Solid Waste & Recycling


Waste NGO for disaster recovery (December 11, 2006)

Canada's waste management industry is being invited to join a new global initiative that tackles the challenges of ...

Canada’s waste management industry is being invited to join a new global initiative that tackles the challenges of waste recovery and usage in the aftermath of disaster. Recently initiated by Golder Associates Corporation, Disaster Waste Recovery (DWR) is the first non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated expressly to disaster waste issues. DWR is an international consortium of waste management companies, consultancies, academia and manufacturers who contribute resources for short-term emergency response and/or long-term assignments to communities affected by natural disasters, war, or other emergencies.

Regions hit by disaster can experience serious consequences from the generation of massive amounts of uncontrolled waste and debris. The entry of chemicals, heavy metals, toxins and bacteria into ground and surface water, as well as an increased presence of vermin, create serious threats to health and the environment. In addition, the fetid odour and mountains of unsightly waste are demoralizing to survivors and impede recovery efforts.

DWR will help disaster-stricken communities turn this waste liability into a valuable resource. Through recycling and reuse, waste can be transformed into construction materials and, at the same time, offer income-generating opportunities. DWR works with key stakeholders to find sustainable solutions in providing everything from expert advice and training to project implementation. DWR’s goal is to integrate these projects into the community where local, regional and national organizations can ultimately take over. Canadian organizations can get involved in this international effort by offering expertise, donations, or the provision of new or reconditioned equipment.

Contact Michael Snow, Global and Canadian Waste Sector Leader, Golder Associates in Ottawa, at 613-592-9600 or

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