WASTE WISE CITIES TOOL

This tool, developed by UN-Habitat, provides a 7 step guide for cities to collect data on waste generated, collected, and managed in controlled facilities, to identify the MSW recovery chain and criteria to check the environmental control level of waste management facilities in the city. 

TARGET USERS: Individuals, Businesses, Industry, Government

KEY CONSIDERATIONS: The Waste Wise Cities tool provides a methodology to monitor SDG indicator 11.6.1, and provides guidelines and ladders for MSW collection services, thereby bringing standardization around MSW data points.

    MORE INFORMATION: https://unhabitat.org/waste-wise-cities



    Collections: COLLECTION, DISPOSAL


    THE PROBLEM

    Basic data on municipal solid waste (MSW) generation and management is lacking globally, especially in low- and middle-income settings. This lack of data hinders the development of management strategies and investments in infrastructure, leading in many countries to insufficient or absent MSW management services. Poor MSW collection and management trigger severe threats to public health and pollute air and water. Furthermore, mismanaged waste is the main contributor to marine litter.

    Despite an increasing demand for waste statistics, there are important conceptual and methodological problems. The lack of internationally harmonized concepts, definitions and methodologies leads to incomparability of data and overlapping of concepts. The main guiding documents on environmental statistics, such as the Framework for Development of Environmental Statistics (FDES) and the System of Environmental Accounts (SEEA) give only general guidance and leave a lot open to different approaches and interpretations.

     

    THE SOLUTION

    The Waste Wise Cities Tool, developed by UN-Habitat, provides a 7 step guide for cities to collect data on waste generated, collected, and managed in controlled facilities, to identify the MSW recovery chain and criteria to check the environmental control level of waste management facilities in the city. The tool aligns with SDG indicator 11.6.1 to introduce key parameters that can help cities transition towards a circular economy. The Waste Wise Cities tool provides a methodology to monitor SDG indicator 11.6.1, and provides guidelines and ladders for MSW collection services, thereby bringing standardization around MSW data points.

     

    ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS

    There are many other tools for monitoring waste volumes, collection rates, recycling rates, etc. including Circular City Scan, WasteAware Benchmark Tool, WastAid UK’s Making Waste Work tool, among many others.

     

    CASE STUDY EXAMPLES

    The Waste Wise Cities Tool was tested in Nairobi (Kenya), Mombasa (Kenya) and Fnideq (Morocco) respectively. Experts from UN-Habitat, Wasteaware, Eawag and University of Leeds jointly with the respective Local Governments identified the flow of waste in the cities through:

    • household waste studies,
    • surveys of non-household premises, such as markets, schools, offices, etc.,
    • interviews with waste collection and recycling companies, as well as waste pickers
    • waste study at designated disposal sides.

    These assessments were followed by local stakeholders’ workshops, helping the cities to identify key areas of interventions and infrastructure investment gaps. Attendees were actors from the waste management chain as well as society: local government officials, private recycling and collection companies, informal waste pickers, representatives of manufacturers and residents, and many more.

    Results from the SDG 11.6.1 assessment in Mombasa, a Kenyan coastal city of 1.2 million inhabitants, show that about 750 t/day of MSW is generated, of which 56% is collected and 5% is managed in controlled facilities. Around 330 t/day remain uncollected. The second figure depicts the Mombasa’s Plastic Waste Flow. According to the assessment, plastic leakage is 3.7 kg per person/year; this is equivalent to 18 large trucks full of plastic waste being disposed into the Indian Ocean every day.

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