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’.
GIZ have announced the finalisation of their work on Operator Models, focusing on how services for municipal solid waste management are delivered around the world, and analyzing the success factors and conditions for the different models. Based on an in-depth Sourcebook, a practical Guidance Paper was developed as a decision maker’s toolfor public authorities, development agencies and practitioners working to improve municipal solid waste management practices. Professor David C Wilson was one of the co-authors of the report, alongside Réka Soós, Andrew Whiteman and Cosmin Briciu of RWA and Ekkehard Schwehn of ERM Germany.
This project was part of the German Technical Cooperation Agency – GIZ’s sector project on Concepts for Sustainable Waste Management, which is a challenge to most local and national governments in developing countries. It aimed to fill a particular knowledge gap, on the delivery of waste management services or ‘operator models’ in cities around the world. Operator models are analysed in terms of the interactions between three key institutional components: the ‘client’ responsible for ensuring provision of a reliable municipal solid waste management (MSWM) service that meets the required standard; the operator who delivers the service on-the-ground; and the revenue collector who collects fees from the users. Theanalytical framework focuses on both the physical components of MSWM and the governance aspects. Information on existing operator models was collected from some 134 case studies, of which 28 were short-listed and five examined in the field.
The evidence suggests that all forms of ‘operator model’ for the delivery of solid waste and recycling services can be appropriate, with each model likely to be more suitable in particular ‘niches’ and according to the local circumstances. This contradicts the oft-presented view that private-sector service delivery is always better than public sector services, or that large service providers are ‘better’ than small informal sector or micro-enterprise service providers – the evidence is that all can work well given the right local conditions.
The detailed Source Book and Guidance Paper provide much information to assist in selecting an appropriate operator model tailored to the specific requirements of a particular local situation. The key findings focus on how framework conditions determine local objectives when selecting an operator model; the characteristics of a good model; conditions and capacities influencing the choice between public and private sector, and between municipal or inter-municipal, models; and detailed comparison of options for providing specific MSWM services.
Wales and England have published their national Waste Prevention Programmes. Both see waste prevention and resource efficiency as an opportunity to promote growth while protecting the environment and moving towards a more sustainable and circular economy. Prof David C Wilson contributed to the evidence base that has underpinned both programmes, and also chaired the stakeholder Steering Group convened by the Welsh Government to review the evidence base and advise on finalisation of the consultation document published earlier this year.
All EU Member States are required under the revised Waste Framework Directive to prepare a national Waste Prevention Programme. The deadline for publication was set at 12 December 2013 – England’s ‘Prevention is better than cure – The role of waste prevention in moving to a more resource efficient economy’ was published on 11.12.13, Wales’s ‘Towards Zero Waste – One Wales: One Planet – The Waste prevention Programme for Wales’’ on 03.12.13 and Scotland’s ‘Zero Waste – Safeguarding Scotland’s Resources: Blueprint for a More Resource Efficient and Circular Economy’ on 02.10.13.
All three published programmes focus on the actions that householders and businesses can take to reduce waste, while at the same time saving money; and also on the actions that Government will take to facilitate the process. A key difference is that both Wales and Scotland have set targets for waste prevention, while England has not. CIWM have welcomed the English Strategy as a useful first step, but compared it negatively to both Wales and Scotland ‘who have taken a more proactive and ambitious approach’.
DCW advised Defra (the English Environment Ministry) on their waste and resources evidence programme, and in particular on the evidence relating to waste prevention, from 2004 to March 2013. He managed for Defra three of the four main evidence reports cited to underpin their published programme. He advised on a portfolio of some 12 research projects on household waste prevention undertaken between 2005-2008; managed a major international Household Waste Prevention Evidence Review (HWPER),published by Defra in October 2009 and in the peer-reviewed literature in March 2010; managed a similar international Business Waste Prevention Evidence Review (BWPER), published by Defra in February 2012 and as an open access paper in the peer-reviewed literature in September 2012; and managed ‘Waste Prevention Actions for Priority Wastes: Economic Assessment through Marginal Abatement Cost Curves’ (the MACC report), completed in December 2012.
Following the Rio+20 Earth Summit, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was mandated to prepare an authoritative global outlook of challenges, trends and policies on waste and resource management.UNEP’s International Environment and Technology Centre (IETC) and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) have this week announcedthat work has now started on the first Global Waste Management Outlook, aiming for a 2015 publication. Professor David C Wilson has been appointed as Editor in Chief.
The UNEP mandate to prepare the Global Waste Management Outlook (GWMO) originated from the outcome of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012. Preparation is being led by the IETC in Osaka, japan, in asociation with ISWA. A first stakeholder consultation meeting was held 8-9 July at the UNESCO Headquarters, Paris.
The Editorial Team includes DCW as Editor in Chief; Costas Velis as Advisor and Contributor; Lead authors Ljiljana Rodic, Prasad Modak, and Otto Simonett; and Mona Iyer as Case Study Editor. Mini CVs for each core team member are on the IETC website.
Wide consultation with a broad group of stakeholders including decision makers, the world’s leading institutions and experts in waste management will be central to the development of the GWMO. The first consultations in the format of e-regional consultations on the first draft annotated chapter outlines were launched today, 20 December 2013, and close on 27 January 2014.
The final document is aimed to be concluded within the first quarter of 2015 and is proposed to be a valuable tool for decision makers, decision formers and professionals, offering a validated comparative analysis on the state of waste management around the globe, based on standardised policy indicators and benchmarks.
UNEP IETC and ISWA are seeking further contributors to the project particularly sponsors to help support future in person consultations. If you are interested in contributing to the GWMO then please contact the GWMO Project Manager at [email protected], cc[email protected]
Professor David C Wilson visited Argentina earlier this month at the invitation of the British Embassy. The Embassy had been asked for help with addressing their solid waste management challenges by the Province of Buenos Aires, and commissioned DCW to assess the priority needs of the Province and to advise on where those needs are best matched by UK expertise. DCW was also a keynote speaker at a conference on 7 November organised by the University of San Martin.
DCW used the ‘Wasteaware’ Integrated Sustainable Waste Management (ISWM) benchmark indicators, which he has developed over the last 5 years with an international team, both to gather information on a systematic basis from meetings with local experts, and to provide a diagnostic tool for identifying priority needs at a high level. DCW presented a paper updating progress on developing the indicators at the ISWM World Congress in October 2013.