Another ISWA Publication Prize

The report “Inclusion of Informal Collectors into the Evolving Waste Management System in Serbia, A Roadmap for Integration” has won second prize in the 2018 International Solid Waste Management (ISWA) Publication Awards. The detailed research on informal collecting and recycling in Serbia was part of the Impact 2 Project of the GIZ (German International Co-operation) office in Serbia. Springloop’s Anne Scheinberg edited and finalised the report based on extensive research done by three teams, one of which under leadership of Springloop member Jelena Nesic. Staff of GIZ will accept the award at the ISWA World Congress in Malaysia.

Scheinberg’s two earlier ISWA publication awards include shared first prize in 2016 for the book Valuing Informal Integration, Inclusive Recycling in North Africa and the Middle East (GIZ 2016, available from this website or in English, French, or Spanish) and first prize together with David C. Wilson and Ljiljana Rodic and an international team of co-authors and contributors, for Solid Waste In the World’s Cities in 2010, part of UN-Habitat’s series Water and Sanitation in the World’s Cities.

Focus on recycling information and standards

Several processes are coming together with the potential to drastically change the way recycling is measured and evaluated

(Items 1 and 1 prepared by Ross Bartley, Trade and Environment Director, International Bureau of Reclamation, presented here without further quotation).
1. The Open-Ended Working Group of the Basel Convention (OEWG-11) is looking at reclassifying mechanical recycling as a solid waste operation.

2. “on June 2 2018, the government of Norway submitted an application for the removal of all non-hazardous plastic wastes from Annex IX and for placing those wastes in Annex II. The implications for EU businesses, after the necessary follow-up amendment of the EU Waste Shipments Regulation, would be that non-hazardous plastic wastes would be prohibited for export from the EU to non-OECD countries, and intra-OECD transboundary movements would be subject to prior written notification and consent, while ISRI analyses indicate that US companies would be allowed to export only in limited cases. … Norway modified its proposal to allow certain plastic waste to remain in Annex IX. The final listings may be determined at the next Conference of the Parties … April 29 to May 10 2019, in Geneva, Switzerland.”

3. Springloop’s Anne Scheinberg was nominated by Waste Advisors, to join the Review Panel on the solid waste standard for GRI, the Global Reporting Initiative, to review how companies report on solid waste and recycling in the context of the circular economy.

4. In 2018 Scheinberg joined the ISWA Working Group on Recycling and Waste Minimisation, which looks at relevant and timely issues such as the changing landscape for textile waste recycling in Europe and current issues related to EPR (extended producer responsibility).

5. Some members of the global community of practice working on recycling in low- and middle-income countries have expressed concern about developments in relation to the standard in process, Guidance Principles for the Sustainable Management of Secondary Metals, also known as “International Workshop Agreement  ISO IWA 19.” 

Draft 1.0 of 31 Dec 2016, characterises informal recyclers in the secondary metal supply chain as exploited workers who are forced to work with hazardous substances, and demands protection in the form of fair employment agreements. This is a good idea based on the assumption that most or all informal recyclers would prefer employment to independent entrepreneurship, but there is little evidence that this is the case. The literature, fieldwork, communications of informal recyclers and their advocates, and other forms of information, in contrast, reports wide variation in the opinions of informal recyclers. The preference for employment, collective organisation in associations or unions, family or individual enterprises, independent professional status, or other institutional arrangements depends on location (city, country, continent), preferred materials, informal and semi-formal occupations,  age, sex, skill levels, years in recycling, proximity to value chain buyers, and many other factors.

Unfortunately, Draft 1.0 presents a quite unrealistic (and apparently rather uninformed) view of the realities of informal recycling, and fails to understand that a supply chain is not the same as a factory, and that an independent supplier is not the same as an employee. Informal metal recyclers themselves do not appear to have had much if any input into this document. It is not clear how the further development of this document will affect informal recyclers or the enterprises that buy from them.

An Inconvenient Sequel

Gisteravond naar “An Inconvenient Sequel” (“in NL theatres, Inconvenient Truth part 2”). Daarna een discussie: in NL is er 7 x 24 kw uur (kwh) energie per dag per persoon toegedeeld. Omdat het dag en nacht doorgaat. Oftewel 122.605 kwh voor ons 2-persoons huishouden. Om energieneutraal de draaien, moeten er flink bezuinigd worden, toch?

