WUF9 Side Event: Supporting the implementation of the New Urban Agenda: pro-poor local approaches for sustainable urban waste management

8 Feb 2018
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Waste Concern are supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda (NUA) in developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Since 2009, Waste Concern and ESCAP have implemented a project on “Pro-poor and sustainable solid waste management in secondary cities and small towns in Asia-Pacific.”. Through this project, Waste Concern and ESCAP have assisted national and local governments in six Asian developing countries to establish decentralized, pro-poor and locally appropriate Integrated Resource Recovery Centres (IRRCs) in seven secondary cities and small towns. The IRRCs are low-cost, decentralized and locally appropriate facilities that recover economic and ecological value from waste resources based on 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle), helping local governments to integrate the benefits of sustainable waste management into local plans and programs for sustainable development.

Waste Concern and ESCAP have established IRRCs in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Viet Nam, with capacities ranging from two to ten tons of incoming waste per day. These IRRCs receives segregated municipal solid waste and convert 80-90% of the waste into profitable waste products such as organic compost, bio-gas, clean energy and recyclables through simple, low-cost, and non-mechanized processes.

The process of establishing an IRRC is inherently inclusive and facilitates the building of multi-stakeholder partnerships among local and national governments, communities and relevant stakeholders. In addition, it enhances the local adoption of 3R practices. The efficient operation of an IRRC can provide a wide range of social, economic and environmental benefits, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, producing organic compost and biogas, providing stable employment for urban poor and informal waste workers, and increasing the local government’s revenue from waste management as opposed to the business-as-usual scenario of inefficient collection and unsanitary disposal of recoverable organic waste. The IRRCs directly and indirectly contribute towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, New Urban Agenda (NUA), and the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as well as the Regional Road Map for Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Regional Road Map) and Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development (MCED) in Asia and the Pacific.

Waste Concern and ESCAP are jointly organizing a side-event on “Supporting the implementation of the New Urban Agenda: pro-poor local approaches for sustainable urban waste management” at the Ninth Session of the World Urban Forum to share key lessons from the implementation of IRRCs for sustainable waste management in secondary cities and small towns, and to discuss strategies for integrating IRRCs into sustainable urban development plans and progammes. In doing so, Waste Concern and ESCAP will invite leading experts on urban resource efficiency, waste management and sustainability to share their insights on decentralized resource recovery approaches towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and transformative actions of the NUA.