Network Overview

The Waste to Resources Network supports cities to accelerate the transition Towards Zero Waste, reducing waste generation and increasing diversion from landfill and incineration, through regenerative and circular economy principles.

Global waste generation is increasing faster than any other environmental pollutant. The International Solid Waste Association estimates that when all waste management actions, including disposal, recycling, composting and treatment, are considered, the waste sector could cut 10 to 15% of GHG emissions globally. When actions to reduce waste generation are also taken into account, the sector could reduce up to 20% of the global emissions.  

Waste management is also where mayors exercise significant authority, opening huge opportunities for ambitious action. Improving waste and materials management also contributes to making our cities cleaner, healthier, more resilient and inclusive. 

The Waste to Resources Network is led by Auckland.

Waste to Resources Network Focus Areas

Waste reduction - Preventing and minimising waste generation including restricting specific material streams (such as single use items and non-recyclable materials), incentive systems to change behaviour and awareness raising.

Increase diversion from landfill and incineration - Improving the quality of material streams through segregate collection, programs and public campaigns for enhancing recycling and reuse schemes, and deploying circular economy principles

Improved food and organic waste management – Implementation of opportunities for avoidance, utilization and treatment of food waste and improving the potential of carbon offset and sequestration

The network particularly supports cities that have signed or plan to sign the Advancing Towards Zero Waste Declaration in reaching the ambitious goals and targets: 

1) Reducing the municipal solid waste generation per capita by at least 15% by 2030 compared to 2015; and

2) Reducing the amount of municipal solid waste disposed to landfill and incineration by at least 50% by 2030 compared to 2015, and increase the diversion rate away from landfill and incineration to at least 70% by 2030.

An estimated 2.01 billion tonnes of municipal solid waste were generated in 2016, and this number is expected to grow to 3.40 billion tonnes by 2050 under a business-as-usual scenario (What a Waste 2.0, World Bank 2018) 

Read Global Food Waste Management: An Implementation Guide for Cities here.

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