Social Science Centre 2333

Contact Information


Paul van der Werf

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Paul was educated at the University of Guelph where he received an undergraduate degree in Environmental Biology and completed a Master of Science degree in the department of Land Resource Science. In November 2018 he graduated from Western University’s Department of Geography Ph.D. program, under the supervision of Dr. Jason Gilliland. His research focused on improving the methodologies for measuring food waste as well as developing and testing interventions to reduce the production of household food waste.

Paul is a recognized waste management expert with more than 27 years of national and international professional experience in the waste industry. This has included facility management (composting) and providing consulting services to the private and public sectors. His key skills are developing and implementing waste composition measurement methodologies, overseeing complex waste composition studies, waste management planning as well as specialized expertise in food waste measurement and reduction and organic waste management.

With 2cg he oversaw and completed more than 500 waste characterization studies, including residential, ICI (institutional, commercial and industrial), MRF (material recovery facilities), C&D (construction and demolition), MHSW (municipal hazardous or special waste) and agricultural packaging wastes that included more than 1,600 days of field sampling. This included sampling in various venues including curbside, ICI generators, C&D processors and directly at landfill.

Paul used this data and data collected by others for municipal and other waste management planning purposes. This included completing or contributing to municipal integrated waste management master plans, waste diversion plans, recyclable and organic waste strategy development, provincial policy development and agricultural packaging waste diversion strategies. Many of these studies have included a long-term forecasting component. More recently 2cg has been using their skills to collect detailed information on food waste generation, through direct measurement, in the residential (e.g. City of Toronto, City of London) and ICI sectors.

Paul played an active role in the development of the organic waste processing industry in Canada. Currently, he is a Board member of the Ontario Waste Management Association and co-chairs their Waste Diversion committee. Paul is a long-time commentator on waste management across the country in his past role as contributing editor and columnist for Solid Waste and Recycling Magazine. He has written more than 135 articles.

  1. PhD, Food Waste Prevention

    Western University
  2. BSc (Honours), Environmental Biology

    University of Guelph
  3. MSc, Land Resource Science

    University of Guelph