Managing our waste 2021

View from the Global South

The Managing Our Waste report calls for a people-centred approach to the waste crisis. Rather than focusing on waste flows and particular types of waste, we must turn attention to the waste services people need, and to opportunities for the most marginalised to be a core part of the solution.

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“With a good mix of benchmark indicators, qualitative and participatory methods, the report explores physical and governance elements of waste management in the selected cities, and takes a deep dive into livelihoods aspects, including the gendered dimensions of waste management.”

Sonia Maria Dias
Waste specialist, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)

“Most development work tackles the issue of solid waste management from the ‘top down’, and often focuses on (large scale) infrastructure. Practical Action strengthens the ‘bottom-up’, people-centred aspects. I commend to you this important new manifesto to put people back at the centre of how we manage our solid wastes.”

Professor David C. Wilson
Visiting Professor in Resource and Waste Management, Imperial College London; Lead author of UNEP’s Global Waste Management Outlook

“We should be putting people’s experiences and the overall improvement of people’s lives first – considering both short and long-term implications. Our assessments need to ensure they are achieving this, and that is something central to this report.”

Dr Costas Velis
Lecturer in Resource Efficiency Systems, School of Civil Engineering, Leeds University

Our key message about a people-centred approach is grounded in four contrasting case study cities where fieldwork took place between October 2020 and February 2021.

 

  • Kisumu, Kenya
  • Dakar, Senegal
  • Satkhira, Bangladesh
  • Dhenkanal, Odisha State, India

The Challenge

2 billion people live without waste collection services
Waste generated in lower-income cities in Africa and Asia will double by 2030
12% of global methane gas emissions come from open dumping of waste

Watch our Launch Webinar

In this webinar with UN-Habitat’s Waste Wise Cities, we share the findings from four contrasting towns and cities from Africa and South Asia. Hear from our CEO, Sarah Roberts, as well as a panel of experts and local stakeholders.

  • Sarah Roberts (CEO of Practical Action)
  • Dr Lucy Stevens (Acting Director Influence and Impact at Practical Action)
  • Noémie de la Brosse (Consultant at OPLM)
  • Mrs Aklima Akhter (Waste Worker from Faridpur, Bangladesh)
  • Mr. Shamim Ahmed (President of BPGMEA – Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association)
  • John Sande (Deputy Director of Environment, County Government of Kisumu, Kenya)
  • Lucy Slack (Secretary-General of Commonwealth Local Government Forum)
  • Yashwant Deval (Area Director for India & Bangladesh at RiverRecycle)

Report Downloads

Managing Our Waste 2021: View from the Global South

Dealing with the waste we all generate is a growing global challenge. Waste management problems are conventionally descr...

Managing Our Waste 2021: View from the Global South - Summary Brief

Dealing with the waste we all generate is a growing global challenge. Waste management problems are conventionally descr...

Managing Our Waste 2021 - Case Studies Infographic

Dealing with the waste we all generate is a growing global challenge. Waste management problems are conventionally descr...

Managing Our Waste - People-Centred Approach Infographic Poster

Dealing with the waste we all generate is a growing global challenge. Waste management problems are conventionally descr...