New map comparing MSWM around the World

The 2016 World Population Data Sheet focuses on human needs and sustainable resources, and features a map comparing municipal solid waste generation and management in cities around the world. For reliable and comparable data, the US think tank Population Resources Bureau (PRB) turned to the Wasteaware benchmark indicators. The map features 18 cities selected from the current database of 40 cities prepared and collated by Professor David C Wilson and colleagues.

The World Population Data Sheet (WPDS) is an authoritative resource prepared annually by the long-established PRB, and widely used across the World. This year’s special focus, ‘Human Needs, Sustainable Resources’, is the subject of an online Insights feature. The inclusion of MSWM recognises it is an essential utility service to protect public health and both the local and global environment. The map highlights that waste quantities rise with the income level of the country. For each of the 18 cities, data is also shown for the Wasteaware benchmark indicators for public health (% collection coverage), environmental protection (% of collected waste properly disposed) and resource management (%recycled). The Wasteaware indicators provide a reliable comparison of the performance of a city’s MSWM system; the database for 40 cities has been prepared and collated By Professor David C Wilson (Imperial College London), Dr Ljiljana Rodic (Independent Consultant, Leiden, Netherlands) and Dr Costas Velis (University of Leeds). The WPDS may be downloaded as a pdf, and a data visualisation tool and teaching resources are also available.

Two DCW articles on UNEP’s Global Waste Management Outlook

DCW has published two papers with Costas Velis to disseminate the UNEP/ ISWA Global Waste Management Outlook (GWMO), published in September 2015, for which DCW was Editor-in-Chief and lead author. Their editorial in the December issue of the ISWA peer-reviewed journal Waste Management & Research is titled: Waste management – still a global challenge in the 21st century: An evidence-based call for action. Their article for the CIWM monthly magazine, Global Goal-Getters, was published in the October issue. Both papers can be downloaded free of charge, as can the GWMO summaries and full report.

DCW wins three publication awards

The ISWA 2015 Awards

The 2015 ISWA Awards before the presentation ceremony. They were designed and made by the upcycling sculptor Evy Puelinckx from found materials.

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.

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.

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.