19th Feb 2015: International Waste Management in 2015 and Beyond; Crisis and Opportunity by David Brown

International Waste Management

Come along to The Castle Hotel at 7pm to listen to David’s talk. Share a crust of bread, and hear the reflections he has to share…


Name of speaker:

David Brown

Title of talk:

International Waste Management in 2015 and beyond; from crisis to opportunity

Bullet points of what you would like to cover:

  • Outline the scale of the international waste management challenge/crisis today and detail the related environmental and economic impacts across a range of countries
  • Assess future waste management trends based on current position and the correlation between economic growth and waste generated per person;
  • Highlight the huge variation of current waste management services in different countries and show that comprehensive and fully managed systems are the rare exception;
  • Discuss the enormous opportunities that improved management of wastes can bring;
  • Highlight practical examples of change and improvement in the UK and abroad;
  • What can we do?


A (few) paragraph(s) on the subject you’ve chosen to talk about:

A slow motion but relentless environmental economic crisis is underway in many countries as vast quantities of natural resources are transformed into industrial and consumer products with short life spans, no clear pathway for reuse or recycling once discarded and a high likelihood of causing environmental harm when sent for disposal.
In this talk I’ll examine how in some developing countries the speed of industrialisation and rise  of consumption has out-stripped the ability or willingness of authorities to manage the surge in waste that accompanies this break-neck change.
I’ll give specific examples and disturbing photographs will highlight the scale of the challenge facing some governments and communities and attention will need to be paid to the aggregate impact on the world’s oceans which often represent the ultimate sink for our unwanted wastes.
By looking at the correlation between income and waste production per head the rapid trend to an even more wasteful and unsustainable global economic system can be explored.
Realisation of the risks posed by ineffective waste management is now recognised by more governments and all around the world there are examples of increasingly educated communities challenging their governments to act or taking direct constructive action themselves. It is hoped that rising environmental awareness from citizens, the economic imperatives of business and the impact of pressure and local community action groups will cumulatively result in future improvements. The empowerment of populations caused by the spread of modern communications, better access to education and tools such as social media can cumulatively drive the management of wastes on to a more sustainable footing across ever greater areas of the world.
We all need to know how we can contribute. I’ll give examples of progress in Derbyshire will be s well as examples of the benefits that can result from often simple changes in consumer choices and behaviour here in the UK.
I can’t remember when I haven’t been obsessed with waste. When I was five or six I drew a dump of tea in my art lesson and there has been no looking back since then. I spent many a (not so) pleasurable hour in a past job walking around land fill sites. Consequently, with colleagues, I now run a Recycling Road Show in Derbyshire, an initiative of Derbyshire County Council. I do have a life beyond waste, I really do; this is my waste related  biography.

Any suggested you-tube links, websites and / or texts where further information may be found on your chosen topic:

United Nations Environment Programme: The Global Garbage Crisis; No Time to Waste
United Nations Environment Programme: Chemicals and Waste
Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs Policy Paper: Waste Prevention Programme for England
Love Food Hate Waste: Whatever food you love, we can help you waste less and save you money
Derbyshire County Council: Rubbish, Waste and Recycling
Facts & figure: Watch our videos to find out how the recycling process works