Global Waste Management Outlook (GWMO)

The UNEP Governing Council of February 2013, in its decision GC 27/12 on Chemicals and Waste Management, requested UNEP “to develop a global outlook of challenges, trends and policies in relation to waste prevention, minimization and management, taking into account the materials life cycle, subject to the availability of extra-budgetary resources and in consultation with Governments and stakeholders, building on available data, best practices and success stories, taking into account the Global Chemicals Outlook and any other relevant initiatives and taking care not to duplicate existing information, to provide guidance for national policy planning.”

UNEP’s International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC), in collaboration with the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), has taken the lead on this initiative; aiming to develop the Global Waste Management Outlook as a tool to provide an authoritative overview, analysis and recommendations for action of policy instruments and financing models for waste management.

The GWMO is the result of two year’s work and provides the first comprehensive global overview of the state of waste management around the world in the 21st century. It is an important and timely status report and call for action to the international community.


Links to the Global Waste Management Outlook (GWMO) products

GWMO report         


GWMO Summary for decision makers

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GWMO at a glance

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Details on the development process and further information can be found below.

Development process

Initial consultation meeting

An initial consultation meeting was held on 8 and 9 July in Paris, France. It gathered experts from governments, intergovernmental organizations, the private sector, academia and public interest groups, to help us ensure that the Outlook is designed in a way which meets the expectations of the different stakeholder groups. Their contributions assisted in the following:

1) refinement of the scope and outline of the proposed Outlook; and

2) design of the development process, including provisions for stakeholder consultations.

The discussion paper and agenda, as well as the outcome document of the meeting is as follows:

Editorial team

A highly experienced editorial team was subsequently selected who worked on finalising the annotated chapter outlines. The Editorial Team includes David Wilson as Editor in Chief; Costas Velis as Advisor and Contributor, Lead authors Ljiljana Rodic, Prasad Modak, Otto Simonett and Reka Soos; and Mona Iyer as Case Study Editor.

Short description of the members of the team (alphabetical order)

Costas Velis – Dr Costas Velis, BSc MSc DIC PhD MInstP MCIWM, is Lecturer in Resource Efficiency Systems at School of Civil Engineering, University of Leeds, in the UK. ( With over 10 years of work and research experience in innovation for waste and resources management (Chartered Waste Manager by CIWM), he serves in many national and international committees addressing relevant challenges of global scale, including the Globalisation and Waste Management Task Force of International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), and the Waste Atlas project ( He offers to his profession as Associate Editor of the academic journals Waste Management & Research, and Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology. He is Vice Chair of the Waste to Energy Resource and Technology - UK. Costas was honoured with the prestigious ISWA 2013 Publication Award for research on informal waste sector integration.

David Wilson - Professor David C Wilson has worked as a consultant for 36 years, advising cities and governments to identify and take the next appropriate steps in developing their own sustainable waste and resource management systems.  He has worked on municipal solid wastes and on hazardous wastes; in high-, middle- and low-income countries; and on topics ranging from behavior change for waste prevention, to informal sector recycling, to evidence based policy making. He has been Visiting Professor in Waste Management at Imperial College London since 2000.(

Ljiljana Rodic-Wiersma - Dr. Ljiljana Rodic-Wiersma has been doing research and teaching integrated waste management in international Master programmes at Netherlands universities for over 20 years, always combining academic insights with, what she calls, reality check around the world. She was the research co-ordinator and co-author of the UN Habitat publication ‘Solid Waste Management in the World’s Cities’ in 2010.

With background in risk analysis, reliability of environmental technologies, and the interface between technology and society, she has keen interest in sustainability.

She has pioneered education and research on Cradle to Cradle and The Natural Step at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. In parallel, due to her affinity for knowledge sharing, she has been involved in capacity building in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Balkans.

Mona Iyer - Mona Iyer is Associate Professor at Faculty of Planning, CEPT University, Ahmedabad, India. She has over 14 years of experience in research, training and consultancy in water, sanitation and waste management sectors with focus on policy initiatives and project development mainly in Asia and the Pacific. She has authored sections on urban and industrial waste management in the state of environment report for Gujarat State, India. She has worked as International Solid Waste Management Specialist for ADB to Investigate SWM practices in Pacific developing member countries.

Prasad Modak: Dr Prasad Modak is the Executive President of Environmental Management Centre LLP ( In addition, he is the Dean of IL&FS Academy for Applied Development and Professor at IIT, Bombay, India. He has more than 30 years of experience in the environmental management sector. Dr. Modak's work over the past three decades has influenced environmental policies at the Governments & investments and practices in the industry on a global basis.

Dr Modak coordinated Waste Management & Recycling Chapter in UNEP's Green Economy Report and wrote Waste to Energy Manual for 3R Knowledge Hub of Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok. He steered and developed the Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) Plan for Pune, India  that was considered as a model ISWM action plan for other cities to follow. He assisted UNCRD to set up International Partnership on Waste Management for Local Authorities (IPLA) and established a web portal (

Otto Simonett - Dr Otto Simonett is geographer and director and co-founder of Zoï Environment Network’ ( He has focused his career on making complex scientific and environmental issues understandable to a broader public. Dr Simonett holds PhD in Geography, based on research focusing both on technical (Geographic Information Systems) and institutional (developing countries) issues. He has more than 25 years of international working experience with the United Nations Environment Programme and GRID-Arendal in environmental assessments, information management and capacity building. 

Reka Soos - Reka Soos is an environmental economist with 13 years of consulting experience. She is the director at RWA Group ( and associate partner at Green Partners ( Her core fields of expertise are policy development, assessments, economic modeling, pricing, financing strategies and feasibility studies. She has specific knowledge in environmental infrastructure projects, especially in the field of waste management, energy and climate change. She has worked extensively in Romania and Hungary and has been a key expert and technical team leader on international projects in South East Europe, the Newly Independent States, North Africa and Asia.



Wide consultation with a broad group of stakeholders including decision makers, the world’s leading institutions and experts in waste management was central to the development of the GWMO.

Consultations in the format of e-regional consultations on the annotated outline took place from 20 December 2013 to 27 January 2014.



The GWMO was launched on the 7 September at the ISWA World Congress 2015 in Antwerp, Belgium.


Future Plan

The GWMO is the first of a series of Outlooks. This publication providing the general overview will be complemented by Regional Waste Management Outlooks which are currently planned for Asia, Central Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), Mountain Regions and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The regional Outlooks will allow deeper analyses of the state of waste management specific to each region, reflecting its concrete situation and proposing recommendations better tailored to each region.


Related links

Turning WAste into jobs -UNEP Online Newsletter

Related publications


Waste Management Outlook for Montain Regions

Souces and Solutions