Officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) attended the 15th International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium held in Cagliari City of Sardinia, Italy. DENR’s participation was ably facilitated by the Project Management Office (PMO) of the Integrated Persistent Organic Pollutants (IPOPs) Management Project with support from the World Bank.

The International Waste Working Group (IWWG), a non-profit organization founded in 2002, organized the Symposium. IWWG encourages and supports integrated and sustainable waste management, and promotes practical and scientific development.

Totally in rhythm with the theme, “Learning from the past, analyzing the present, developing a vision for the future,” the event was attended by over 600 waste management scientists, administrators, and other practitioners from various countries, which made for a quite festive atmosphere. Oral presentations, poster exhibits, and workshops all focusing on waste management and sanitary landfill spiced up the knowledge exchange.

Although the Symposium was heavily tilted toward European experience in waste management, it nonetheless opened up new insights into the subject matter that are applicable locally. For instance, the Life Cycle Assessment framework can be used to analyze resource use and estimate the impact of its by-products and processes to environment. Illustrated further, how much waste is generated from the acquisition of a physical asset, to its usage, maintenance, and disposition, and the putting in place of infrastructure to mitigate, if not to completely remove waste every step of the process flow, can be determined using this framework.

Improving models and devising strategies to combat solid waste, as this learning experience showed, should be progressive, account for complex socio-physical interrelationships, and provide a range of options to match the severity and peculiarity of each problem scenario. Further, it is important that the appropriate selection of waste processing technologies and efficient waste management strategies are implemented to minimize environmental impacts, and reduce energy generation while upscaling materials recovery. #


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