The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) is to fund the development of a guidance document on reuse and recycling technologies for use in low and middle-income countries.
The document will be delivered by the charity WasteAid UK with support from consultancy firm Resource Futures, led by CIWM senior vice president and patron of WasteAid UK, Professor David Wilson.
The guidance will cover reprocessing techniques that require minimal or low capital investment and which produce products for local markets.
It will provide case studies and ‘how to’ kits to encourage replication, for municipal solid waste and other waste streams, as well as the necessary health and safety and environmental protection measures to protect both the workers and society.
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 three 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 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.”
Ed Cook, senior consultant at independent environmental consultancy Resource Futures, said: “We’re aiming to put together a suite of technological approaches which can be adopted in a range of different circumstances. The most important thing is that each proposed approach is appropriate for the community it will benefit and the type of waste being generated, and that it’s cheap to implement and maintain.
“We want these interventions to be self-sustaining for the recipients, enabling them to develop their own businesses and encourage others to follow suit.”
WasteAid UK will be co-hosting a community waste management conference in The Gambia in Spring 2017, in partnership with the Arkleton Trust. The event will give WasteAid UK the opportunity to ‘field test’ the guidance, discussing and testing all the technologies covered with community waste managers.
The final guidance document will be launched at the next CIWM Presidential inauguration in October 2017, after which WasteAid UK will disseminate the report in partnership with CIWM.