Globally, 23 cities pledge to reduce waste sent to landfills, incinerators by 50%

This commitment will avoid disposal of at least 87 million tonnes of waste by 2030

By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 30 August 2018
Credit: Wikimedia Commons Credit: Wikimedia Commons

From New York to Dubai and Sydney to Catalonia, 23 cities across the world have committed to reduce the amount of waste they generate. Taking a decisive step towards zero waste, these cities signed C40’s Advancing Towards Zero Waste Declaration, promising to reduce municipal solid waste (MSW) generation per capita by at least 15 per cent by 2030 compared to 2015; and also reduce the amount of MSW disposed to landfill and incinerator by at least 50 per cent by 2030 compared to 2015.

Signatory cities and regions


North America

Asia & Middle East








Tel Aviv



New York City












San Francisco




San Jose




Santa Monica












Washington D.C



With this pledge, 150 million people in the 23 cities and regions will avoid disposal of least 87 million tonnes of waste by 2030. The decision comes at a time when global waste generation is increasing faster, leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Current global MSW generation levels are about 1.3 billion tonnes per year, and are expected to increase to 2.2 billion tonnes per year by 2025.

According to the International Solid Waste Association, globally, the waste sector could reduce its GHG emissions by cut 10 to 15 per cent when all waste management actions like recycling, composting and treatment are considered. The sector could reduce up to 20 per cent of the global emissions, if actions are taken to reduce waste generation.

Some of the actions that signatory cities will implement

Reduce food losses and wasting of food at the retail and consumer levels by decreasing losses along production and supply chains.

  • Ensure source-segregated collection of food scraps and other organics and establish treatment infrastructure that recovers nutrients, energy and contributes to the restoration of carbon storage capacity in soils.
  • Support the implementation of local and regional policies such as extended producer responsibility and sustainable procurement to reduce or ban single-use and non-recyclable plastics and other materials.
  • Increase reduction, reuse, recovery and recycling of construction and demolition materials.
  • Increase accessibility, awareness, scale and inclusivity of reduction, reutilisation and recycling programmes and policies for all communities and neighbourhoods, investing in city-wide communication and engagement efforts.
  • Issue public report every two years on the progress the cities are making towards attaining these goals.

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :
Related Stories

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.