Over one billion tons of MSW are landfilled each year and nearly 80% of the world’s landfills are not equipped to capture landfill gas (LFG) and protect surface and ground waters from contamination. The attached graph shows the Hierarchy of Waste Management that differentiates between traditional and sanitary landfills.
WTERT academic groups in different nations can help in advancing sustainable waste management within their region and country. In recent years, such group have been formed in several nations such as Brazil, Canada, China, France, Greece, Japan, the.

Mission of WTERT Council
The mission of the global WTERT Council is to identify the best available technologies for the treatment of various waste materials, conduct additional academic research as required, and disseminate this information by means of publications, the WTERT web pages , and periodic meetings. In particular, WTERT strives to increase the global recovery of materials and energy from used solids, by means of recycling, composting, waste-to-energy, and sanitary landfilling with LFG utilization. The guiding principle is that responsible management of wastes must be based on science and best available technology at a particular location and not what seems to be inexpensive now but can be very costly in the future.
Figure 1 shows the general rule of the accepted “hierarchy of waste management”. However, for practical or economic reasons, it may be not be possible to follow this hierarchy at all times and at all locations. For example, waste-to-energy requires a much larger initial investment than a landfill and therefore may not be attainable at a certain stage of economic development of a community; in such a case, a sanitary landfill with LFG recovery would be the next preferable option. As another example, an EEC study has shown that use of yard wastes as Alternative Daily Cover in sanitary landfills, in place of soil, is environmentally advantageous to windrow composting of the yard wastes. Mistakenly, some people assume that it is possible to .

Figure 1. The hierarchy of waste management
apply a method, such as waste reduction or recycling, to all waste materials which is clearly non-achievable, either because of the physical properties of the wastes, or there are no markets for the recycled materials, or some recyclable materials are mixed with others. The ultimate objective is to minimize the burial of waste materials, either via material or energy recovery. The success of some nations in doing so is illustrated by the "Ladder of Sustainable Waste Management that is shown in Figure 2.

Scope of operations of WTERT Council
The WTERT Council consists of designated representatives of each national WTERT organization. These representatives will form the governing board of the Council. The Chair of the governing board of the Council will be elected by majority vote of all members for a tenure period of two years. The Council will review and vote on the WTERT Charter and subsequent actions affecting the operations and Charter of the Council. Most communications will be by e-mail or telephone conference. However, occasional meetings of the Council will be called, preferably to be held in conjunction with an international meeting on waste management.
The WTERT Council realizes that waste management solutions vary from region to region. It is hoped that through the new and powerful tool of the internet, we can collectively create a global platform for sharing of experience, expertise and information that will advance the goals of sustainable waste management world-wide. The Council may also provide start up funding for new WTERT organizations.

Figure 2. "Ladder" of Sustainable Waste Management

Scope of operations of each national WTERT organization
The objectives of each WTERT national organization are:
1. To develop and maintain a WTERT web page that describes the mission and scope of the organization and links as many as possible academic and industrial research groups working on various aspects of waste management, within the nation. Preferably, this web page will be hosted at a major university that is conducting research on resource recovery from wastes. Most of the material in this web page will be in the national language so as to inform the general public and policymakers as well as academia and industry. However, the front web page should also provide for English language translation of part of the content, as discussed in (2) below.
2. To identify the most suitable technologies for the treatment of various waste materials in the nation, encourage additional academic research as required, disseminate this information within the nation, and provide an English language window for the outside world to learn about problems and opportunities for advancing waste management in this nation.
3. Once the organization platform described in (a) and (b) has been created, the national WTERT can seek sponsorship and funding by industry and government organizations concerned with advancing waste management in the nation. This model of operation has been successful with some of the existing WTERT national members who are willing to advise and assist new members.

Current WTERT national members and contact information (in chronological order of joining WTERT Council)

1. WTERT-US (www.wtert.org)
Earth Engineering Center, Columbia University
500 West 120th St., New York, NY 10027, U.S.A.
Prof. N.J. Themelis
Prof. M.J. Castaldi

2. WTERT-Canada (www.wtert.ca)
Canadian EfW Coalition (CEFWC)
10 Rambert Crescent
Toronto, Ontario M6S 1E6, Canada
Mr. John Foden

3. WTERT-Greece (www.wtert.gr)
19km Peania-Markopoulo Ave.
Peania 19002, Attica, Greece
Dr. Efstratios Kalogirou stkal@intranet.gr

4. WTERT-China (www.wtert.cn)
Waste-to-Energy Department
Chongqing University of Science and Technology (CQUST)
Songtao Kong kst@tom.com

5. WTERT-Germany (www.wtert.eu)
Technical University of Munich
Munich, Germany
Prof. Martin Faulstich
Prof. Peter Quicker (RWTH, Aachen, Germany)

6. WTERT-Japan (www.wtert.jp)
Name: WTERT-Japan
Tokyo Institute of Technology
Suzukakedai Campus
4259 G5-8 Nagatsuta-cho, Midori-ku
Yokohama, Kanagawa, 226-8503, Japan
Prof. Kunio Yoshikawa

7. WTERT-Brazil (www.wtert.br)
Name of organization: CONGENERES
University of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ)
Dr. Sergio Guerreiro Ribeiro

8. WTERT-France (www.wtert.fr)
Name of organization: Pending
Ecole des Mines d’Albi-Carmaux Campus Jarlard, Ecole des Mines d’Albi-Carmaux, Campus Jarlard, Route de Teillet, ALBI CT Cedex France
Prof. Ange Nzihou < ange.nzihou@mines-albi.fr>

9. WTERT-U.K. (www.wtert.uk)
Name of organization: Pending
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Imperial College, London, U.K.
Dr. Chris Cheeseman c.cheeseman@imperial.ac.uk

10. WTERT-Italy (www.wtert.it)
Name: Materials & Energy from Waste (MEFW)
Department of Energy - School of Industrial Engineering - Politecnico di Milano
Campus Piacenza, Piacenza, Italy Prof. Stefano Consonni < stefano.consonni@polimi.it > Prof. Mario Grosso < mario.grosso@polimi.it>
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