Vision, objectives and principles

Vision of the CWG

The CWG aims to achieve fundamental improvements in the approach to solid waste management in low-and middle-income countries, focusing in particular in improved livelihoods and living conditions for the urban poor.

Specific Objectives of the CWG

The CWG seeks

  • to raise the profile of SWM with decision-makers at city, national and international levels
  • to serve as a centre of expertise and knowledge on integrated and sustainable SWM in low- and middle-income countries
  • to build regional capacity for improved and sustainable SWM
  • to develop and disseminate new knowledge products on SWM

Some guiding principles

Concept of “solid waste management”

The CWG sees solid waste management not primarily from a technical standpoint, but acknowledges that social, financial, administrative and political aspects are often more important than technical factors. The CWG promotes integrated and sustainable solid waste management (generally abbreviated to ISWM), an approach to waste management stretching beyond the usual technical, financial and equipment-oriented approach, and taking into account local socio-cultural, environmental, institutional, financial/economic, policy and political aspects.

Concept of “collaborative working group/network”

The CWG operates as a network organisation and as a centre of expertise, to integrate, in a flexible way, various organisations and practitioners in the North and the South that together possess a wealth of knowledge, thus making their knowledge available to a wider audience. It also provides a mechanism for sponsors to co-ordinate their interventions in this area, and to link them into the wider international agendas.

Importance of SWM in the international development agenda

The CWG wants to demonstrate the linkages of improved SWM to poverty reduction, sustainable urban development, improved public health, improved urban governance, sustainable consumption and production, combating climate change and protecting biodiversity, and seeks working linkages with other fora to ensure that SWM is integrated into those wider agendas.