A Helping Hand

MORE THAN 100 solid waste professionals have responded to the Washington-based World Bank's call for assistance in the Asia tsunami recovery effort. Earlier this year, the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Md., and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), Copenhagen, Denmark, formed a partnership with the World Bank to provide the names of solid waste professionals willing to travel to the affected areas and provide technical assistance in the cleanup.

“We received an overwhelming response from SWANA and ISWA,” says Sandra Cointreau, solid waste management advisor for the World Bank. “More than 100 resumes were submitted.” She did not know how many resumes came from each organization.

The World Bank has forwarded the resumes to public officials in the Indian Ocean countries struck by the tsunami during the last week of December 2004. Those include Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Cointreau says that each country will make its own decisions about the type of expertise it requires and will select available experts. The World Bank has agreed to cover travel and subsistence expenses.

The nature of the solid waste assignments remains unclear. The World Bank requested resumes from individuals willing to take on two- to four-week assignments on assessment teams, while noting that other work might be required. “The work could range across everything from consulting on [debris management] approaches to providing services,” says John Skinner, SWANA's executive director and CEO. “It depends on the issues in individual countries.