The ISWA 2020 World Congress will create an interactive environment aiming to exchange views and opinions to advance scientific and technical knowledge on sustainable waste management. The guiding theme for the conference is the transition towards a regenerative economy. Leading topics of the congress will be:

  • Waste Treatment and Recycling
  • Circular and Low Carbon Economy
  • Innovation in Cities
  • Marine Litter
  • Construction and Demolition Waste

Different working formats and alternate room lay outs will be used in order to create focus and an engaging and interactive environment. The guiding theme of the conference will lead up to a statement or memorandum that will be developed during the days of the conference and which will be presented as a deliverable of the conference.

Conference topics will be further developed by the programme committee in close cooperation with the STC and Working Group members.

Waste treatment and Recycling
This topic aims to target the latest developments in the area of waste treatment and recycling. This is a considerably large area of interest and it involves all processes that deal with the transformation of waste into resources, processes to neutralise hazardous aspects of waste and the effective management of products and materials.

Circular and low carbon economy
A circular economy is not only an economy that successfully manages its resources but it’s also a low-carbon, climate neutral and inclusive economy. The transition to achieve this will be a new revolution that changes our way of life and thinking. Different ideas and approaches to invoke and manage this transition will be explored.

Innovation in cities 
According to the UN nearly 70% of the world’s population will be living in urban areas by 2050. The effective management of waste and resource management in an urban environment will therefore become increasingly important. Urban environments present specific challenges such as lack of space in and around people’s homes as well as in the built environment, congestion, looser social structures. At the same time there are opportunities in the form of smart and high-tech solutions such as sensor technology and data driven waste and resource management. Large and diverse communities of people living together also present specific challenges when it comes to communication and behavioural change which can also be addressed in this pillar of the program.

Marine litter
The management of marine litter is an increasingly complex issue. It’s estimated that our seas will soon contain more (plastic) litter than fish. This litter accumulates in the eco-system, breaks down to micro-plastics, kills marine wildlife and eventually ends up on our plate. The effects of which to human health are still largely unknown. As a port city Rotterdam has special attention for the management of marine litter.  

Construction & Demolition waste
Most of the used resources end up as a stock in our infrastructure, such as buildings, roads, networks etc. and remain there for decades or even centuries. Managing our infrastructure and build environment from a circular resource perspective is therefore essential. Once demolished, the arising construction and demolition waste presents one of the largest waste streams, with a very high recycling potential. More challenging is the question how to secure that it will be able to retrieve resources more effectively from the build environment in the future. At the same time, an increase in disaster waste can be expected, due to more extreme weather conditions caused by climate change. Management of disaster waste presents challenges in its own. Rotterdam, a city that was largely destroyed and rebuild, has a special relation with construction and demolition waste as well as disaster waste management.