Developing sustainable municipal waste services

Project description

Title: Sustainable Municipal Services (Waste Management)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Kosovo
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Local Government Administration
Overall term: 2017 to 2020


Municipalities in Kosovo face a huge challenge in providing their citizens with essential services, entrusted to them in the context of decentralisation, including the establishment and operation of a sustainable waste management system. This includes not only regular collection and billing, but also organised waste treatment and hygienic disposal of waste. About 20 per cent of municipal waste still ends up unsorted in illegal landfills, or is subsequently burned. Often the municipalities and their waste collection and transport operators lack the infrastructure, know-how and coordination to make these processes efficient. Moreover, the political, legal and institutional framework conditions are not sufficiently developed to ensure effective service provision. There is a need for more coherent coordination between national policy making and planning and local municipal waste management plans.


The capacities of the municipalities, the government and the private sector in the area of waste management, with the inclusion of marginalised groups, are strengthened.


The project provides specialised technical, policy and organisational consultancy at the national and particularly the local level, promotes donor harmonisation as well as cooperation between governmental and local authorities, private sector, civil society and the informal sector.

In partnership with the Ministry of Local Government Administration (MLGA) and the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning (MESP) the legal framework is improved in line with the European Union’s (EU) legislation, including the revision of the Kosovo Integrated Waste Management Strategy and Action Plan. Together with the Association of Kosovo Municipalities and the Association of Public Waste Utility Companies in Kosovo (PAMKOS), support is provided to local authorities and waste collection and transport operators for introducing economically efficient and environmentally sound waste management systems. This includes human capacity building, advisory services on drafting municipal waste management plans, tariff-setting, operational plans as well as developing IT-based management and planning tools.

In the framework of the project, local NGOs carry out separation at source and composting pilots, taking the first steps towards a circular economy. In this process, particular attention is given to improving the inclusion of informal waste collectors, who often belong to the vulnerable migration-prone Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian minorities, within the waste value chain, in order to enhance their working conditions and livelihoods.

Various awareness-raising measures are implemented for the general population. Together with the Kosovo Institute for Public Administration waste experts in the country are trained and certified. The Kosovo Environmental Protection Agency is further capacitated on monitoring and reporting in the waste sector.

The project is co-financed by the EU for the joint implementation of intensified support to municipalities in North Kosovo. Aligned with the good governance performance grant of MLGA and the Swiss Development Cooperation, a municipal performance grant in the waste sector is implemented and jointly funded with MESP.


Conditions for effective and efficient waste management in Kosovo have been greatly improved. An enabling legal framework has been created, municipal waste management plans drafted in the majority of municipalities and first steps taken in implementing operational plans. The required infrastructure in partner municipalities has been improved. There has been a reduction in both environmental pollution and health risks thanks to the growing understanding of modern waste management at municipal level and among the citizens.

There has also been a recognisable improvement in the capacities of the partners to communicate and cooperate across a wide range of topics. Municipalities are cooperating together more, sharing experiences and learning from one another. For example, a forum has been set up, in which municipal leaders and representatives of ministries meet regularly to share information and views on technical, legal and policy issues.