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Waste Wise Cities Campaign

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

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

Assess quantity and type of waste

generated by residents,

establishments and businesses

Improve collection and

transportation of waste

Ensure environmentally safe

disposal of waste

Promote the 5 Rs – Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Refuse the use of single-use items, to derive maximum value from waste

Empower and work with civil society, NGOs, private and informal sectors

Establish better working conditions for waste workers, whether in formal or informal employment

Carefully evaluate and implement innovative technological alternatives, e.g. waste-to-energy schemes, and learn from other cities

Make long-term strategic plans for urbanisation, which fully consider solid waste generation and treatment

Design financial and other incentives, promoting a transition to a more circular economy and reducing waste;

Encourage “Rethinking on waste” through public education and awareness efforts to change public attitudes towards waste.

Regularly review progress on Municipal Solid Waste Management in the city and provide achievements and success stories annually on the Waste Wise Cities Campaign website

Strive towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the goals of the Paris Agreement and the New Urban Agenda

UN-Habitat will assist cities that join the Waste Wise Cities Campaign through:
  • Sharing knowledge and good practice on Municipal Solid Waste Management
  • Facilitating city-to-city collaboration on Municipal Solid Waste Management
  • Providing focused technical assistance on Municipal Solid Waste Management
  • Supporting city administration in monitoring and reporting on Municipal Solid Waste Management
  • Recognising the achievement and success of cities in their efforts to become "Waste Wise Cities"


Andre Dzikus

Coordinator Urban Basic Servoces Branch

UN Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

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