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Kenya National Sustainable Waste Management Policy 2021.pdf





National Sustainable Waste Management Policy



Preface 4

Acknowledgements 5

Executive summary 7


1.1. National Situation 10

1.2. Waste Management in the Counties 11

1.2.2 Waste Management Services by Private Firms 12

1.2.3 Waste Picker Cooperatives and Community Waste Management Initiatives 13

1.2.4 Role of the Citizens in Waste Management 14

1.3. National Legislative and Regulatory Framework for Waste Management 14

1.4. Kenya’s Regional and Global Commitments to Waste Related Agreements 16


2.1. Goal 18

2.2. Objectives 18

2.3. Guiding Principles 19


3.1. Promote waste management through implementation of the waste hierarchy

and circular economy concepts 21

3.1.1 Adoption of Waste Hierarchy 21

3.1.2 Waste Prevention and Reduction 22

3.1.3. Re-use of products and components 23

3.1.4. Re-Cycling 24

3.1.5. Composting 25

3.1.6. Waste treatment before disposal 26

3.1.7. Transiting from Dumpsites to Landfills 27

3.1.8. Landfills 28

3.1.9. Incineration (Waste to Energy) 29

3.2. Enhance Mapping, Planning, Segregation, Collection, Transportation and

Service Provision 30

3.2.1 Waste Mapping 30

3.2.2 Waste Segregation 31

3.2.3. Waste Collection 32

3.2.4 Waste Transportation 33


3.2.5. Waste Service Providers 34

3.2.6 Material Recovery facilities (MRFs) 35

3.3. Strengthen national and county legal and institutional frameworks 36

3.3.1. Strengthening the Institutional Framework 36

3.4 Transparent mechanisms for waste management infrastructure. 37

3.4.1 Setting up financial mechanisms 38

3.4.2. Waste Reporting and Audit 39

3.5. Strengthen partnerships and increase public awareness 40

3.5.1. Education and public awareness 40

3.5.2. Formalization of the informal sector 41

3.5.3. Capacity Development 42

3.5.4 Mainstreaming Gender, Youth and Special Needs groups 42

3.5.5 Collaboration and Stakeholders Participation 43

3.5.6. Research and knowledge management 44

Annex 1 – Terminology 46




Article 42 of the constitution of Kenya 2010 states that every person in Kenya is

entitled to a clean and healthy environment and has a duty to safeguard and enhance

the Environment. According to Vision 2030, Kenya aims to be a nation living in a

clean, secure and sustainable environment hence lessen by half all environment

related diseases.

It is in this context that the vision 2030 recognized that efficient and sustainable

waste management systems are required as the country develops into a newly

industrialized state by 2030. This has triggered the need to have a robust waste

management system by developing policy, bill and strategies towards achieving

sustainable waste management and a clean healthy environment for all.

Waste Management is the responsibility of everyone (including but not limited to
Individuals, Communities, Businesses, Industries, and Government). The planning
and delivery of waste management is the direct responsibility of counties and
communities, while the National government provides the framework for waste
management by setting policies, regulations and standards. The Government
recognizes the importance of providing a new framework through the development of a
National Sustainable Waste Management Policy.

Extensive public participation was done across the country during the development

and drafting of this policy. Several consultative meetings were held in various regions

during which it was observed that the waste challenges were similar in counties.

The policy development process adopted a circular economy approach whereby waste

is regarded as a resource and hence the need to extract maximum value from it before

disposal. It is with this spirit that the Government prioritized development of a policy

that will assist the public and institutions to advance towards a 7R oriented society,

by Reducing; Rethinking; Refusing; Recycling; Reusing; Repairing and Refilling their


The policy aims at addressing Waste management through regulations, guidelines,

standards and strategies in the country. These waste management tools will be

developed at both national and county level.

In conclusion, I wish to sincerely thank all the experts involved in coming up with this

document, those who worked tirelessly to gather and assemble information that made

it possible to produce this National Sustainable Waste Management Policy.

Mr KeriakoTobiko, CBS, SC

Cabinet Secretary

Ministry of Environment and Forestry



The formulation of the Sustainable Waste Management Policy, undertook an

intensive, inclusive, consultative and participatory approach since it needed

holistic situational assessment and reliable information and data as well as

consensus building. The waste sector, by its nature, attracts professionals and

interest groups from multiple disciplines thus a balance of views, needs and

interests would only be achieved through a policy formulation process with

unimpeachable stakeholder involvement and public participation. This was

heightened by the fact that Environment sector is one of the main pillars of

social and economic growth of the country, as well as the constitutional

provisions on the extent of consultations and involvement.

To this extent, a wide range of institutions and professionals drawn from

Government Departments and Agencies, private sector, academia and civil

society participated in the process. We therefore wish to appreciate and

recognize their worthwhile contributions through spirited efforts and sacrifices

that made it possible for this policy to attain the standards it has. It may not

be possible to thank each institution and individual for their singular

sacrifices, but allow me to take singular honour to extend gratitude to some of


Before I do that, I wish to collectively recognize the collaboration and support

extended to the Ministry of Environment and Forestry by Council of Governors,

Development Partners, Private Sector Institutions, Civil Society Organizations,

Academia and Experts groups.

