World Habitat Day logos

Bilbao, Spain, 7 October 2019 - Mayors and city representatives shared a wide range of stories on waste management during an event co-organized between UN-Habitat and the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) at the ISWA World Congress on World Habitat Day.

The World Habitat Day theme for 2019 is Frontier technologies as an innovative tool to transform waste to wealth. The campaign draws on the long-standing expertise of UN-Habitat in delivering basic services, especially to the urban poor. In its global report on “Solid Waste Management in the World’s Cities”, published in 2010, UN-Habitat established the framework of integrated sustainable waste management. According to this framework, waste management systems have to take care of both the physical and the governance aspects of waste.

The physical aspects include waste collection, the 5Rs of recycling (Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) as well as waste disposal. The governance aspects encompass stakeholder inclusivity, financial sustainability, and the institutional framework.

The Mayor of Nova Odessa, São Paulo, Mr. Benjamin Bill Vieira da Souza shared his life story of growing up on a dumpsite with his brother and father, picking waste and surviving on food waste. Ms. Aline Cardoso, Municipal Secretary of Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development, City of São Paulo, spoke about a food waste reduction and income generation project with women exposed to domestic violence.

Isaac Muraya, the Director of Environment, Nairobi City County described their collaborative work with UN-Habitat on pilot waste SDG data collection and how credible data on waste helped him to identify necessary actions for next year. Andre Dzikus, UN-Habitat’s Coordinator of Urban Basic Services Branch, introduced the Waste Wise Cities Campaign and how it can help cities to tackle the dauting challenge of waste management.

The session was closed with signing ceremony of Memorandum of Understanding between UN-Habitat and ISWA to promote of sustainable solid waste management, monitor credible waste data, develop evidence-based waste management projects and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals connected to waste by 2030.

This year World Habitat Day celebrations were held across the world including Cameroon, Kenya, Canada, Japan, Thailand, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. Last year over 80 cities, towns and communities celebrated the day.

To give cities and local governments a guideline to establish integrated sustainable waste management systems, Waste Wise Cities Campaign promotes 12 principles. By joining the Waste Wise Cities campaign cities and local governments commit to these principles and promote sustainable waste management. UN-Habitat supports members of Waste Wise Cities Campaign in the following four key action areas: Data & Monitoring, Knowledge & Best Practices Sharing, Advocacy & Education, and Project Finance & Bankability Support.

ISWA World Congress on World Habitat Day
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