Partnerships for Circularity

Sustainable solid waste management in Jerash municipality, Jordan


Through strategic partnerships, Jerash municipality in Jordan was able to overcome impediments in solid waste management and embark on a path of circularity.  By partnering with multiple stakeholders, the municipality succeeded in designing strategies for effective solid waste management and overcoming challenges related to insufficient operating budget, low collection coverage, waste dumping, and the associated environmental and public health concerns.


Jerash municipality in northern Jordan, is located 48 kilometers north of the capital Amman. Home to more than 160,000 inhabitants, the municipality has a vision for a green, sustainable and healthy city. Nevertheless, ineffective solid waste management was hindering progress towards this vision. In September 2020, the municipality launched a project targeting a delimited area that hosts the majority of businesses and commercial activities, with an aim to prompt collection of plastics, papers, cardboards, glass and metals for recycling purposes.


The municipality aimed at collecting recyclables, sorting at source and adjusting the citizen’s consumer behavior to progress towards circularity. Due to the large scale of the mission, the process is planned to be implemented in several stages. By deploying strategic partnerships with NGOs and private sector, the municipality has successfully mainstreamed waste sorting and recycling.



Within the framework of the first phase of the transformation process, the following activities were conducted:

  • In partnership with the UNDP and the Institute for University Cooperation (ICU), the municipality developed their sorting and collection facility. Sorting at source focused on business centers and commercial enterprises, with cardboards and papers as the main raw material. With support from the UNDP and ICU, the municipality was able to expand their sorting facility through the addition of machines used in solid waste management. The sorted recyclables at the facility are not being reused or recycled but sold for local factories as raw material. Plans to include other raw materials are being developed, which also address the rising numbers of informal waste pickers.
  • The municipality collects, sorts, and sanitises different types of plastic. Their future plan is to have a palletizer at their premises.  Nevertheless, plastic factories are not present within the municipality. Therefore, plastic is transported to the nearest factory located 45km away from the city.
  • Public Private Partnerships (PPP): the infrastructure for collecting and sorting paper and cardboard is present and functional. The inclusion of the private sector was very beneficial not only to overcome the legal constraints that municipality faces as it acts alone in this process, but also due to the mobilisation of technical know-how that is needed to optimise waste management and recycling.  In addition, integrating informal pickers in the process helps in ensuring gender-balance by addressing the needs of this sector of the local community.


  • Recyclables: 50% of the businesses in Jerash are working closely with the municipality to sort and recycle solid waste. The collected recyclables are being sold thus covering the operation expenses. The financial incentives provided for the engaged businesses helped attract more participation. The municipal facility is sorting 500kg/day of plastics.
  • Awareness raising: The usage of urban furniture manufactured from recycled plastic helped in raising awareness of the local community about plastic recycling.
  • Job creation: The project has resulted in job creation. Future plans of expanding the plastic sorting and recycling facility could help increase the capacity and coverage of the serviced area (residential arreas and schools) while creating more jobs.


The success of this project is a result of several factors, which are:

  • Through PPPs, the municipality overcame legal obstacles and addressed the issue of informal pickers. Transparent and proactive relationships with the private sector are critical for the success and sustainability of such a project. In addition, improving the infrastructure is key to partnership with the private sector.
  • Financial incentives have encouraged participation of the businesses and commercial enterprises in the recycling program
  • Awareness raising resulted in educating citizens on the importance of sorting at source.

The sustainability of the project is critical since growth is required to accommodate the pressing needs to adjust waste management in the municipality. To ensure future development, a project proposal was developed with Connective Cities under the title Plastijerash. The project proposed by Jerash municipality and their partner social enterprise ‘Plasticity’ aims at increasing community engagement and awareness raising on recycling plastic. Other objectives of the proposed project include job creation andusing plastic waste for urban furniture. Along with another project that was developed by Jerash  Connective Cities on  improving energy efficiency in waste collection, this project also contributes to climate protection and reduction of GHG emissions.

further Information

Published: 13/07/2022


Wafa Hawamdeh

head of local development unit at Jerash municipality



Categories: Integrated urban development Cities and climate change Municipal services Solid waste management and recycling Local economic development Green Urban Economy
Regions: Middle East Jordan Jerash


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