Waste management strategies and circular economy concepts

Waste management strategy development

With more than 20 years of experience in waste management strategy development, we support you in making your waste and resource mangement future proof. As part of the worlds leading application oriented research organisation, Fraunhofer UMSICHT not only assesses the waste management of today, but also develops and implements recycling technologies for tomorrow.

Collection point being opened in waste management project in Tunesia.
Collection point being opened in waste management project in Tunesia.
Dr Degener visits the landfill exploration team at the Kuwait project.
Landfill examination in waste mangagement strategy development project in Kuwait.
Landfill examination in waste mangagement strategy development project in Kuwait.

At Fraunhofer UMSICHT, we support your transition towards a circular economy based on a thorough assessment of the current state of your waste management system and a holistic strategy development process. We know that circular economy is no one-size-fits-all concept and strive to tailor realistic solutions.

Actionable and technology-driven solutions

Starting with an extensive waste survey, we analyse the arising waste streams, their composition, amounts and chemical-physical properties. We include key stakeholders to understand the strengths, challenges and potentials of the current management system – including separation at source, collection and transport, and treatment technologies. During the strategy development process, we combine this knowledge of your status quo with our expertise on what is possible and feasible – technologically, politically and financially. By putting these together, we suggest goals and devise methods to promote waste prevention, boost recycling rates and make sure that waste disposal is safe and environmentally friendly.

Our experts understand the entire chain of possible waste management options from separation at source to landfill aftercare. This holistic view enables us to identify the existing gaps and address them properly.

Local basis and global perspectives

We operate both in Germany as well as globally with a special focus on the Middle East and North Africa – our most recent projects spanning countries like Tunesia, Kuwait, Ghana and Iran .

In our projects we make use of our broad network inside and well beyond the Fraunhofer community. This way we form suitable consortia with longstanding partners that covers all needs. At Fraunhofer UMSICHT we have experience in managing and leading joint projects budgeting up to 18 Mio. EUR.

Waste Management strategies

Methodology overview and consulting services.

Waste management stategy development - methodolgy and services

Waste management strategies by Fraunhofer

Waste Management Strategy Icon Graphic
Waste management strategy

No matter where you stand in your current waste management – we can analyse your status quo and develop your waste management strategy towards a more sustainable and holistic approach in the future.

In doing so, we consider the starting point of your country or region, all the stakeholder needs and the available budget. Our main focus is to develop goals and actions that are realistic and implementable. The strategy scope can reach from reducing landfilling rates to developing comprehensive zero waste and circular economy concepts.

Depending on your needs, the strategy development can be limited to certain problematic waste streams or extended to a national waste management strategy. Our products are streamlined with international guidelines and standards, e.g. UNEP.

How we work

  • Waste management strategy development according to international standards (e.g. UNEP) 
    • Identification of priority waste streams and issues 
    • Integration of stakeholders 
    • Definition of goals, targets and indicators 
    • Benchmarking 
    • Transparent decision making (e.g. Multi criteria analysis) 
    • Options for political action 
  • Waste collection and treatment concepts

What you get

  • Waste management strategy for selected or all waste types
  • Zero waste and waste reduction concepts 
  • Circular economy roadmap
  • Separate collection, recycling and recovery targets 
  • Monitoring plan and digital tools 
  • Legal strategy 
  • Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) implementation

Waste survey

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Waste surveys

The first step in moving towards sustainable waste and resource management is a reliable data base. We collect your existing data and fill gaps by developing and conducting customised waste surveys.

This can include waste amounts, composition and qualities as well as determining recycling and recovery potentials. Our services cover the entire process from survey planning, data collection and analysis, data base development, and information distribution through close-fit public relation services.

How we work

  • Analysis of status quo (e.g. assessment of available knowledge and data)
  • Tailor-made planning and execution of waste surveys
    • Sorting and sighting analyses - Laboratory analyses 
    • Interviews
    • Statistical analyses and extrapolations 
  • GIS database development

What you get

  • Interactive, realtime database on
    • waste amounts
    • waste composition and qualities 
    • recycling, recovery and waste prevention potentials 
  • Status quo of overall waste management and landfills

Technology assessment and selection

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Technology assessment and implementation

Whether you seek to optimise your current waste treatment process or want to expand in new technologies and markets – we can offer you the respective service to facilitate your goals.