Our most special thanks and recognition goes to the Ministry’s Green Growth

Project, financed byDanida, for Financialsupport to this process under the

Climate Change ……... The Ministry acknowledges the role played by Technical

officers and experts review teams and legal officers drawn from the various

institutions for reviewing earlier drafts of this policy. Special thanks also go to

the staff of Ministry of Environment and Forestry.We are deeply indebted to

you. We are equally indebted to the leadership and staff of various

Environmental Sector Institutions, for their participation and demonstrated


We wish to register gratitude for the professional input and personal

commitment of the members of the National Steering Committee (NSC). The

committee members included;Dr.AyubMacharia, AnastasiaMuiti, Rodney

Omari, Isaiah Maina, Cynthia Sakami, Godfrey Wafula, Daniel Mututho,

Anthony Wainaina, Faith Ngige, Georgina Wachuka, Patroba Joshua,

CarenSande, Anne Syombua, Ruby Okoth, Augustine Kenduiwo Olivia Simiyu,

and Florence Mwikali.


It is our hope that this policy will provide the guidelines required for legislation

work, regulatory mechanism and service delivery, not forgetting the national

framework for planning and implementation of waste sector undertakings. I am

convinced that the policy has taken a holistic approach, encompassing all solid

waste sector needs and interests.

Dr.Chris Kiptoo, CBS

Principal Secretary,

Ministry of Environment and Forestry


Executive summary

Waste is a resource that can be managed to achieve economic, social and

environmental benefits. Addressing the waste management challenge effectively

in Kenya is critical to delivering on Kenya’s constitutional right to a clean and

healthy environment for all, advancing the circular economy to create green

jobs and wealth from the waste sector, and realisation of the nation’s

sustainable development goals.Sustainable waste management is also

fundamental to delivery of each of the government’s “Big Four” national

priorities –the transformational agenda on housing, manufacturing, food and

nutritional security and health care –and to Kenya’s leadership in the blue

economy, with its focus on creating economic growth, ensuring healthy waters

and building safe communities.

This Policy will advance Kenya towards a more sustainable and circular, green

economy. It will move the country towards realization of the Zero Waste

principle, whereby waste generation is minimized or prevented. It will help

ensure that waste is collected, separated at the source, reused and recycled,

and that the remaining waste stream is destined to a secure, sanitary landfill.

If proper regulatory frameworks and incentives are in place, such a system will

build long-term resilience, while generating new business and economic

opportunities and providing broad environmental and social benefits to all

Kenyans. Effective sustainable waste management will create value from the

waste stream through re-use and recycling, formalizing the waste-picker sector

to improve livelihoods, improving landfill operations and management

including capturing and utilizing landfill gas such as methane. Other benefits

will include reducing health and environmental harms by capping landfills and

closing open dumpsites, reducing plastic pollution in the marine environment,

and creating new jobs in the sector, especially for youth and women, in waste

collection and recycling will be other benefits.

As Kenya’s economy and cities grow at accelerated rate, the country’s waste

management challenges have reached major proportions. The current poor

state of waste management is a public health and environmental threat, a loss

of valuable resources for job and wealth creation, and an eyesore that

negatively affects tourism and the well-being of all Kenyans.

Historically, waste has been viewed solely as a problem, not as a resource and

economic opportunity. The National Waste Management Policy aims to increase


the value extraction from waste and thus consider waste as a resource to the

Kenyan economy. If properly managed as a resource, waste recovery and

recycling can create new jobs and attract new investment in a diversified waste

sector. Kenya aims to transition the waste sector in every county away from

low collection rates, illegal dumping and uncontrolled dumpsites to affordable

waste collection, recycling and composting, and minimise waste fractions that

are disposed in well-engineered and regulated landfills.Pursuant to this

National Waste Management Policy the government will establish legal

frameworks and take actions that will enable Kenya to harness and incentivize

large scale investment in the waste recovery and recycling industry in Kenya.

This Policy aims to create an enabling regulatory environment for Kenya to

effectively tackle the waste challenge by implementing sustainable, waste

management that prioritizes waste minimization and contributes to a circular

economy. Practically, this can be achieved through the adoption of a waste

hierarchy that includesreducing or preventing waste generation at the source

and reuse of materials; effective and affordable waste collection in all

neighbourhoods,where wasteis to be separated at source ensuring that

recyclable materials are not contaminated by or mixed with waste. To achieve

this this t all waste collected should first go to a materials recovery

facility(MRFs) for sorting. At the MRF,materials extracted from waste will be

managed in order of priority,with the firstpriority being recycling of all

recyclable materialsand composting of organic waste.Residual waste should

then be treated to reduce toxicity and impact on public health and the

environment. Treated residual waste should be destined for final disposal

engineered landfill or waste-to-energy facility that is properly regulated and

controlled to ensure the health of workers and neighbouring communities.

This policy also supports the creation of the planning, finance, technical and

governance capacities that county governments need to effectively deliver on

their mandate under the Constitution of Kenya 2010 to be the lead actors in

delivering sustainable waste management services to their constituents.

