DCW’s January column for the CIWM Journal showcases the five shortlisted entries for the Best Reuse Project at the CIWM Sustainability and Resource Awards 2017. As the judge for this category, DCW was inspired by the quality and sheer variety of the five very different reuse projects. He hopes that the projects will inspire others too, as we try to ensure that reuse, sitting near the top of the waste hierarchy, receives the same priority as has been given to recycling.
Professor David C. Wilson has been inaugurated as the 102nd President of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) at a reception in London. He described solid waste management as one of the key utilities and said that as public sector budgets continue to come under pressure, “we must not lose sight of where we have come from, that the service exists first and foremost to protect public health”. He highlighted the ‘global waste management emergency’, where 40% of the World’s population lacks this basic utility service. He also launched his Presidential report, Making Waste Work: A Toolkit, prepared by WasteAid UK and aimed at helping unserved communities in the least developed countries to help themselves, by developing self-sustaining businesses making useful products for the local market from the resource value in their waste.
Outlining the importance of legislation in the substantial progress that has been made in the sustainable and safe management of waste since the early 1970s, Professor Wilson added that there can be no softening of the regulatory framework. “Two major priorities for CIWM in the UK are to ensure that following Brexit we have continuity of the strong regulations on which the very existence of the waste and resources industry depends, and the continuing fight against waste crime.”
While continuity is important on one hand, DCW went on to talk about the step change in approach to resources and waste that is happening, and he called for a “necessary parallel focus on the 3Rs – reduce, reuse, recycle – and on the shift from the linear model to a circular economy where resource efficiency and productivity is key”. An integrated and inclusive approach will be needed, he said, as well as a balanced set of policy drivers.
Professor Wilson highlighted that, despite the progress that has been made, more than 2 billion people have no waste collection at all and the waste of over 3 billion people is either dumped or subject to uncontrolled burning. This matters: for example, children growing up in households without waste collection have double the rate of diarrhoea and six times the rate of acute respiratory infection; and open burning of waste could double the current, official IPCC estimates of the contribution of methane emissions form landfill of waste to global warming. However, he also sees this ‘global waste management emergency’ as an opportunity for the international community. “If we can increase the proportion of existing international development finance being directed at SWM from the current, fairly derisory, 0.3% to just 3% up to 2030, as recommended in the GWMO, then not only can we extend waste collection to all and eliminate open dumping and burning of waste, but due to the cross-cutting nature of waste management, we can also make progress against no fewer than 12 out of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals agreed by world leaders to achieve a sustainable future for our planet.”
Resource: Community waste schemes, the global waste crisis, domestic issues, DCW’s life in waste.
Waste Management World: Waste as a utility, domestic issues, the global waste emergency.
Letsrecycle.com: Global waste emergency, community waste toolkit
Recycling Waste World: Community waste toolkit
CIWM-journal: Waste as a utility, domestic issues, the global waste emergency, community waste toolkit
Interview with DCW in CIWM Journal:
Professor David C Wilson was installed as Senior Vice President of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management on 18 October 2016. CIWM has now commissioned WasteAid UK to undertake his Presidential project, which will prepare guidance on low-cost reuse and recycling technologies for use in low- and middle- income countries. This was one of the recommendations for follow-up work coming out of the 2015 UNEP Global Waste Management Outlook, for which DCW was the Editor-in-Chief.
Further information is available in a joint CIWM and Wasteaid UK press release issued today. Professor Wilson said: “More than two billion people worldwide do not have a waste collection service, which results in severe public health problems – through children playing amongst waste, blocked drains, infectious diseases and inhalation of smoke from open burning. Even when waste is collected, uncontrolled dumping is the norm – the waste of some 3 billion people isn’t disposed of safely.
“Many cities in Africa and Asia are growing so rapidly that in 15-20 years’ time they will be generating twice as much waste as they do today. Already struggling with the waste crisis, these cities desperately need targeted support from the international community. In the meantime, sustainable and self-financing community-led solutions can make immediate improvements, hence the focus of this research.”
WasteAid UK delivers training in community waste management in low- and middle-income countries. In its first year the charity has worked in the Gambia, Senegal, Ghana and Kenya, setting up community recycling facilities and positively impacting the lives of some 124,000 people.
