Important legal notice
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Environment - Understanding the environment and the impacts of green technologies
“To identify the least environmentally damaging waste management options for sustainable economic growth.”

The problem

Knowledge gaps and a lack of methodology constrain efforts to map and forecast waste flows in Europe. Furthermore, no mechanism exists to assess how waste policy and recycling choices affect the strategic aim of decoupling economic growth from environmental impact. With large differences occurring across Europe, a flexible and integrated modelling approach is needed to assess waste management technologies, predict future waste generation and inform future waste management policy.

FORWAST  Assessing Europe's future waste management options


FORWAST will utilise state-of-the-art material flow accounting (MFA) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to map and forecast waste flows, and to devise scenarios for future waste management and recycling strategies in the EU-27.

The project will:

  • Provide an inventory of the historical physical stock of waste materials in the EU
  • Model material flows to forecast the expected amounts of waste generated in the next 25 years
  • Assess life-cycle environmental impacts for different scenarios of waste prevention, recycling and waste management

Contribution to policy development:

  • FORWAST will help to improve data on waste stocks and enhance estimates of future waste quantity and composition so as to support policy decisions.
  • The project will carry out life cycle assessment of different resource categories to identify environmentally beneficial technological options.
  • It will support the Sixth Environmental Action Programme priority ‘Sustainable use and management of natural resources and wastes’.
  • It will contribute to wider EU sustainable development and environmental policy.

Project deliverables

  • First model matrix for resource and product flows, with environmental indicators – September 2007
  • Report on three hypothetical waste treatment policy scenarios – March 2008
  • Database of material flows and stocks for EU-27 – May 2008
  • Documentation on 25-year forecasts, waste generation and environmental impacts, and description of the final model used for scenario analyses – July and December 2008
  • Policy recommendations and conclusions concerning priority waste flows, and recycling and treatment options – September 2008


  • Project website – June 2007
  • Interim and Final Reports – September 2007, October 2008 and March 2009
  • Publications in professional journals, and conference proceedings – February 2009
  • European workshop and publication of proceedings – February 2009
  • Training course – February 2009

Technical information

Project acronym: FORWAST
Project’s official full title: Overall mapping of physical flows and stocks of resources to forecast waste quantities in Europe and identify life-cycle environmental stakes of waste prevention and recycling
Research priority:Environmental assessment (soil, water, air, noise, including the effects of chemical substances)
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no: 044409
Start date: March 2007
Kick off meeting: March 2007
Completion date: 28 February 2009
European Commission scientific officer: Michele Galatola,

Name: Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières, Orléans
Abbreviated name: BRGM
Address: 3 Avenue Claude-Guillemin
BP 36009
45060 Orléans Cedex 2
Country: France
Tel: +33(0)2 38 64 34 34


Name: 2.-0 LCA consultants ApS, Copenhagen
Abbreviated name: 2.-0 LCA
Country: Denmark

Name: Resource Management Agency, Vienna
Abbreviated name: RMA
Country: Austria

Name: University of Technology – Institute for Water Quality and Waste Management, Vienna
Abbreviated name: TU Vienna
Country: Austria

Name: University of Stuttgart – Institute of Sanitary, Water Quality and Solid Waste Management
Abbreviated name: U. Stuttgart
Country: Germany

Name: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Abbreviated name: U. Thessaloniki
Country: Greece

Name: Central Mining Institute, Katowice
Abbreviated name: GIG
Country: Poland