Waste Wise Cities Challenge

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: UN-Habitat’s Waste Wise Cities program has launched a challenge to clean-up and establish sustainable waste management programs in 20 cities around the world by 2022.

MORE INFORMATION: Visit Waste Wise Cities Challenge Website


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

Solid waste management is one of the basic services provided by local government 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.


UN-Habitat’s Waste Wise Cities Program launched a challenge to clean-up and establish sustainable waste management programs in 20 cities around the world by 2022. Cities (old and new members of the Waste Wise Cities Campaign) can apply to the challenge either as a Changemaker City, taking up the challenge, or as a Supporter City, assisting a Changemaker City.  

Selected Supporter 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, Changemaker Cities have the chance to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create employment, promote economic growth, decrease operational costs and improve public health.

Changemaker Cities 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 and must commit to:

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

Supporter Cities 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 Changemaker City staff, support the development of project proposals and mobilization of funds, as well accompany the implementation of projects through field visits. They commit for the full time of the Challenge:

  • Human resources: 10 % of two full-time employees (project supervisor and technical expert)
  • Financial resources for travelling to respective Challenger City partner (at least 4 trips in 2 years) and for organization of workshops/study tours.

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)


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

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