Professor David C. Wilson
Waste & Resources Management Consultant
Visiting Professor in Waste Management
Imperial College, London

ISWA Publication Award 2013

The International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) presents an annual award to the best publication worldwide in the field of solid waste management. The 2013 ISWA Publication Award was announced today and was won by Dr Costas Velis, Professor David C. Wilson et al. for their paper: An analytical framework and tool (‘InteRa’) for integrating the informal recycling sector in waste and resource management systems in developing countries. The online citation stated that: ‘The (judging) panel believes that this paper addresses an important area of waste management in developing countries, i.e. the informal recycling sector; and that it offers a practical framework for designing successful initiatives to integrate the informal sector into formal waste management systems.’ The award will be presented at the ISWA 2013 World Congress in Vienna in October.

More background to this work and information of the framework proposed is available; while the paper itself is open-access. Professor David C Wilson is the Scientific Co-ordinator of the ISWA Task Force on Waste and Globalisation and Dr Costas Velis of the University of Leeds is a member; together they led the Task Force’s work stream on the informal recycling sector. The other co-authors of the winning paper are Ondina Rocca, Prof Stephen R Smith, and Prof Chris R Cheeseman of Imperial College and Antonis Mavropoulos of D-Waste Hellas. 

This is the third time that DCW has won the prestigious ISWA Publication Award. He won the 2010 award for the UN-Habitat publication Solid Waste Management in the World’s Cities; and the 2003 award for the2003 award for the ISWA-UNEP-Basel Convention Training Resource Pack for Hazardous Waste Management in Developing Economies.

Imperial College rated top Civil Engineering Department in the World

The QS World University Rankings are widely regarded as the preeminent guide to the relative quality of universities from around the globe.  The 2013 subject rankings have been published this week, showing Imperial College’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department as no 1. in the world, ahead of 2. Berkeley, 3. Tokyo, 4. Delft and 5. MIT.

David C Wilson has been a Visiting Professor in the Department since 2000, and is active in teaching and research on solid and hazardous waste management in both developed and developing countries, within the Water and Environmental Engineering section of the Department.

Civil and Environmental Engineering is the only Imperial Department to be ranked first in the QS World University Rankings and the only UK university to be ranked in the top 20 for Civil Engineering – Cambridge  are 22nd, Oxford 28th and UCL 48th.

Major DCW paper on the state of solid waste management in developing countries

David C Wilson, Ljiljana Rodic and Costas Velis have published a major overview paper in this month’s Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Waste and Resource Management, on Integrated Sustainable Waste Management in Developing Countries: Concept, Realities and Challenges. The data presented show that the waste management performance of developing country cities has improved significantly over the last 10 years. Levels of collection coverage and controlled disposal of 95% in middle-income, and 50% in low-income, countries are already commonplace. Recycling rates of 20-30% are achieved by the informal sector in many lower income countries, at no direct cost to the city – presenting a major opportunity for all key stakeholders, if the persistent challenges can be resolved.

UPDATE 05 June 2014. This paper has won an ICE Publishing Award, and is now free to download.

This paper uses the lens of ‘Integrated sustainable waste management’ (ISWM) to examine how cities in developing countries have been tackling their solid waste problems. The history of related concepts and terms is reviewed, and ISWM is clearly differentiated from integrated waste management (IWM), used mostly in the context of technological integration in developed countries. Instead, ISWM examines both the physical components – collection, disposal, recycling – and the governance aspects – inclusivity of users and service providers; financial sustainability; and coherent, sound institutions underpinned by proactive policies.

The evidence suggests that efficient, effective and affordable systems are tailored to local needs and conditions, developed with direct involvement of service beneficiaries. Despite the remaining challenges, evidence of recent improvements suggests that sustainable solid waste and resources management is feasible for developing countries.

The paper builds on substantial recent research by DCW and his colleagues. Other papers compare the performance of a sample of 20 cities around the world; and provide a framework for designing city-specific initiatives for the inclusion of the informal recycling sector within a municipal solid waste management system. Professor David C Wilson is at Imperial College London; Dr Ljiljana Rodic at Wageningen University and Research Centre, the Netherlands; and Dr Costas Velis at the University of Leeds, UK.

ISWA Publication Award 2010 – What is good practice in solid waste management?

Anne Scheinberg, David C Wilson and Ljiljana Rodic have won the 2010 ISWA Publication Award for their book Solid Waste Managment in the World’s Cities, which they co-authored and edited for UN-Habitat. The award was presented to Prof Wilson and Ms Scheinberg by the ISWA President Jeff Cooper at a ceremony in the Town Hall at the ISWA World Congress in Hamburg on 15 November 2010, which was attended by Graham Alabaster on behalf of UN-Habitat. As a result of the award, Professor Wilson and Ms Scheinberg were invited to write the guest editorial for the December 2010 issue of Waste Managment & Research, under the title ‘What is good practice in solid waste management’.

The International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) presents an annual publication award to the best publication worldwide in the field of solid waste management. The 2010 award has gone to the three lead authors of this flagship publication, the third in UN-Habitat’s series on Water and Sanitation in the World’s Cities. The book draws out good practice using an innovative framework based on Integrated Sustainable Waste Managment (ISWM) as a ‘lens’ for viewing a city’s solid waste system: the focus is not only on the physical elements of the system (collection, disoposal and resource recovery) but also on the critical governance aspects that must be addressed for a system to be successful and sustainable (user and provider inclusivity, financial sustainability and sound institutions/ proactive policies). A new and innovative methodology was developed to gather consistent and comparable data from 20 cities, chosen to represent cities – rich and poor, large and small – in all six inhabited continents.

The award was presented to the three lead authors/ editors, but was the collective effort of a much larger team. More than 35 waste professionals contributed, largely drawn from a global community of practice, the Collaborative Working Group on Solid Waste Managment in Low- and Middle- Income Countries; in addition to teams in each of the 20 cities. The project was intiated and guided by Graham Alabaster on behalf of UN-Habitat.

Jeff Cooper, ISWA President and member of the Award judging panel, writes: ‘I commend this publication as essential reading for waste managers and all those concerned about resource management and the recovery of waste for further productive use.’

The book has recieved a number of positive and high profile reviews, including in the December 2010 issue of Waste Management & Research and the January 2011 issue of the member journal of the UK Chartered Institution of Wastes management, CIWM.

The book is published by Earthscan. A 20% discount is available on their website, using discount code AF20. 2012 update: the book is now also available via the WASTE website.

Professor David C Wilson awarded MBE in New Year Honours List

DCW has been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the UK’s 2006 New Years Honours List, ‘for services to waste management in the UK and Europe’.

The honours list is published twice a year, and is the UK system of recognizing public service. Recommendations are made by the Prime Minister and approved by the Queen.