Resilient Waste Management Community

Resilient Waste Management Community


Mission and resilience scope

With the world’s focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, the first priority is rightly preservation of life and health, no matter where we are. But the impacts of COVID-19 go far beyond immediate threats to public health, and they are affecting every aspect of our lives.

Waste management systems are no exception. The pandemic is producing increased amounts of plastic household waste and hazardous medical waste. We need to manage these changes for our immediate safety and for the long-term welfare of our communities. We must treat waste management as the urgent and essential public service it is.

City leaders have long grappled with waste management systems, but COVID-19 has exposed vulnerabilities in new ways, and has increased the risk of system failure. This is particularly true in the Global South, where gaps and deficiencies have shaped under-resourced local waste management systems for decades.

Every day, millions of informal waste pickers reclaim recyclables from household waste to earn their living. In doing so they make important contributions to reducing the carbon footprint of cities, recovering resources, and improving environmental conditions and health. Waste picking also creates jobs and income among the poor, particularly in low-income residential areas. However, these contributions are still largely unrecognized and unaccounted for.

This is why the Resilient Cities Network, The Circulate Initiative, and Ocean Conservancy have come together to provide city leaders with the knowledge and tools they need to address these challenges, with support from experts around the globe.

Through this Community of Practice we will develop and exchange information about how cities can improve and strengthen their waste management systems to ensure a resilient recovery from COVID-19 – a recovery that makes cities stronger, more effective, and more equitable far into the future.

For more information on how to join this Community of Practice, please email or


Other resources

Resilience on the front lines: Building clean, healthy cities for clean, healthy seas
Virtual Ocean Dialogues Deep Dive Session
Urban Ocean

Waste Management in Crisis and Recovery
Coronavirus Speaker Series: Sharing Knowledge to Respond with Resilience Cities on the Frontline: COVID-19

Resilient Waste Management Community