A worker and the Executive Director of UN-Habitat looking at plans.
Man collecting trash on a beach
Children holding up a recycle box of plastic bottles
Man with helmet holding two plastic bottles

Waste from homes, markets, businesses and institutions is thrown on the streets, in drains, dumped next to communities or openly burnt. Not only does this make our cities unsightly and unattractive to tourists and investors, it leads to flooding, air and water pollution, diseases as well as respiratory and other health problems. The urban poor are the most affected.

Men collecting trash

Key Principles

UN-Habitat invites cities to join the Waste Wise Cities. To join, cities are requested to confirm their commitment to follow the Key Principles, which assist them on their way to becoming a Waste Wise City.

How can UN-Habitat assist you?

UN-Habitat will assist cities that join the Waste Wise Cities through:

Points on how UN-Habitat can help you through the Waste-Wise Cities

Waste Wise Education

UN-Habitat launched two initiatives: African Clean Cities Platform (ACCP) and Waste Wise Cities (WWC), to tackle municipal waste management issues. ACCP and WWC are regional and global waste management initiatives respectively, focusing on 4 key action areas: Waste Data & Monitoring; Knowledge & Good Practices Sharing; Advocacy & Education; Project Finance & Bankability Support.

Related Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 3 logo
SDG 6 logo
SDG 7 logo
SDG8 Icon
SDG 11 logo
SDG 12 logo
SDG 13 logo
SDG 14 logo
SDG 17 logo

Leaving no one and no place behind

Hover over or click the icons to learn about UN-Habitat's work on social inclusion here.

The integration of informal waste worker into the formal waste management chain is one of the priorities of the campaign.

Human rights icon

Equitable access to waste collection services is addressed in the campaign.

Gender icon

Youth, children and older persons, especially those in situations of particular risk of marginalization, such as girl child and female-headed households, are often excluded from access to housing, urban basic services, public spaces and infrastructure, and the overall benefits of urbanization. Young women and men have been a key focus of UN-Habitat’s work. The agency has successfully advocated for the role of youth as leaders in sustainable urban development, recognizing the guiding principle of the SDGs of “leaving no one behind,” and the New Urban Agenda vision of cities for all. 

Children icon

Sustainable urban development can only be achieved if persons with disabilities are included meaningfully in decision-making and are able to access their rights. UN-Habitat partners with representative groups and individual rights holders, as well as national and local governments, relevant UN bodies and civil society to maximize impact and to meaningfully ensure that the rights including accessibility and universal design of persons with disabilities are promoted, respected and protected. 

Disability icon