08 Dec 2021

Written by

Jack McQuibban

The State of Zero Waste Municipalities Report 2021

Cities & Communities

We’re very excited to be publishing our second edition of the State of Zero Waste Municipalities Report.

Available on our Zero Waste Cities website, the 2021 State of Zero Waste Municipalities Report is a showcase of the progress that continues to be made on Zero Waste Cities in Europe, and around the world. The report includes updates from the past year from each country where we are working on Zero Waste Cities in Europe – written by the leaders themselves working at the local level, sharing the challenges they’ve faced and the victories they’ve had.

The 2021 edition also features a special focus on best practice examples of organics collection and management, with case studies highlighting Europe’s best performing systems in this field from Wales, Italy and Spain.

Municipalities across Europe have faced considerable challenges this year with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Yet the climate and waste crises are not going away – in fact they are only worsening in most areas. There are several big changes happening within the traditional waste management sector today and municipalities find themselves at a crossroads. Either they stick with the status quo of waste management – continuing with an environmentally damaging and expensive model which will soon become outdated and unable to comply with regulations. Or they recognise the value and benefit of adopting a zero waste approach, and take the necessary steps to redesign their system towards one which is community-focused, cheaper to operate and most importantly, produces vastly less waste.

2021 has seen our Zero Waste Cities network grow throughout all of Europe – from the West coast of Portugal to rural East Montenegro, from the North Sea in Germany to the Mediterranean regions in Italy and Spain. This is down to the hard work and dedication of local groups within the Zero Waste Europe network, who are working together with municipality and waste company officials who recognise the urgent need for change, and the benefits this can bring their local community. These are the stories that the State of Zero Waste Municipalities Report, year after year, will continue to highlight and champion.

We hope you enjoy the read.