Session Chair: Heather Troutman, EAP Consult Ltd

Policy makers, urban planners, civil society, the private and informal sectors must come together to devise innovative solutions to stop marine debris inputs at source by facilitating comprehensive waste management services to all citizens, especially the urban poor.

 The majority of land-based marine debris inputs globally come from developing-economy cities lacking comprehensive waste management services fueled by high rates of informality, lagging infrastructure, insufficient tax-base for municipal services, rapid population growth and projections for sharp economic development. Without access to municipal services, rivers are commonly used to take the waste “away” into our global oceans.  The public, private, civil and informal sectors and the international development community must collaborate to find rapid solutions to extend waste management services in areas that are currently neglected and to those citizens unable to afford the services.  One approach is the establishment of resource recovery and reprocessing enterprises that use waste materials to produce valuable products, therefore creating an economic demand for waste materials.  In the short-term, informal communities can be empowered to collect and sort their own wastes and then sell the materials to manufacturers, creating needed jobs, saving virgin resources and preventing movement of wastes into marine environments. This strategy has also been used to engage struggling fisher-folk to help remove debris from the marine environment, augmenting their difficult incomes. Cities and companies around the world have been demonstrating best practices in cross-sectoral partnerships to mobilize the unique resources of different stakeholder groups to rapidly reach a collective aim: a clean urban environment and healthy water bodies.  This technical session will bring together change makers from different sectors and different regions to discuss how the common characteristics shared by developing-economy cities can be used as strategies for socioeconomic development and the provision of sustainable waste management services to all citizens. Participants will learn about the different perspectives, constraints and resources available to generalized stakeholder groups, and learn strategies to initiate and sustain necessary support.  Panelist will describe the technologies, strategies and financial products and the adaptation process to make them appropriate in their context, and share key insights into their successes and failures in communities around the world.  Waste generation and management is a fundamentally human activity.  Behavioral Insight and Human Centered Design help us understand the human elements of waste management in any specific place, and help us identify strategies that will work specifically in that place at a pace as rapid as the global crises of marine debris demands.  This technical session will create a space for the sharing of best practices and the establishment of partnerships to work with our global citizens to design and implement solutions together for the elimination of land-based marine debris inputs.




Waste Management Index: Strengthening ICT Data Waste Management Platform

presenting: Vanessa Letizia (Greeneration Foundation, Indonesia); authors: Vanessa Letizia (Greeneration Foundation, Indonesia)

Greeneration Foundation view two highlighted problem of waste management system in Indonesia are 1) lack of reliable data/information and 2) no integrated collaboration platform to address waste management for a larger scale of impact. As a result from lack of data; regulation, budgeting, operational technique, monitoring and evaluation development will not be accurate even more implementable. To answer those needs Greeneration Foundation has developed and integrated ICT Platform for Waste Management. We have developed two platforms namely Bebas Sampah.ID (BSID) and Bergerak untuk Indonesia Bebas Sampah. ID (BIBS). BSID platform is focused on data collection, decision support system and knowledge management. Currently BSID platform is still a prototype platform where we’ve mapped out assets related with waste management with Bandung, Bekasi and Jakarta as pilot locations. We have mapped a total of 1428 assets including temporary waste disposal, collector, waste bank, compost, business unit and service facility. The rationale from asset mapping is that it can be a decision support tool for policy makers and also it can be used for collaborative solution by linking potentials available from different waste management assets. BIBS platform on the other hand is an open source public driven ICT platform aiming to become avocation platform for multi-stakeholders to collaborate actions in reaching zero waste goal by 2020. Stakeholders can identify themselves spatially in this platform and share their activities, lesson learns, and even team up with others for larger impact. It facilitates multi-stakeholders actions to address challenges of waste management issues across Indonesia. BIBS is accessible for public and now has over 9000 stakeholders joining in over 250 District/Cities across Indonesia.


Solid Waste Collection Improvements with Independent Waste Collectors in Danpasar, Indonesia

presenting: Kathryn Youngblood (University of Georgia, United States); authors: Kathryn Youngblood (University of Georgia, United States), Olivier Pouillon (Gringgo), Jenna Jambeck (University of Georgia)

Environmentalists worldwide will confirm that humanity in the modern age has reached unprecedented levels of global influence on the ecosystems that sustain life on our planet. The importance of plastic to the conveniences of modern life are undeniable, but the continual influx of plastic into our oceans demands improved waste management systems on a global scale. Those countries especially prone to mismanaged waste are middle-income areas with rapidly expanding economies that have thus far lacked the time and resources to develop adequate infrastructures to address the increase in waste generation tied to economic growth; of these countries, Indonesia falls second on this list, behind only China in terms of annual contribution to ocean plastic pollution. In response to such findings, the Indonesian government has proactively committed to large investments in improved waste infrastructure to preserve the beaches and coral reefs of the island nation. There does, however, already exist a large informal network of waste pickers and recycling centers that can perhaps be leveraged to combat ocean plastic. In this study, we conducted a study of the informal waste sector already in existence in the city of Denpasar in Bali, Indonesia, to better inform timely efforts to improve waste management systems in the region. We utilized geospatial analysis software to map the physical networks of waste pickers in Denpasar, waste depots and waste banks (pre-sorted recyclables). The informal waste sector provides a critical social service in developing economies, but because the network develops organically, it may not be efficient at preventing ocean pollution. A geographic map of the waste pickers will serve to demonstrate where plastic may be slipping through the cracks in the system.


