Waste Flow Diagram
The Waste Flow Diagram (WFD) helps map and visualize municipal solid waste management system material flows to quantify amounts, sources and fates of waste leakage into the environment.
The WFD was developed in a collaboration between Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, University of Leeds, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) and RWA-Wasteaware to help city authorities assess the quantities and fates of unmanaged municipal solid waste (MSW) released into the environment.
It maps the waste flows using a Material Flow Analysis (MFA), covering all stages of the solid waste management (SWM) system from generation to collection, transport, treatment/recovery, and disposal. This assessment can be the basis for informed decision making at city level to improve the solid waste service and infrastructure system. Scenarios of improvements can also be run through the WFD to assess how a proposed intervention may affect the system and reduce plastic pollution into the environment.
To facilitate WFD assessments, to show data and to foster data sharing, a WFD data portal has been developed. It features full WFD computations, as well as a graphic generator for the Waste Flow and Sankey diagrams, and integrates with the Waste Wise Cities Tool and its data portal. The WFD portal also includes general information about the WFD, a repository of case studies, a blog, tutorial videos and training material. Furthermore, it allows for peer-to-peer exchange and support through a forum.
With a growing repository of case studies, it is now possible for people to apply data analytics and, for instance, categorise case studies along key parameters, which could assist in finding suitable measures of improvement for SWM systems based on their city profile.
In addition, general lessons from two years of WFD applications and the results of 50 case studies were published in a compendium covering a wide range of realities of solid waste management and cultural practices.