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The municipal solid waste management process consists of multiple stages, including upstream waste generation, midstream waste collection and processing, and downstream disposal. Each stage can generate revenues if adequately structured. Many of these potential revenue streams, however, are not effectively captured by cities, if at all. This is due to a range of challenges, including a lack of a regulatory framework for collecting fees, a lack of funds for household waste collection, and poor enforcement of fee and fine collection. Further, these revenue streams often do not generate enough profit to fund large, capital-intensive infrastructure projects, such as the construction of a new waste transfer station or sanitary landfill. In these cases, cities often need to seek external financing.
Identifying and accessing financing structures for solid waste management projects can be challenging. This fact sheet provides information to help cities understand both the internal revenue streams and the external financing options available for funding their projects.