Solid waste management is a vast, multidimensional, and expensive challenge. And it is growing — the World Bank projects that municipal solid waste streams will nearly double worldwide by 2025. Municipal solid waste landfills are the third largest source of global methane emissions, and open garbage burning emits black carbon and other air toxics as well as greenhouse gases. This is why the CCAC launched an initiative to work directly with cities around the world to significantly reduce short-lived pollutants like methane and black carbon from the waste sector. The Municipal Solid Waste initiative has made significant progress over the past year and is an excellent example of how the CCAC is able to bring global stakeholders together to bring about on-the-ground change and rapid SLCP emissions reductions.

Since its launch last year at the Rio+20 conference, endorsed by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Mayor Bloomberg of New York, and Mayor Paes of Rio de Janeiro, the CCAC MSW initiative has grown to over a dozen participating partners, and launched on-the-ground efforts to rapidly reduce SLCP emissions from the waste sector in eight pilot cities and three mentor cities (see below for current participating cities). The initiative is providing targeted technical assistance, working directly with national governments and cities with strong political will to implement new local projects aimed at reducing methane and black carbon emissions from municipal solid waste. Projects identified so far include landfill gas collection systems, composting programs, reducing open burning of waste, and integrated waste management plans that prioritize emissions reductions. A high priority is placed on ensuring the technical and networking efforts result in real project implementation by providing support to identify financing opportunities.

The initiative is bringing on 10-15 additional cities around the world in the coming months and looks to engage dozens more cities through our regional outreach and training efforts and soon-to-be launched online Knowledge Platform.

This meeting of the CCAC Municipal Solid Waste Initiative, October 10-11 in Austria, Vienna, will bring participating cities and initiative partners together to strengthen international action to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) from the municipal solid waste (MSW) sector. We will seek to foster peer-to-peer knowledge exchanges, provide training opportunities, and continue to build a supportive global network of cities taking action on SLCPs.  A major objective for this meeting is to develop plans for direct and on-the-ground action that the CCAC and new participating cities can carry out jointly over 2013-2014.

Please find the workshop presentations here: http://waste.ccac-knowledge.net/events/ccac-msw-initiative-meeting-vienna-austria