Zero Waste Community Development Project


    • The “Zero Waste” Community Development Project is designed to support NGOs to use the three R’s of waste management hierarchy – reduce, reuse & recycle - at the community level. The short-term goal is to support NGOs to carry out all categories of domestic waste management in the community, showing their importance to governments and enterprises.  The long-term goal is to enhance the capability of NGOs in resolving related problems and strengthening the influence of NGOs on sound waste management. Ultimately, it strives to achieve the goal of establishing a "net zero waste" community, and to build up a model for the construction of an ‘Ecological Civilization’.
    • UNDP China in cooperation with, and with financial support from, the Vanke Foundation will establish a model of community-level waste management. It also aims to establish awareness of waste reduction and classification, so that the concept of waste re-utilization can be deeply rooted in the hearts of the people.



    • With China's rapid urbanization and high economic growth, increasing amounts of waste is becoming a prominent environmental problem. Landfill or other waste treatment facilities are severely overloaded in some cities. If there are no new facilities, waste often piles up in the open, causing the phenomenon of cities living under a ‘garbage siege’. The environmental crisis represented by a ‘garbage siege’ indicates that the current development model of mass production, mass consumption, and mass waste is unsustainable. Due to China’s tight availability of land resources and its dense population, the traditional landfill disposal system is no longer enough to support a city’s sustainable development. Therefore, environmentally sound waste treatment, including recycling and re-utilization, is crucial. It is also a matter of social justice for vulnerable groups such as children. For example, studies have shown that children exposed to a large amount of untreated garbage and waste are more likely to suffer from malnutrition, anaemia, dental fluorosis, and mental retardation caused by heavy metal poisoning. This only represents one of many social injustices caused by waste pollution. Evidence has shown that pollution has a greater negative impact on other vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and people working in informal sectors of waste collection.
    • The three R's – reduce, reuse, and recycle is the main principle of waste management.  They all help to cut down on the amount of waste we throw away. They conserve natural resources, landfill space and energy and prevent waste from ending up in our oceans.
    • To achieve the above expected results, this project will strengthen partnership and synergies with organizations and initiatives, and aim to act as an integrator and community-based partnership platform to effectively empower and benefit CSOs and local communities. The required resources will include supervision and guidance from UNDP, the influence of UNDP and its international and national intellectual cooperation network, project management and coordination experiences from GEF Small Grants Programme, innovative ideas from NGOs and local communities, financial support of Vanke Foundation, communication and administrative support by the UNDP country office and the policy guidance of the related governmental departments at all levels. The implementation and management capabilities of grantee NGOs will be also required to achieve expected outcomes.


Project Outcome

The project aims to:

  • Innovate community-based tools and demonstrate, deploy, and transfer approaches to achieve environmentally sound chemicals and waste management.
  • Strengthen waste management capacity of communities and local NGOs.
  • The project does not only aim to build a waste management model at the community-level, but also intends to establish awareness of waste reduction and classification, so that the concept of waste re-utilization can be deeply rooted in the hearts of the people. The expected outcome of this project will include advocacy, media campaign and an incentive system that assesses reward and punishment.


GESI Component



March 2022


December 2026






United Nations Development Programme


Vanke Foundation





Full Project information