Scaling up waste action

All communities, from large megacities to smaller towns and villages, generate waste. In almost all cases, communities are the primary decision makers when it comes to local waste management. They are thus in a unique position to integrate short-lived climate pollutant (SLCP) mitigation into the services they provide. There is immense potential to pilot waste management practices that reduce SLCP emissions, scale up those practices beyond pilot efforts, and replicate those practices in other communities facing similar challenges or circumstances. As more cities continue to join the Waste Initiative and implement improved waste management practices, greater SLCP emissions reductions are achieved. Learn how to take action!


Advancing sustainable municipal solid waste management is a priority for most communities around the world. For the Waste Initiative and its partners, reaching these thousands of cities, town, and villages, each with its own operating structure and circumstances, is a demanding, but vital task. Because directly working with each of these cities would require substantial institutional capacity, the challenge for the Waste Initiative and its partners is to improve waste management systems and reduce SLCP emissions in cities with which they have not engaged directly. 


The Waste Initiative has pledged to engage with 150 cities by 2020 to mitigate SLCPs from their waste management systems. Beyond that, the Waste Initiative envisions that those 150 cities will serve as a launch pad to eventually reach 1,000 cities and improve their waste management practices. To meet these ambitious goals and reduce SLCP emissions associated with waste management systems, cities require additional tools that support sound decision making related to these systems.

What we're doing

The Waste Initiative is working with diverse stakeholders including cities, national governments, non-governmental organisations, and the private sector to reduce emissions of SLCPs across the municipal solid waste sector. The Waste Initiative supports municipal efforts to scale up and replicate individual city actions within countries and across borders for each of its mitigation strategies (organic waste diversion, landfill gas capture and use, and open waste burning prevention) through the following actions:

  • Leveraging a global city network to drive replication through collaboration and mentorship
  • Partnering with national governments to scale up city action through enabling policy frameworks
  • Engaging the private sector to mobilise resources to accelerate implementation across many communities
  • Engaging development banks and agencies to mainstream SLCP mitigation into their lending and program portfolios
  • Sharing resources and best practices through the Municipal Solid Waste Knowledge Platform

Pollutants (SLCPs)