ISWA 2019, a can´t miss event

by José María Menéndez

ISWA is an international organization dedicated to promoting and developing (designing and executing) sustainable and professional waste management systems. Among the many informative activities of ISWA is its World Congress that is held annually. The ISWA world congresses are an international reference in terms of technical and scientific rigor to discuss common trends and challenges and exchange experiences on waste management.

The 29th edition of the ISWA World Congress will be held in Bilbao (Spain) between October 7 and 9. It is the first time it is organized in Europe since 2016 (in Serbia), since the 2017 and 2018 editions took place in Baltimore (USA) and in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). The 2020 edition will be held in Rotterdam (Netherlands).

The main motto of the Bilbao congress is “Circular economy, what are you doing?” It aims to synthesize in a single sentence the concept of circular economy (basically recovering common sense in terms of consumption patterns and use of resources and products) and the need to take action with everyday gestures, either small or large.

At the opening ceremony of the Congress, on Monday 7, we will have the opportunity to hear inspiring messages from three recognized keynote speakers. Captain Charles Moore, on the contamination of the oceans with plastics, the scientist and disseminator Mario Picazo, on extreme meteorologies due to climate change and the entrepreneur Nicola Cerantola, on the stable and quality employment opportunities that the circular economy entails.

Throughout the 3 days of the Congress we will have the opportunity to attend interesting sessions focused on very diverse topics, such as different operations with different waste fractions (collection and treatment of organic fraction, plastics, electronic waste), governance and legal issues (incentives, fees, role of municipal government teams), communication and social issues (citizen awareness, recycling and inclusion, food waste, textiles, diapers …).

There will be a special impact on the three issues raised by the speakers of the opening (marine pollution with plastics, climate change and circular economy). The issues of safety, training of people, young professionals and challenges of automation in the future of the waste management sector will also be emphasized.

It will also be possible to know the specific situation in emerging countries such as India or China. As for the Latin American and Caribbean region, there will be a Latin American session during the three days of the congress, focused on the social, economic and environmental reality of the region.

The technical scientific program is completed with technical visits to existing waste treatment facilities in the area, as well as with a varied social program.

In short, either if we come from the academic, business or institutional community, the issues to be heard during the Congress and the possibilities of networking make the ISWA World Congress 2019 in Bilbao a unique opportunity that we cannot miss.


Telephone: +(00)34 94 662 01 78

Las Mercedes, 8-1ºA
Getxo – 48930
Bizkaia (Spain)