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Community Waste Management, was proposed as a project to the European Commission Research Directorate in 1999. The project began in 2000 and has been conducted in three phases, i.e. COWAM 1, COWAM 2, and COWAM in Practice. As an example of the COWAM approach to exploring public participation in decision-making processes, the work performed during COWAM 2 was divided into five “Work Packages.” Work Package 1 involved a “local democracy” research group that shared knowledge about local committee building. Work Package 2 involved a research group on “influence of local actors on the national decision-making process.” Work Package 3 involved a research group on “quality of the decision-making process.” Work Package 4 involved a “long term governance” research group. Work Package 5 reported the results of three annual National Sessions that involved COWAM participants. The results of the work are reported in a suite of documents organized around these work packages.