Network Overview

The Sustainable Solid Waste Systems (SSWS) Network supports cities to deliver a holistic approach to waste management operations through improved disposal, collection and transportation, better recycling, organics utilization, landfill diversion and alternative disposal.

Waste management is one of the key services every city government must provide with widely variable service levels, costs and environmental impacts. As the world population becomes more urbanized and affluent, the increase of waste generation is putting enormous pressure on local governments, primarily in the rapidly growing cities of Africa, Latin America and South East – West Asia.  Poorly managed waste and lack of sanitation facilities has an enormous impact on the climate, public health, the environment, and the economy.

Waste generation is growing faster than any other environmental pollutant, especially in the developing regions where the contributions from municipal solid waste (MSW) to overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are largest. To address the global and local impacts of waste generation and disposal, sustainable waste management systems must be planned, developed, and operated within the framework of local resource availability, economics, and environmental concerns. By understanding the benefits and disadvantages of various management technologies, local decision makers can best allocate resources, select processes and vendors, and develop policies and procedures to meet the community’s needs while reducing emissions.

The C40 SSWS Network’s partnership with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition - Municipal Solid Waste Initiative (CCAC-MSWI) enables cities to more rapidly and comprehensively advance in the waste hierarchy to avoid and mitigate the generation of Short Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCPs) from the municipal solid waste sector. This partnership brings together organizations and governments with decades of experience, including the U.S. EPA, Environment Canada, Ministry of Environment Japan, the Global Methane Initiative, the World Bank, the UN Environment Programme, the International Solid Waste Association, and many others. To date, more than 20 C40 cities have benefitted through technical assistance, training and city exchanges from the CCAC partnership. 

Sustainable Solid Waste Systems Network Focus Areas

Cities participating in the network have prioritized three focus areas around which they are actively sharing policies, strategies, ideas and challenges with one another. The focus areas are:

Improving solid waste management systems - waste infrastructure development, technology evaluation, national and sub-national policy evaluation, deploying cost-effective and efficient waste collection and transportation services

Waste recovery and disposal mechanisms - city strategies and policies designed to manage disposal and recovery facilities such as landfills, composting, waste-to-energy plants, materials recycling facilities (MRFs) etc.

Social inclusion - recognition of the importance of informal sector participation, citizen engagement through public campaigns and programs, other socialized approaches to waste collection and management services

The Sustainable Solid Waste Systems Network is led by Delhi and Durban.

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