WFD compendium released
This comprehensive compendium summarizes two years of experience implementing over 100 case studies of the Waste Flow Diagram (WFD) – a tool that assesses waste flows in Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM) systems and estimates the quantities of plastic pollution sources and fates. The WFD has been proven to be an effective engagement tool for baselining, benchmarking, monitoring, and scaling to national leakage assessment.
The compendium reveals that the WFD has primarily been used in baseline assessments as part of wider solid waste management projects and initiatives. The WFD can generate up to three scenarios to assist in planning interventions and visualizing outcomes. Conducting a series of WFDs will provide valuable data for municipal waste management plans and national plastic pollution inventories. However, it is important to note that some capacity building and data curation support will always be helpful in ensuring the quality of the assessment for those wishing to use the WFD in their development programs.
The compendium also offers valuable lessons learned, including the benefit of conducting a WFD assessment simultaneously with other baseline and plastic emission modeling assessments. Defining the boundaries of the study
area, taking photographs and geo-coordinates, ensuring data consistency, quality assurance, clarifying data ownership and consent for publication, as well as contextualizing the outcomes is essential for a good assessment. As the WFD is a data-driven tool, the accuracy of data sets is critical in ensuring a representative survey. The WFD can be upscaled from an assessment tool for a city to a national assessment by combining the assessment of a representative selection of cities.
The compendium sets the WFD into perspective with other tools and displays descriptive statistics on the main data indicators of 50 selected global case studies, while seven case studies are portrayed in detail. It provides practical implementation guidance, such as consideration for upfront data collection processes for each of the data points, a field mobilization checklist, a quality assessment matrix for case studies, and a training program. Overall, the compendium serves as a valuable resource for those seeking to use the WFD in their waste management programs and initiatives.