Global Waste Database

This initiative involves developing an exhaustive and user-friendly oracle-style database of quantitative and qualitative variables for municipal and household solid waste in major cities across the world. Initially the Global Waste Database (GWD) will include data regarding the daily and annual generation, composition, and formal and informal urban solid waste management, focusing on Canada, Brazil, India, and Morocco. The system will have to capacity to include and incorporate indefinite number of partner countries and data categories. The GWD will provide a comprehensive source of information on the consequences of material consumption, waste management practices, policies, technologies and innovative solutions, as well as related socioeconomic and environmental issues. The database will be accessible to a diversity of users internationally, connecting them to primary data sources and related databases, journal articles, statistical agencies, government ministries and departments, and environmental agencies and organizations.

The purpose of this initiative is to create an interdisciplinary, collaborative global forum for addressing the increasing complexity and urgency of waste management at the local level. It will facilitate research and comparative analysis, stimulate knowledge exchange and transfer, and provide the opportunity to build academic and institutional partnerships within Canada and internationally with the rest of the world.

During the months of August to October 2008, CBRL member Clecio Varjão traveled to Brazil to conduct fieldwork and community outreach activities concerning the global waste database. The majority of the recyclers who work in the metropolitan region of São Paulo does not have access to computers and are digitally excluded. Clecio provided a workshop to introduce basic computer skills to a group of recyclers, who are involved with the Participatory Sustainable Waste Management project. His goal was to train the recyclers so that they would become more autonomous in the digital world and could then benefit from using the computer in the administration of the recycling coop network.