Background and goals

Future waste management programs must be put into practice in conjunction with sound policies that restrict the use of fossil fuels and natural resources and contribute to the reduction of emissions into the environment. This strategy should be based on a sound scientific basis, without ideology, politics or financial interests, and should be implemented on a world-wide basis and not limited to industrialized countries. There is, in fact, a relatively large deficit of proper waste management programs in many developing countries, where tailor-made concepts and appropriate technologies must be developed, paying due consideration to cultural, economic, religious, climatic and other factors. To achieve this goal, existing waste management options must be evaluated for implementation, new strategies must be formulated, and innovative solutions need to be found.

Based on these needs, the International Waste Working Group (IWWG) was established in 2002.  From the outset, the IWWG did not set out to contrast or to compete with existing professional organisations, but rather to serve as a forum whose main objective was to meet a world-wide demand for a new scientific platform geared towards the scientific and professional community in waste management. The IWWG is a non-profit organisation, founded by the following group of waste professionals from both academic and private sectors:

  •     Prof. Raffaello Cossu (University of Padua, Italy)
  •     Prof. Thomas H. Christensen (Technical University of Denmark)   
  •     Dr Luis F. Diaz (CalRecovery Inc., USA)
  •     Prof. Peter Lechner (Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Austria)
  •     Prof. Anders Lagerkvist (Lulea University of Technology, Sweden)
  •     Prof. Yasushi Matsufuji (Fukuoka University, Japan)
  •     Dr Howard Robinson (Enviros, UK)
  •     Prof. Rainer Stegmann (Hamburg University of Technology, Germany)

The aim of the IWWG is to provide an intellectual forum to encourage and support economic and ecological (integrated and sustainable) waste management world-wide and to promote scientific advancement in the field.

This aim will be accomplished by learning from the past, analysing the present, and thereby developing new ideas, scenarios and visions for the future. The vast amount of experience gained on a world-wide basis in the field so far, which is rather dispersive, and consequently not focused enough to influence legislation, education, or provide practical applications and move towards a more rational development of appropriate technologies, will be placed at your disposal.

With this aim in mind, the IWWG was conceived as a think tank, based on scientific principles but essentially application oriented. In addition, the IWWG has a light, non-bureaucratic organisation which allows us to focus on a variety of subjects, react promptly to relevant problems in the field of solid waste management, and communicate effectively within the professional community.