Working Group 4

Working Group 4

Improving framework conditions on municipal level

In some countries, major efforts are already being made to establish recycling loops. In many parts of the world, however, hardly any waste is separated or recycled. Instead, it is burnt or dumped in huge landfill sites. To ensure initiatives for sustainable circular economies have the highest chances of success, the underlying conditions for municipal recycling and waste management must be improved.

Developing binding recycling and environmental standards; supporting and strengthening political commitment and increasing financial support for the private recycling sector.

One of the key tasks for working group 4 involves improving the underlying conditions for an effective circular economy and embedding these at municipal level. Standards and structures that enable legal regulations, guidelines and initiatives to be successfully implemented are being developed at organisational level and for planning and implementation purposes.

Objectives of the working group

We want to make lasting improvements to the underlying conditions that enable circular economies and by doing so ensure that effective recycling and waste management systems can be established and that these are both economically viable and successful in the long term.
We encourage political backing and support for businesses in the waste and recycling industry and promote the integration of the informal sector.
We promote the training of specialists and leaders in developing and emerging economies on the basis of standards and best practices.


The working group supports the municipal waste management sector at organisational level, helping it secure long-term financing and integrate the private and informal sectors. It develops standards for data collection that help with the planning, implementation and monitoring of initiatives.

For a circular economy to succeed, the right legal and organisational framework must be in place. This ensures that initiatives, goals and standards are available to ensure the system is correctly implemented.

The alliance will help a partner country (still be chosen) improve legal regulations and provide support with their implementation.

Good organisation, planning and appropriate operator models are key to ensuring that waste management initiatives are cost effectively implemented. The working group shares experiences of how communities can join forces to effectively process sufficiently large amounts of waste and how the private and informal sectors can be involved in recycling as much waste as possible.

Data has to be acquired regularly and accurately for planning purposes and for optimising operations in the recycling and waste management sector. The right processes and methods are generally available. However, for these to be used in and adapted to local contexts, the right knowledge must be shared and advice given in many developing and emerging economies.

Specialists and decision makers need to have the right expertise. This ensures that initiatives are correctly planned and executed in the long term. For this reason, another key focus area involves the training and further development of specialists. Particular emphasis is placed here on training individuals to become instructors and leaders in the future, who will then be able to act as multipliers.

The working group 4 consolidates good practices and experiences of publicity work and promotes the implementation of initiatives aimed at raising awareness. This will ensure that new systems receive sufficient support from the general public.

In many cases, suitable solutions for a specific problem are already available in one country. However, these may not be known or applicable in different contexts. This also applies to the circular economy. Working group 4 can support the transfer of knowledge by documenting best practices and sharing them via business associations and other networks of the involved members.

Leads & Contact

Stefan Kohlwes

Stefan Kohlwes


+49 (0)30 20308 2248

Jonas Wiggers

Jonas Wiggers

Verband kommunaler Unternehmen e.V.

+49 (0)30 58580 177

All Working Groups

Working group 1

Conserving resources

Working group 2

Closing loops for packaging

Working group 3

Closing loops for electronic waste

Working group 4

Improving framework conditions on municipal level