Opinion : "Combined efforts are key to improve waste management worldwide."

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The world is constantly changing, but it’s almost certain that we’ve never seen such a demand for better environmental practices and improved performance. Themes such as climate change, water scarcity, deforestation, pollution and biodiversity loss are receiving increased attention and are the subject of almost daily discussion.

Among all those topics, adequate waste management emerges as a common factor that can benefit and improve current performance, helping to achieve many of the desired goals and to ensure a better quality of life in different parts of the world by combining efforts at global, regional and local levels.

Most problems and challenges in our daily lives happen in our cities, even in our neighbourhoods, but their consequences do not usually remain within the limits of our neighbourhoods and cities. Combining our efforts is key to success. We must acknowledge that waste has no borders, and thus the era of local containment is over.

The 2030 Agenda comprises 17 sustainable development goals, of which 16 are related to specific topics, but the 17th goal is: Partnerships for the Goals. And this is not by chance; it’s because cooperation is the only way forward to develop solutions that will make it possible to achieve the global goals.

As a way of advancing with better waste management for all, regional approaches and combined solutions might be a necessary path in many parts of the world. Experiences in Tel Aviv, in Israel and in Jalisco in Mexico, which I visited recently, are important examples proving that common goals, shared views and joint efforts can transform – for the better – an existing reality and deliver consistent solutions.

We must acknokledge that waste has no borders, and thus the era of local containment is over.
Carlos Silva Filho, President of ISWA

The ISWA National Member in Israel is the Dan Region Association of Towns, an initiative created by six municipalities around Tel Aviv that is responsible for operating the waste treatment system in more than 30 cities, which deliver around 4,000 tonnes of waste per day to the Hiriya Recycling Park, the country’s leading waste management plant and one of the largest in the world.

Through our National Member in Mexico, DS Latinoamericana, we've been able to learn about the initiatives that are in place in Jalisco, the intermunicipal cooperations, supported by innovative legislation, and with SimarSureste as one of its most prominent examples. Created in 2008, this intermunicipal body is a joint effort of 10 municipalities who came together to jointly solve the problem of inadequate waste management and lack of investments in infrastructure in the region.

From those two examples, and I'm sure there are many others around the world, we can confirm that there is a consistent and reliable alternative to improve the current situation: combining efforts and joint initiatives.

And talking of joint initiatives, the ISWA community is getting ready for its annual congress in 2022. The ISWA World Congress 2022 is a joint initiativeimplemented by ISWA and WMRAS, who will be hosting us in Singapore in September with the theme Don’t WasteOur Future. We’ll be able to meet againin person and experience three days of great knowledge, unique professionalinteractions, site visits, and an amazingsocial programme. Not to be missed!