Hoe gaat het dan met onze huishouden in Zwolle, met 2 personen, en een bedrijf-aan-huis, waardoor wij vaak op doordeweekse dagen, ook overdag thuis zijn.

Wij hebben 14 zonnepanelen, met gemiddeld opbrengst per jaar rond de 1800 kw uur per jaar. Wij gebruiken zelf rond dat aantal of zelfs wat minder — wij stoken en koken met hout swinters en zomers met een 2-pits inductiekoker.LED verlichting, af en toe een electrische radiator-kachel als het net te warm is om de houtkachel-cooker op te stoken.

Nu vragen wij ons af, hoe gaat het met die 122.605 kw per jaar? Dat is 68 keer wat wij feitelijk gebruiken. Waarom is dat naar ons toegeschreven? Gedachtenexperiment dus:

Wij reisen met de vouwfiets en trein, en soms met de bus. In NL rijden de treinen op windenergie. En alle stations dan? En de wissels? En dat “Zenuwecentrum” in Utrecht? En de slagbomen bij gelijke kruisingen? Hoeveel van dat extra 67 x 1800 gaat naar openbaarvervoer? 1 x? 3x?

En dan de boodschappen. Wij lopen naar 5 winkels ongeveer 3 keer per week. Wij zijn bij elke winkel een minut of 5. Oké dan, wij betalen voor 5×3=15 winkels x 5 minuten = 75 minuten per week winkeltijd. Maar hoeveel energie gebruikt dat winkel? Telt de diepvrieskosten bij de Supermarkt of de koude cel bij de groenteboer ook mee? Hoe kunnen wij daar invloed uit oefenen?

Wat rekenen wij als wij 2 uur een film kijken in de bioscoop? Of 25 minuten bij een café in de staat koffie drinken? Hoeveel gebruikt de ROVA om onze GFT en papier in te zamelen, en bij ons in de buurt de glas- en textielbak te bedienen? De straat af en toe schoon te vegen, en de plantsoenen te onderhouden?

Hoe rekenen wij uit wat wij gebruiken voor 2 personen maal 2 keer per jaar naar de tandarts, 2 personen maal 3 keer per jaar naar de huisarts en/of apotheek; winkelen voor kleding?

Als wij dat zelf moeten compenseren om energieneutraal te draaien, moeten wij dan ook voor zorgen,  dat anderen meer dan 104.000 kwh per jaar minder gebruiken namens ons? Hoedan?



Re-opened: Special Issue of the journal “Resources” on Recycling in Middle-Income Countries

Newsflash September 2018: There is still room for three additional papers to allow MDPI to publish the special issue in paper form, and the deadline is extended to 15 November 2018. Please make contact with Anne Scheinberg if you are considering submitting a paper. If the paper is ready for submission you can submit it directly to the MDPI site.

We are pleased to invite you to co-operate with me and MDPI (a publisher) on a special issue of the young journal Resources.

“Recycling In Emerging Economies: Practical Considerations for the Circular Economy in Fast-Growing Middle-income Cities and Countries”

Although the journal is not well-known nor highly ranked, I have accepted to be the editor of this special issue because it allows me to re-take an ambition to produce an edited volume about this topic.

The journal is open access, and the papers will be published as they pass the peer review process and are finalised. MDPI usually charges a processing fee, but I am authorized to waive the fee for the first 10 papers. And my goal is to publish a book, with at least 10 papers (and potentially quite a lot more).

Deadline for submission was 1 July 2017. In the meantime, please take a look at the website for the Special Issue:


There are two ways you can participate:

1. contribute a paper to be streamed into the peer review process for a special issue.
2. indicate your willingness to be in a pool of reviewers for the peer review process.

If at all possible, let me know whether you are interested, and if so, which option interests you (or both).

I am really excited about this, and I hope you will consider it to be an interesting opportunity. Please also feel free to send the link to others, or put it out on your list-serves. If you want to nominate others for the pool of reviewers, please send me their names and
contact info.

Warm regards, and thanks!


Newsflash: you can put your ideas for paper topics in the comments to this post. Please put your email also.