Mike Webster of WasteAid UK said: “This guidance, funded by CIWM, will enable us to help thousands of communities around the world to improve the way they manage their waste. It will show people how to treat different materials to maximise their value and minimise risks to human health and the environment.” DCW is Patron of Wasteaid UK.
Professor David C Wilson has been elected as Junior Vice-President by the Trustees of his professional body, the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM). Under the CIWM constitution, DCW is due to become CIWM President for one year from October 2017.
DCW was installed in office by the incoming President, Professor Jim Baird, at the Presidential Dinner in Kelvinsgrove Museum, Glasgow, on 21 October 2015. Jim Baird is the 100th individual to hold office as CIWM President. CIWM is the professional body for waste and resource management professionals in the UK and Ireland. It is the linear descendant of the Association of Cleansing Superintendents of Great Britain, founded in 1898.
Professor David C Wilson and his co-authors have won three prestigious publication awards. Their paper ‘Wasteaware’ benchmark indicators to measure the performance of a city’s SWM system won two awards for the best paper published in 2014-15: the 2015 ISWA Publication Award and CIWM’s 2014-15 James Jackson Medal. The earlier 2012 paper in the same series, Comparative Analysis of Solid Waste Management in 20 Cities, won the inaugural WM&R Best Paper Award 2014, for the most cited paper published in the previous two years in the ISWA peer-reviewed journal Waste Management & Research.
The ISWA Publication Award citation noted that the ‘Wasteaware’ paper ‘… contributes to one of the major issues in … solid waste management (SWM) in developed and developing countries … has the potential to assist many countries in the world (in) developing sustainable and integrated SWM strategies.’ The two ISWA awards were presented at the ISWA 2015 World Congress in Antwerp on Tuesday 08 September, when DCW received two trophies designed and made by the upcycling sculptor Evy Puelinckx. The James Jackson Medal will be presented at the annual CIWM Sustainability and resource Awards at the London Marriott on 5 November 2015.
Professor David C Wilson, Ljiljana Rodic, Costas Velis and Anne Scheinberg are co-authors of both papers. The remaining co-authors of the Wasteaware indicators paper are Mike Cowing, Andy Whiteman, Recaredo Vilches, Darragh Masterson, Barbara Oelz and Joachim Stretz; and of the 20 Cities paper, Graham Alabaster.
Professor David C Wilson and his co-authors Costas Velis of the University of Leeds and Ljiljana Rodic of Wageningen University have won a prestigious award from the Institution of Civil Engineers. DCW is particularly pleased that an overview paper on Integrated sustainable waste management in developing countries has been awarded, not as the best paper in the particular journal Waste and Resource Management, but as one of the four best papers published in 2013 across all 27 peer-reviewed ICE journals. Like all the winning papers, our paper is now free to download from the ICE website.
Solid waste management is often viewed as the ‘poor relation’ even among environmental topic areas, and then most attention is paid to ‘high-tech’ waste management in the West. So for an overview paper on sustainable waste management in developing countries to win this award from one of the World’s leading engineering institutions, in competition with papers on ‘hard’, mainstream engineering topics such as structures and bridges, is not just an honour for the authors but also an important recognition for the waste and resources sector and for work on appropriate solutions for developing countries.
Each year, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) acknowledges the best work published in their 27 prestigious peer-reviewed journals at the ICE Publishing Awards ceremony, held in October at the historic Institution headquarters in Westminster, opposite the Houses of Parliament. ICE state that ‘We award authors from both industry and academia who have produced work judged by their peers to be of exceptional quality and benefit to the civil engineering and science community’. DCW’s paper in Waste and Resource Management has won the Telford Premium Award for the fourth best paper published across all ICE journals.
Perhaps the most important aspect of winning an award is that each winning paper is free to view on the ICE Virtual Library as part of ICE’s commitment to furthering knowledge and best practice in civil engineering. Access to ICE journals is normally by subscription only, so access to the papers is restricted – which is a particular drawback for a paper on waste management in developing countries, where even universities generally cannot afford journal subscriptions. So we are very excited that access to our paper is now ‘open access’.