Welcome to the IWWG!
The International Waste Working Group is a non-profit, non-political group of engineers and scientists working in the field of solid and hazardous waste management. Waste management as a field of study and practice receives a lot publicity, especially now as societies strive to minimise impact and move towards a circular economy. Yet many researchers in waste management find themselves working in an isolated research group, perhaps one of few in their respective country, as is the case in my country Australia.
Collaboration is essential for impactful research, particularly in waste management which is built on more fundamental disciplines that continue to advance and present more opportunities to treat, recover and recycle materials. My experience is that provincial and national waste management conferences necessarily focus on local practices and implementation which reflect the regulations and economic incentives of the local jurisdiction. More theoretical topics such as LCA analyses that challenge our assumptions about sustainability or bio-refinery concepts that link seemingly disparate material flows and industries; and other more conceptual or scientific presentations do not attract much interest in applied forums. However, it is these more conceptual studies that will mould waste management practices of the future.
The IWWG is a worldwide community of motivated and diverse researchers who have joined the IWWG for precisely this reason. The IWWG offers the opportunity to build collaborations with international colleagues with similar interests and complementary skills through conferences, active and fruitful task groups and other engagement activities such as the Food for Brain lecture series. The IWWG is a platform to build significant international projects to tackle global problems such as the insidious spread of microplastics and other persistent pollutants.
The IWWG has been at the heart of my career. I can unreservedly recommend the benefits of joining.