NAIROBI, 28 May 2019 – Today UN-Habitat made a call to all Governments, Local authorities and cities in the world to join the waste wise cities campaign.

The campaign was launched during the World Habitat day by Ms. Maimunah Mohd Shariff on 1st of October 2018, aims at supporting cities identify waste gaps as well as interventions that suit the needs of each city.

Solid waste management is an issue that affects everyone. The amount of individual waste grows daily, accounting for a large portion of the local government budget and affecting public health. Poor solid waste collection and disposal results in uncontrolled dump sites and waste burning. It also leads to polluted air and water. A change in public attitudes to minimize waste and stop littering, the regularisation of informal waste pickers, increased recycling and reusing, sufficient funding and solid waste planning including adequate landfill sites, can help cities to improve the current state of solid waste management and save money to become ‘Waste Wise Cities’

“We are glad that we joined the waste wise cities campaign, on 25 May we held clean-up in Kisii town. We will continue to sensitize our County on the importance of waste management. UN-Habitat has worked with Kisii County in improving waste management together we have developed a waste management strategy for the county, we have a waste recycling plant through a pilot project. We have 25 youths who are trained and working at this recycling centre, they sort out waste and recycle plastics and mould them into usable containers said Dr. Skitter Mbugua Kisii County Executive Committee for Energy, Water and Environment & Natural Resources.

Waste wise cities campaign is focusing on four key action areas knowledge, good practices sharing; waste data and monitoring; advocacy; project development and financing. During the press conference Mr. Przekek Pyziel of planet Heroes said “we raise money using internet campaigns to support communities that are determined and working hard to make a difference. We join hands to support waste wise cities and we shall promote the campaign.” The campaign also ties up with partners such as Planet Heroes, creating world's first eco-crowdfunding platform. By matching Community Based Organizations and waste management entrepreneurs who are actively engaged in cleaning cities or recycling on the ground, they will receive financial support for their work from the Patrons, who will directly fund environmental activities online. The campaign will expand these partnerships for more innovative actions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals concerning waste management

The provision of basic urban services is crucial to creating a better quality of life for citizens. Globally 2 billion people do not have access to municipal solid waste collection services and 3 billion people lack access to controlled waste disposal facilities. If not addressed now, dumpsites will produce 8 – 10% of the global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. ”We looked at challenges affecting our community including frequent Cholera outbreaks, as youths in the informal settlement of Mathare we decided to find a solution for waste management. We collect a charge of Ksh.50 per month from each household. We offer the households gunny bags for them to put their waste and we collect and take to designated places. This has also created employment to the youths said Isaac Muasa Chair Mathare Environment Conservation Youth group in Kenya and UN-Habitat scroll of honour winner.

Sustainable and integrated waste management can be a main driver to reach Sustainable Development Goal 11 by creating green jobs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to a circular economy, as well as improving air, soil and water quality. “UN-Habitat would like to thank all the 70 cities and local governments who have joined the waste wise cities and committed to the campaign’s principles for sustainable waste management. We expect many more cities and local Governments to join during this week said Mr. Andre Dzikus, UN-Habitat representative.