Brief description of Global WtERT Council (GWC)

The Waste-to-Energy Research and Technology Council (WtERT) was founded in 2002 by the Earth Engineering Center of Columbia University and the Energy Recovery Council, the U.S. association of waste to energy companies in the U.S. Over the years, universities and organizations in several other countries created WtERT organizations resulting in the formation, in 2011, of the Global WtERT Council, Inc. (GWC). GWC is now a non-profit corporation registered under the laws of New York State and the U.S. and brings together engineers, scientists and managers from universities and industry in several countries.

The mission of GWC is to:
• identify the best available technologies for the recovery of materials and energy
from urban and other residues of human activity
• conduct research and development as required, and
• disseminate this information by means of its publications, the web, and periodic
In particular, the objectives of the GWC member organizations are to increase resource recovery from used products and minimize the environmental impacts of waste disposal, worldwide. The guiding principle of GWC is that the sustainable management of wastes must be based on science and best available technology and not what seems to be inexpensive now but can be very costly in the near future.
The Charter of GWC describes in more detail the activities and present membership of the Global WtERT Council. Major achievements of GWC since its inception:
Research papers: The web page, under Publications-Theses,
provides the results of over eighty GWC-sponsored studies on all subjects of waste management. Many of these theses and hundreds of technical papers have been published and are cited in the technical literature.
U.S. Survey of Waste Management: Since 2004, Columbia University WC has carried out a bi-annual survey of waste management in the fifty states of the U.S. The results of this study have been used by the Environmental Protection Agency in computing the greenhouse effects of managing municipal solid wastes in the U.S.
International recognition: GWC has been recognized by the most prestigious awards of the Materials and Energy Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and by the Confederation of European Waste to Energy Plants (CEWEP).
GWC co-authored the Waste Management section of the 2015 Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC). GWC was member of the the technical advisory panel of Singapore’s Environmental Protection Agency for the development of environmental guidelines for the beneficial utilization of Waste-to-Energy Bottom Ash.
Network of international experts: Prof. Nickolas Themelis of GWC was the Editors of the WTE volume of Encyclopedia of Sustainable Science and Technology (Springer, pub.), and co-editor of the textbook Renewable Energy Sources ( that included waste-to-energy.
In the new edition of this Encyclopedia (Springer pub. in press), Themelis and Bourtsalas of GWC are co-Editors of the volume Materials and Energy Recovery from Urban Wastes. The breadth and depth of information provided in this volume by the world’s foremost specialists in waste to energy are indicated in the “Introduction” to this volume (attached).
Pre-feasibility studies of WTE projects:
In 2011, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) engaged the Earth
Engineering Center of Columbia University to put together a Guidebook on
Sustainable Waste Management that guides Latin American and Caribbean cities how to proceed with selecting the best waste management technologies and executing multi-million projects. This Guidebook is available on Google and by now has been translated into Portuguese, Spanish, and Greek; Chinese edition is under way by the GWC regional organization WtERT-Asia. The development of the Guidebook
included three pre-feasibility studies. In total, since 2008, GWC has conducted the following pre-feasibility studies:
– WTE project for the island of Rhodes, Greece (2008; sponsored by DEKR,
waste management company of Rhodes; updated in 2017 on behalf of the
Public Power Corporation of Greece).
– WTE project for city of Tripoli, Peloponnese, Greece (2009: Sponsored by
Technodomiki company of Greece)
– WTE project for Buenos Aires, Argentina (2011; sponsored by IADB)
– WTE project for Valparaiso region, Chile (2012; sponsored by IADB)
– WTE project for Toluca City, Mexico (2012; sponsored by IADB)
– WTE project for Montevideo, Uruguay (2013; sponsored by United Nations
and Waste Management Agency of Montevideo)
– WTE project for Lahore, Pakistan (2015; sponsored by Ecoair-U.S. and
Lahore Waste Management Company)
– WTE project for Santiago, Chile (2016; sponsored by the Columbia Global
– WTE project for Araucania, Chile (2017; sponsored by WTE-Araucania group
of Chile)
Prepared by GWC, June 28, 2018