The Changemaker City Challenge pairs cities in emerging economies with partner cities to support the development of waste management systems. 

TARGET USERS: Individuals, Businesses, Industry, Government

KEY CONSIDERATIONS: As part of UN-Habitat’s Waste Wise Cities program, they launched a challenge to clean up and establish sustainable waste management programs in 20 cities around the world, by 2022.




    The world’s cities produce every year about 11 billion tonnes of solid waste. Managing waste properly is essential for building sustainable and livable cities, but it remains a challenge for many cities.

    Solid waste management is one of the basic services provided by local government units to the public, with significant impacts on public health and the environment when collection and processing capabilities are lacking. Thus, there is an urgent need to build the institutional and technical capabilities of local governments to address this need



    As part of UN-Habitat’s Waste Wise Cities program, they launched a challenge to clean up and establish sustainable waste management programs in 20 cities around the world, by 2022. Cities can apply to the challenge as either as Changemaker City, taking up the challenge, or as a Supporter City, assisting a Changemaker City.  

    The selected cities act as role models for sustainable waste management and are supported by UN-Habitat, its partners and the global community of waste management experts. By taking on the challenge, the cities also have a chance to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, create employment, promote economic growth, decrease operational costs and improve public health.

    Changemaker City: Cities that are ready to take up the challenge of cleaning up and establishing a sustainable waste management system by 2022. In collaboration with UN-Habitat, international experts and the Supporter Cities, Changemaker Cities will implement changes.

    To initiate the process by applying the Waste Wise Cities Tool, the city has to commit the following:

    • Human resources - 20 -30 people for 3 weeks, 2 full-time employees (project supervisor and manager) for the full time of the Challenge.
    • Financial resources - USD 25,000 (for Waste Wise Cities Tool)
    • In kind contribution - tools (gloves, tarpaulin, buckets, scales, masks, etc.), transport for waste collection and sites visits 

    Supporter City: Cities that are ready to guide and support Changemaker Cities on their journey towards sustainable waste management. Supporter Cities share their knowledge and experiences, build capacity of the Changemaker Cities’ staff, support the development of project proposals and mobilization of funds, as well accompany the implementation of the projects through field visits. They commit for the full time of the Challenge:

    • Human resources - 10 % of 2 full-time employees (project supervisor and technical expert)

    Financial resources for travelling to challenger city (at least 4 trips in 2 years), and for organization of workshops/study tours



    Other solutions that bring stakeholders together to address waste management issues collectively or in partnership include Municipal Unions and Public – Private Partnerships, among others.



    Supporter City | Changemaker City

    Vienna (Austria) | Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

    Kushtia (Bangladesh) | Sunkoshi (Nepal)

    Ratnapura (Sri Lanka) | Jambi (Indonesia)

    Bonn (Germany) | Cape Coast (Ghana)

    Indore (India) | Bahir Dar (Ethiopia)

    Al-Manara (Lebanon) | Hazmieh (Lebanon)

    Ghalboun (Lebanon) | Byblos (Lebanon)

    Beit Mery (Lebanon) | Rmeish (Lebanon)

    Osaka (Japan) | Yangon (Myanmar)

    Ashdod (Israel) | Mezitli (Turkey)

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