Last Updated:
1 Jun 2020

From Waste to Resources: Mobilising the Private Sector to Deliver Sustainable Waste Management

Policy Paper on Infrastructure

While almost all cities and towns in economies where the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) invests receive a regular municipal waste collection service of some kind, service quality and delivery are frequently unreliable and inefficient. Coverage focuses primarily or exclusively on urban areas and, in many cases, once the waste has been collected, it is simply dumped at a nearby location, with little consideration of the consequences for public health, resource conservation or the environment. This “out of sight, out of mind” attitude to waste remains prevalent in many countries undergoing transition to open-market economies (and even in some mature market economies with a well established system of governance). Preventing waste and managing it sustainably once it has been generated are not always seen as priorities, especially when there are other pressing demands on scarce public resources. This is one of the most common challenges of waste management in transition countries – it tends to be the sector that receives the least political attention and financial support compared with other sectors such as water and electricity supply.