Reports, Case Studies & Assessments

Sustainable Financing and Policy Models for Municipal Composting


Organic waste management is a growing global concern as cities experience increasing waste generation and the associated climate impact. Traditionally, municipal waste has been managed using a range of solutions, from advanced technologies, such as well-designed sanitary landfills in high capacity countries, to open dumping and burning in low-capacity countries. Composting is a sustainable organics management solution that can potentially be low cost and require less technical capacity than alternative treatment methods. Composting is being adopted as an organic waste management strategy as well as a way to address climate change and agricultural needs.

This report focuses on the financing and policy environment that could lead to successful composting projects and the preconditions that must be in place before considering composting as an option. This report will provide an overview of optimal market conditions, common financing options, and enabling policy environments for composting projects globally. This report is structured as follows: 1) Chapter one introduces background information on composting generally and discusses the opportunities and challenges faced in developing countries; 2) Chapter two provides an overview of prevailing market conditions and strategies that would ideally lead to a sustainable composting sector; 3) Chapter three details common financing mechanisms for composting projects that have been used for composting projects globally; 4) Chapter four discusses the policy environments and incentives that promote composting production and market development; 5) Chapter five discusses Austria’s decentralized, agricultural model of composting; 6) Chapter six presents success factors behind Waste Concern, a private joint venture formed in Bangladesh; 7) Chapter seven features the organic farm model of composting in Brazil; 8) Chapter eight discusses a public and private composting operation in India; 9) Chapter nine describes a national grant program that powered municipal-scale composting in Sri Lanka; and 10) Chapter ten highlights the history and development of organics recycling in Europe.

This report has been prepared in a collaboration with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC). The CCAC and the World Bank generously provided financing for the work conducted.

Information in the report is based on both primary sources, including field work, practitioner interviews and public records, and secondary source materials which are cited throughout.