Solid waste management has been a central theme addressed in a series of Connective Cities events in Sub-Saharan Africa, two workshops in the Middle East as well as in one event in Germany. Effective management can not only reduce harmful effects of waste but may also unlock its economic and resource-saving potentials. Solid Waste Management is thus a vital municipal service related to public health, environment, climate, economic development and income generation. Many cities worldwide struggle to provide their citizens with adequate SWM services in the face of increasing waste quantities, caused by growing populations and changing consumption patterns. A lack of management, financial and technical capacities is generally deemed responsible for the critical state of SWM systems. The concept of Integrated Sustainable Solid Waste Management (ISWM) addresses the waste sector in a comprehensive manner that includes both physical and governance dimensions along four main functions of Municipal SWM; Prevention/Reduction, Collection, Reuse/Recycling/Recovery, and Disposal.
Municipal enterprises play an important role to provide this service and contribute their good practices to enhance capacities of municipalities in partner countries to develop their own municipal solid waste management plans. Elements centre on the principles of reduce-reuse-recycle and provide ample space to establish efficient practices on waste collection, separating and sorting, and recycling. Moreover, issues of awareness raising among citizens and involving the private sector in service provision feature prominently.