Publications & Technical Material

UN-Habitat and its partners have published influencing reports, inspiring publications and to-the-point factsheets on different waste related topics. Don't miss the opportunity to learn something new, check them out!

Technical Report

Leaving no one behind - How a global instrument to end plastic pollution can enable a just transition for the people informally collecting and recovering waste

This report provides an overview on the importance of the Informal Waste and Recovery Sector (IWRS) for ending plastic pollution. It outlines how the current negotiations towards a global instrument to end plastic pollution can leverage a just transition of the IWRS. It calls for the just transition of the IWRS to be fair, inclusive, and equitable, generating and preserving decent work opportunities in a way that leaves no one behind. This involves enabling IWRS workers to pursue their livelihoods in a dignified manner, by their choice either inside or outside of the sector and involving stakeholders impacted by the transition in the development and implementation process. Key elements of a just transition of the IWRS include official and legislative recognition, protection of human and labour rights, access to social services and health schemes, and fair payment for work for all IWRS stakeholders. These are key considerations to bring to the first meeting of the INC but are also basic elements of promoting a just transition in local and national policies that aim to formalize and integrate informal waste and recovery workers as part of strategies to end plastic pollution.

COVID-19 & Municipal Solid Waste Management

UN-Habitat (2020): Strategy Guidance: Solid Waste Management Response to COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting the lives of people across the globe, it is also affecting waste management. With lock-downs and physical distancing, there are challenges with the disruption or failure of urban basis services, including the collection, treatment and disposal of waste, which is essential for hygiene and public health. The changes to daily routines are altering the amount and type of waste generated from households and public spaces, and with potential threats from infectious and medical waste including masks, and used tissues, contaminating the municipal waste stream. These changes are also causing temporary stoppages of some waste value chain activities (e.g. recyclables are not purchased by recyclers), impacting upon livelihoods of the most vulnerable (e.g. waste pickers) as well as material recovery. There is a need to adequately and safely dispose of the collected waste from households and medical facilities dealing with COVID-19 treatment.

Municipal Solid Waste Management

UN-Habitat (2010): Solid Waste Management in the World's Cities 2010

In a rapidly urbanizing global society, solid waste management will be a key challenge facing all the world's cities. This publication provides a fresh perspective and new data on one of the biggest issues in urban development. Using the framework of Integrated Sustainable Waste Management, the report presents unprecedented research from 22 cities across six continents.

It describes the rich diversity of waste management systems used throughout the world drawing out the practical lessons for policymakers. The volume is essential reading for all professionals and policymakers in the field and a valuable resource for researchers and students.

UN-Habitat (2008): Solid Waste Management Technical Guideline For Municipalities of Nepal

The Solid Waste Management Technical Guideline For Municipalities Of Nepal will be helpful for the municipal staff and other stakeholders in dealing with solid waste management activities.

UN-Habitat (2010): Collection of Municipal Solid Waste in Developing Countries

This book is intended to assist those who influence public and private sector investments in solid waste collection systems in developing countries. It seeks to address decision-makers, solid waste management engineers, consultants who are engaged in the planning and provision of solid waste management systems, manufacturers (as well as potential manufacturers) of refuse collection vehicles, and students learning about solid waste management in low- and middle-income countries. It focuses on the design of collection systems and the selection of refuse collection vehicles, since thorough and rational planning and assessment at this stage are crucial for overall system efficiency and performance. It aims to create awareness of vehicle design and operational features which are essential for ensuring efficiency in waste collection systems and of the potential roles of alternatives to motorised vehicles.

Specifically, the purposes of the report are:

  1. to provide information that can lead to the development of reliable and affordable solid waste collection systems
  2. to provide technical information for the design and manufacture of alternative vehicles that are well suited to local production, operational capacities and physical conditions, and are more cost-effective than capital-intensive vehicles from industrialised countries in the northern hemisphere.

Whilst the focus of this publication is on waste collection vehicles, it must be remembered that the successful operation of the vehicles depends on the effectiveness of the whole waste collection system, and on a range of other factors. 



UNESCO Green Academies - Guidelines for Climate Resilient Schools (Brochure)

This brochure encourages capacity building in communities to transition towards climate resilience. It is based on scientific knowledge to improve the relationship between people and the environment as prescribed by the Man and Biosphere Programme. Relevant technical information for implementation is accessible in “Nature-based solutions for Water (2018)”, ” Better Buildings.

Enhanced Water, Energyand Waste-Management in Arab Urban Ecosystems-Globally Applicable”, Schwarze et al. (2010) and “Guidelines for UNESCO Green Academies in Africa - Globally Applicable”, Calisesi et al. (2016).

Innovative Experiences of Cities on Environmental Sustainability and Climate Action through South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC)

Climate change effects are negatively impacting our cities, Nevertheless, cities around the world are spearheading innovative solutions in many areas of low-emission climate-resilient development and environmental sustainability and increasingly joining forces and learning from each other to collectively strengthen environmental protect.

Under the South-South Cities Project Framework, the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat) produced the report “Innovative Experiences of Cities on Environmental Sustainability and Climate Action through South-South and Triangular Cooperation”. The publication features 12 case studies from 15 cities in six sectors of environmental sustainability and climate action, providing useful insights on practical and effective solutions to inspire, replicate, and upscale South-South and triangular cooperation at the sub-national level in different contexts.

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Get to know more

Contact : Andre Dzikus . Chief, Urban Basic Services Section United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) .

Contact : Andre Dzikus . Chief, Urban Basic Services Section United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) .