Proceedings of the 42nd WEDC International Conference

Equitable and Sustainable WASH Services

Future challenges in a rapidly changing world

Managing our Waste:
why we need a people-first approach

“Managing our Waste 2021: view from the Global South”. The report analyses the waste situation in four contrasting towns and cities from Africa and South Asia, using approaches that put people at the heart of the discussion as users and service providers.

The result shines a spotlight on huge inequalities at city level, and the negative consequences of approaches that focus on collection and dumping rather than recycling. Our key message is that to address the waste crisis, we urgently need to put people back at the centre of our narrative and actions.

The session will be valuable to practitioners and researchers with an interest in waste management, and donors and decision-makers who support the sector. Our objective is to encourage planning for waste services (not just managing material flows), and giving greater attention to people who are already at the heart of waste systems.

Our session will consist of three sections:

  1. Presentation of the report’s key findings including speakers from the case study towns and cities.
  2. Break-out groups for discussing participant’s experiences, and considering barriers and opportunities to taking a more people-centred approach.
  3. Panel discussion involving participants (tbc) from Local Government, grassroots organisations, the waste industry, and international bodies, giving their reaction to the report and its implications.

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