Reducing trash while reducing flood hazards: a case study from Tijuana, Mexico

presenting: Kristen Goodrich (Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, United States); authors: Kristen Goodrich (Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, United States), Ana Eguiarte (Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve)

Los Laureles Canyon is a sub-watershed of the Tijuana River Watershed in Tijuana, Mexico. Rapid and unplanned growth in the canyon has manifested in urbanization occurring before public infrastructure was planned and built, resulting in an absence of paved roads, sewers, storm drainage, and other services, including waste services. There are many challenges to waste management in this case study: irregular services; cost of services; lack of recycling programs; loose or no containment, and terrain. These obstacles, among other drivers, have resulted in excessive trash being dumped into eroded channels presenting public health risks and other threats to quality of life. Additionally, and of focus of this talk, during rain events, this trash compromises flood conveyance channels and exacerbates flood hazards, while resulting in marine debris and other environmental consequences at the end of the channel. Non-profit organizations, academia, flood risk managers, and emergency managers have partnered together to explore training and technical assistance opportunities to address the trash condition while concurrently reducing flood risk. Results from in-depth interviews and lessons learned from conducting cross-sectoral training and other innovative approaches to improve the social ecological condition in a developing economy community will be discussed.


Looking to innovation and collaboration to enable comprehensive resource recovery in informal settlements.

presenting: Heather Troutman (EAP Consult Ltd, Ghana); authors: Heather Troutman (EAP Consult Ltd, Ghana)

Globally, waste management is an urban service provided by municipal governments and paid for with taxes, which are often augmented with utility fees. However, the majority of the world – in terms of population and landmass – are currently experiencing rapid urbanization, most of which is happening informally. Unfortunately, these mushrooming informal settlements are frequently found on the coastline and in the flood zones of rivers, on their way to the sea. Due to the very characteristics of informality – such as extreme poverty, unplanned settlements and chocking density – these settlements cannot be serviced by municipal waste management, in the conventional sense, not only due to inability to afford services but also because of inaccessibility of the urban areas. The result is that the rivers providing the guiding structure of these settlements is very often used as a waste bin; taking thousands of tons of municipal waste directly to the sea every day. In Ghana, we are exploring ways to greatly reduce the cost of waste management services by employing particularly vulnerable community members to assist in collecting source separated materials from households by paying customers to deliver clean, high value material for recycling. We are learning that a silver bullet in stopping urban pollution from mismanaged wastes is less about providing expensive collection systems and disposal options, and more about establishing enterprises that can purchase waste materials for re-manufacturing into valuable products to be sold locally and internationally. This option creates jobs, generates tax revenue, drastically extends the life of expensive traditional waste management infrastructure and complements the existing characteristics of the communities it serves.


Transforming Marine Debris into a Valuable Resource

presenting: Chloe Dubois (The Ocean Legacy Foundation, Canada); authors: Chloe Dubois (The Ocean Legacy Foundation, Canada)

The Ocean Legacy Foundation has been developing practical solutions to collect and process all marine debris materials with the goal of zero waste. Marine debris acts as a bridge catalyzing cross-sectoral collaboration and it is within this spirit that Ocean Legacy has assisted in bringing together hundreds of non-profits, artists, government, scientists, industries, businesses, schools and concerned citizens. In 2016, Ocean Legacy opened one of the world’s first Marine Debris Solutions Centres and has accepted more then 1000 cubic yards of material. We have developed an incredibly detailed sorting program which engages a very broad community and has resulted in a more then 90% recycle rate by weight of debris materials. Partnering with large companies like Lush Cosmetics, Resynergi Inc, and Foam Only we have been able to develop unique methodologies which allow marine debris to re-enter the value chain as new forms of packaging, plastic to fuel sources and upcycled construction materials. Ocean Legacy’s unique on-line mapping program enables a platform for a global audience to report plastic polluted hotspot areas so that cleanup efforts can be organized. Large scale remote cleanups are then organized to remove materials from the natural environment which are then brought back to the Solutions Centre for processing. A unique feature is the development of a one-tonne mobile plastic to fuel machine using Resynergi Inc.’s technological design and equipment. This removes plastic from the waste stream and converts it into valuable fuels like petroleum, diesel or kerosene. Ocean Legacy’s long-term vision is to open Marine Debris Solution Centres around the world enabling land-based waste solutions to revolutionize the waste industry and provide training for communities to manage their wastes and natural environment.