Smart City Sweden, UNDP and Avfall Sverige – Swedish Waste Management have launched Zero Waste 101, a free online course on sustainable waste management. The course introduces the concept of zero waste with practical examples from the field to equip decision-makers as well as professionals, with the knowledge and tools needed to initiate sustainable waste management practices in their cities and communities. 

The amount of global waste is continuously increasing and is projected to grow by 70 percent by 2050, compared to 2016 levels. Today, less than 20 percent of global waste is recycled. Most of the world’s waste finds its way into landfills, dumpsites, or nature, meaning huge amounts of resources are wasted and not reused or recycled. The improper management of waste leads to negative impacts on human health, nature and the climate. Particularly, communities living close to landfills and dumpsites are at risk as waste can pollute the air and contaminate soil, air and drinking water.  

Participants of the newly released course from Smart City Sweden, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Avfall Sverige – Swedish Waste Management on waste management will learn what the concepts of Zero Waste and Circular Economy really mean in practice and how to develop a successful sustainable waste management plan. 

– With a shared commitment to promote sustainable waste management, Avfall Sverige, UNDP and Smart City Sweden have developed this e-learning course to meet challenges and opportunities in waste management, says Tony Clark, CEO of Avfall Sverige. We want to give decision-makers and professionals the opportunity to develop waste management that benefits people’s health, saves resources, protects the environment and mitigates climate impact.

– The increasing amount of waste is affecting people worldwide, but there are solutions and best practices that can be shared to help tackle issues related to waste management. This course is a great initial step to get started with waste management and get inspiration from other cities and experts who are working with waste, says Gina Aspelin Hedbring, Project Manager at Smart City Sweden, which conducts study visits for decision-makers.

The poor management of waste poses a significant threat to human health and the planet. Landfill is not a long-term solution, says Xiaofang Zhou, Director of UNDP’s Chemicals and Waste Hub. We need a new strategy to reduce waste generation and manage materials more sustainably towards zero waste and circularity. This course is a great tool to raise awareness and equip decision-makers with the knowledge needed to start the transition.  

Take the course and start your Zero Waste journey here:

Quick facts about waste

About the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): 

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at or follow at @undp. 


About Avfall Sverige: 

Avfall Sverige is the Swedish Waste Management Association. Our members – the municipalities and the municipal companies – ensure that waste is collected and treated in a sustainable way. Our vision is Zero waste. We strive to reduce waste, to increase reuse and to provide best possible management for the waste that does emerge. Swedish municipalities are the fascilitators for the transition towards Zero Waste. Learn more on or follow at @avfallsverige 

Contact: Weine Wiqvist, senior Advisor, 

About Smart City Sweden: 

Smart City Sweden is a platform that initiates cooperation between Sweden and other countries within smart and sustainable city solutions. We welcome international delegations on the decision-making level with an interest in implementing Swedish solutions in their local context. At our offices, we offer tailor-made study visits, workshops and meetings within areas such as waste management, energy, water and mobility. Learn more at or follow us @SmartCitySweden.  

Contact: Gina Aspelin Hedbring, Project Manager,  

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