ISWA is announces that as of April 21  the board declared WOW! as an official ISWA Task Force. The WOW! Task Force will comprise of an Expert Advisory Board and Coordination team for the next 12 months, with the purpose to support women’s contribution to the solid waste management sector and increase their visibility.

Inspired by this months’ Waste Worker theme, WOW! is proud to present three testimonials featuring female-led start-ups in collection, recycling, and the circular economy: meet Sian Cuffy -Young (Trinidad and Tobago), Dea Wehrli (Switzerland) and Margaret Maina (Kenya). Whilst barriers to women’s full participation in solid waste management persist in legislation, culture and gender roles, as well as access/control over resources: entrepreneurship offers women an alternative, not only to create jobs but also create new solutions to serious issues.

Sian Cuffy-Young: Her work focuses on waste education and training for children and adults, to transform how they think and act towards waste in her country, and she has developed a waste efficiency program for businesses which includes a biowaste recycling program on the island. She has taught herself with the use of training materials suggested to her from the ISWA Working Group on Biowaste Treatment.

Dea Wehrli – Is a formerly a Mercator Fellow at ISWA, co-created an e-waste co-working space so that micro-entrepreneurs can gain shared access to tools and business support for safer, more efficient waste processing.

Margaret Maina: a senior environmental executive and advocate,  has newly founded a community-based group of women who collect riverside litter from the Ngong River, improving the water quality, reducing marine litter and providing some income from recyclables.

WOW! are promoting such case-studies in the upcoming WOW! Business Directory, a new project to help similar aspiring women innovate and replicate successful recycling projects with low to medium technologies and start-up costs. The WOW! Business Directory will be a free online resource providing practical information, training/empowerment sources and motivating success stories encouraging women to develop their capacity and better access to sustainable waste management. WOW! will also launch a new survey in Latin America and the Caribbean this year.

For more information, visit