As world leading application oriented research organisazation Fraunhofer offers business cases and feasibility studies for thermochemical processes, chemical recycling of plastics, incineration, fuel and biochar generation from waste and treatment emission monitoring.

How we work

  • Waste treatment technology assessment and selection 
    • Chemical recycling of plastics and composites 
    • Incineration 
    • Utilisation of biomass and biogenic residues 
    • Emission measurement and off-gas treatment 
  • Market research 
  • Technology development and optimisation

What you get

  • Optimisation of treatment processes and facilities 
  • Feasibility study for new technology integration 
  • Market entry scenario 
  • Business case

Sustainability assessment

Sustainability assessment

In the age of high environmental awareness, the environmental impact of processes and products is of high relevance both for governments as well as private companies.

We offer ISO standardised life cycle assessment –for specific products as well as entire waste management chains.

How we work

  • Life Cycle Assessment according to ISO 14040 / 44 
  • Environmental Product Declarations
  • GHG and Energy Balance 
  • Resource consumption

What you get

  • Environmental impact of processes and products

Training programs

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Training programs

We offer customised training programs to enable your organisation to monitor and plan your waste management activities in the future.

We develop training courses and material for your staff in all fields of our expertise. The training includes data gathering and sampling, data analyses and extrapolation, waste monitoring as well as all fields of waste handling and treatment. Our experts will conduct lectures and workshops at yourfacilities and offer practical trainings in the field.

How we work

  • Assessment of knowledge base
  • Definition of training targets
  • Design of customized training programs
  • Creation and production of training materials

What you get

  • Staff trained to successfully execute your waste management strategy 
    • Lectures and workshops by our expert 
    • Practical trainings in the field

Landfills analysis and treatment

Landfills evaluation and rehabilitation

Waste disposal on landfills has been the dominant form of waste management for decades. As these landfills have not always been properly engineered and operated, many countries today struggle with unknown risks from closed landfill sites.

At Fraunhofer UMSICHT we undertake a comprehensive risk assessment for your landfills by monitoring groundwater and air quality, soil pollution, and its respective risk to the environment and human settlements.

Based on such assessments, we develop rehabilitation strategies and after-use concepts for old landfill sites.

Additionally, we calculate current and future greenhouse gas emission from your landfill sites and can advise you on how to drastically reduce these emissions.

Through our innovative combination of geometry surveys, geotechnical and geophysical investigation, we can build a solid assessment even in case of limited data on waste amounts and types.

How we work

  • Assessment of available knowledge and data 
  • Historical investigation
  • Geometry survey 
  • Geotechnical investigation 
  • Geophysical investigation 
  • Landfillgas and groundwater monitoring and assessment

What you get

  • Risk-Assessment with regard to 
    • Groundwater 
    • Air quality 
    • Soil 
  • Population protection 
  • Documentation on GHG emissions 
  • Rehabilitation strategy 
  • After-use concept

Reference projects


Waste management strategy for Kuwait

The Recycling Management Department of Fraunhofer UMSICHT has received a major order to draw up a waste management plan for the Emirate of Kuwait. The project began in January 2017 and will run for four years. It has a volume of EUR 18 million. The client is the Environment Public Authority in Kuwait.


Sustainable waste management for Tunisia

The project for the modernisation of waste management in Tunisia under the leadership of the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT Sulzbach-Rosenberg is entering the implementation phase. In three model regions the cleanliness in the municipalities as well as the added value through recycling will be increased. At the same time, the pollutant load is to be reduced by collecting hazardous waste separately. The Bavarian State Chancellery is funding the project with EUR 960,000.


Technology innovation for WEEE in Ghana

The aim of the project is to examine how the existing treatment of WEEE can be supplemented by thermochemical methods and optimised distribution channels. This can increase the added value locally and at the same time reduce the environmental and health impacts.