in their current form, but smelting them and using them in other non surgical products.


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

I think it will be more about utilising all available resources and less about final disposal.

ISWA 3 Months Trial Membership

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

WORLD: Waste-to-chemicals value network boosted by new partners

A circular economy project investigating how waste can be used as a feedstock for the chemical industry has more than doubled in size since being launched late last year.


Initially formed by Dutch paint manufacturer AkzoNobel, Canadian cleantech company Enerkem and four regional partners, the waste-to-chemicals consortium has since attracted eight more commercial parties.


The companies hope to create Europe’s first conversion plant – in either of the Dutch cities, Rotterdam or Delfzijl – which will turn domestic and other waste into chemicals.


"We welcome all the new partners in our quest to use waste as a raw material for chemicals," said Peter Nieuwenhuizen, research director of AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals.


"Both the size and diversity of this partnership are unique in the Netherlands. Together, we form a strong group of companies whose capabilities combine to provide all we'll need to convert this promising technology into practical reality."


For the full story, please visit

AUSTRALIA: Action agenda for a circular economy released at World Resources Forum

The value of a circular economy to Australia could be $26 billion a year by 2025, according to an action agenda released at the World Resources Forum Asia Pacific being held in Sydney.


The agenda, released by the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney, has been designed to bring focus to the significance of resource productivity and innovation for Australia’s future.


“At the core of this alternative economic model is re-thinking design to maintain the value (economic and functional) of resources (energy, water, materials, knowledge) in the economy. This is achieved by re-energising and re-imagining traditional practices of reuse, repair, remanufacture and recycling,” the authors state.


Rather than simply focusing on cycling materials, the paper refers to a circular economy as “a broad suite of strategies that includes technology innovation as well as business model innovation, new design thinking and novel modes of consumption”.


For the full story, please visit Eco Business

LATIN AMERICA: ITU raises International alliance to help e-waste management in Latin America

A study undertaken by ITU in collaboration with other international and regional organizations has concluded with the release of a report outlining the state of e-waste management in Latin America. The report offers guidance to the region on the steps to be taken towards environmentally sustainable e-waste management.

More on This


e-Waste is one of the world’s fastest-growing waste streams, with an estimated 42-million metric tons generated in 2014. Developing countries are known to bear the largest e-waste burden. Often ill-equipped to treat e-waste efficiently, these countries have first-hand experience of the adverse effects of e-waste on the environment and on the health of citizens.


[...] Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela - the e-waste challenges specific to these countries are analysed to identify the sustainability concerns that the region should seek to overcome in the medium to long term.


For the full story, please visit CTimes

PHILIPPINES: Philippines lets Canada dump waste

Tonnes of household waste shipped from Canada to the Philippines will be buried or burned in the Southeast Asian country amidst protests and allegations of international treaty violations.


The Philippines government is allowing the allegedly smuggled tonnes of household and plastic scraps from Canada to be disposed within its territory amidst public protests, two years after the waste was discovered by port authorities in Manila.


Philippines president Benigno Aquino III confirmed to Filipino reporters on Friday - during his state visit to Canada - that the waste issue has been addressed by the government’s executive agencies, when asked if he felt the matter need not be raised with Canadian authorities. He said that appropriate action - whether the waste will be incinerated or buried in a landfill - will be taken once the court gives clearance to the agencies.


Aquino’s statement drew flak from environmental and public health campaign groups in the Philippines, which have been pressing Canada for more than a year now to take back the waste.


For the full story, please visit Eco Business

UK: Cement works fires up sustainable waste-derived fuel solution

The UK's largest cement works has installed a new waste-derived fuel solution which will divert up to 80,000 tonnes of bulk solid waste from landfill each year.


Construction materials supplier Hope Construction Materials has commissioned bioenergy firm Saxlund International to install a system which provides storage, transportation, weighing and injection of Solid Waste Fuel (SWF) to the two kilns at the firm’s cement plant in Derbyshire.


[...] The project incorporates a 350m3 fuel reception and ‘Push-Floor’ storage solution, which gives greater flexibility to handle changing fuel characteristics, even different types of waste-derived fuels, should suppliers change in the future. The installation is also designed with low maintenance and high availability in mind, with the emphasis at all times on minimising potential restrictions or blockages.


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UK: Recycling up, but concern over UK waste arisings

Despite a 6% increase in the volume of material recycled in the UK, the nation’s Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee (LARAC) has voiced concern over the upturn in overall waste arisings revealed by latest official figures.


LARAC observes that the sector is making the best of the 'battle with budget cuts and uncertain market conditions'. And yet it is worried about the rise in residual waste and believes this could be the result of people increasing their expenditure on the back of a potential economic recovery. In addition, the growth in the recycling rate is slowing down such that, without government and wider industry support, local authorities face a fight to achieve the target of a further five-percentage-point increase by 2020.


For the full story, please visit Recycling International

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