ISWA Working Group on Communications and Social Issues Meets in London

ISWA Working Group meetings are the perfect opportunity to discuss the workplans, initiate new projects, network with international peers and learn about waste management systems all over the world. ISWA’s Working Group on Communications and Social Issues were kindly invited by Adam Read (CIWM representative) to London for their Spring 2019 meeting.

23 Apr 2019 -

The opportunity to learn about UK waste communications and best practices was welcomed by the international group of 25 from both ISWA and CEWEP’s working groups. New strategies for behaviour change and improving recycling rates were presented from WRAP, SUEZ, Eunomia and Ricardo Energy and offered a fascinating insight into new methods for changing people’s attitudes towards waste and recycling.


It was also an opportunity to learn about how the City of London, with its unique administration and geography, manages the waste of its 7,000 residents and 350,000 daily workers. The City of London is just 1.12sq miles of the centre of London – a very dense and hugely congested area in which the majority of residents live in apartments, and workers like to eat out. Waste collection here is a significant challenge, but the borough remains one of the highest performing in London with a consistently low contamination rate – largely thanks to good relations and communications with all stakeholders.


The second half of the day was a chance for ISWA’s Working Group to begin planning for the next 4 years, with ideas on how they can support other ISWA Projects and Working Groups. They also welcomed participants from ISWA’s Working Group on Energy Recovery to understand how the two groups could cooperate on some future projects. The two working groups are planning an exciting debate at ISWA 2019 which will be announced very soon.


The Group were treated to several tours and site visits, including a waste transfer station directly on the River Thames. The City uses the Thames as a green highway to move the waste from the city to the waste processing facilities with a fleet of tugs and barges, removing around 100,000 truck movements a year off the capital’s congested roads.


The meeting was concluded on the second day with a tour of the facilities of Western Riverside Waste Authority (WRWA), in South West London. WRWA manage the waste of almost one million residents, in another highly congested part of the capital and processes the waste in a number of ways, but with zero going to landfill. Importantly, the site has an Education Centre to carry out educational talks and tours for schools, colleges, community groups, residents’ associations and other groups based in the WRWA area promoting 3 R’s (reduce, recycle and reuse).


The group is currently planning their upcoming meetings and activities, which will be listed on the ISWA Calendar, and the working group homepage, once confirmed.   



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