Sustainable waste management is a devolved function under the Constitution

of Kenya. The 47 county governments have the lead role in delivering

sustainable waste management services. However, the national government

must provide an enabling policy and regulatory environment to facilitate the

counties to effectively deliver waste management services including, facilitating

inter-county cooperation under the metropolis approach, financial incentives,

research, technical advice and facilitation of public awareness and education.


The suite of measures in this policy will support counties to fulfil their

devolved responsibility of delivering sustainable waste management services to

the public to reduce pollution, improve public health, and promote green

entrepreneurship to create green jobs and wealth locally from waste collection,

reuse and recycling, and compost production. The policy also guides the

strengthening of institutional and governance arrangements to facilitate the

practical achievement of sustainable waste management goals in every county.

The national government will undertake various core interventions, including

the enactment of national waste management legislation, implementing

regulations and financial incentives to provide the mandate and framework for

coordinated action. The Policy also provides a framework for sustainable waste

management nationally, through implementation of zero waste and circular

economy principles, and through practical planning and implementation of

waste management at the county level. The national government should also

establish and fully implement coordinated policies and regulatory frameworks

to address hazardous waste, electronic waste, industrial waste, agricultural

chemicals and medical waste, which have been a major source of pollution,

water contamination and serious health and environmental threats.

Effective waste management will also reduce emissions of greenhouse gases,

especially methane, from the waste sector, contributing to the achievement of

Kenya’s Paris Agreement commitments, and reducing industrial waste and

non-point run off to Kenya’s water bodies.It is also important that the policy

and law build on public involvement in sustainable waste management and

incentivize job creation and to improved livelihoods from the sector,

particularly for women and youth who play a critical role in socio-economic

development. The challenge of waste management affects every person and all

institutions in the society. The measures set out in this policy cannot be

undertaken without a collective approach to waste management challenges,

through involvement of a broad range of stakeholders to effectively implement

the policy for the good of the nation. This Policy therefore seeks to establish a

common platform for action between all stakeholders to systematically

implement sustainable waste management in Kenya.



1.1. National Situation

As population increases and rates of production and consumption increase,

the estimated volumes of waste generated from households, industries,

agricultural services, construction, health care facilities will triple between

2009 and 2030. Kenya generates an estimated 22,000 tons of waste per day

calculated by assuming an average of per capita waste generation of 0.5

kilogrammes for a current population of 45 million translating to 8million

tonnes annually. It is estimated that 40% of the waste is generated in urban

areas. Given that urbanization is increasing by 10%, by 2030, the Kenya urban

population will be generating an estimate of about 5.5million tonnes of waste

every year, whichis three timesmore theamount of waste generated in 2009.

Past inventories estimate that 60% to70% of waste generated is organic, 20%

plastic, 10% paper, 1 % medical waste and 2% metal. Inefficient production

processes, low durability of goods, unsustainable consumption and production

patterns lead to excessive generation of waste.

The data herein references above are estimates, ascurrently there is no

systematically collected data on waste streams in Kenya. The main sources of

waste are households, manufacturing, commerce, health care, agriculture,

waste treatment, construction industry and mining waste.Generally in Kenya,

waste from households, industries and health care facilities are referred to as

municipal waste and is often unsorted and contaminated. Despite efforts to

encourage reuse, recycling and recovery, the amount of solid waste generated

remains high and appears to be on the increase.

Kenya has made significant commitments to environmental protection. Article

42 in the Constitution of Kenya (COK 2010) guarantees every person the right

to a clean and healthy environment.Kenya’s Vision 2030 sought to relocate

Dandora dumpsite as well as develop flagship sustainable waste management

systems in Nairobi, Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru, Thika, and Mombasa by the year

2030. A National Waste Management Strategy was promulgated in 2015. The

ban of the polythene carrier bags in 2017 contributed a major positive impact

towards minimising solid waste generation in Kenya.

However, there is need to reconceptualise the waste management approach

with the aim ofmaximizing the extraction of value from waste through reuse


and recycling, maximizing job creation from the sector, and minimizing the

fraction of the waste stream that is destined for disposal. The Constitution of

Kenya 2010 devolved waste management to the 47 county governments.

Although many counties are working to improve waste management in their

territories, they are hampered by inadequate waste management

infrastructure, county laws and regulations, and capacity and technologies to

effectively carry out this devolved function

1.2. Waste Management intheCounties

The most recent United Nations estimates indicate that Kenya’s urban

population will expand to 50 million by the year 2030, accounting for 62.7

percent of the national population further straining the capacity of Kenyan

cities to provide critical waste management services to urban residents.

It is estimated that 34.8% (i.e. 10 million) of the total population of Kenya

reside in the urban centres, with the largest five cities (Nairobi, Mombasa,

Kisumu, Nakuru and Eldoret) accounting for a third of the urban population. It

is estimated thatthey produce 2400, 2000, 1000, and 500 tonnes of solid waste

daily respectively, and as the scale of future urbanisation increases, waste

managementwillpose growingsocio-economic, environmental and institutional

challenges for if adequate measuresare not put in place.

Waste management is a devolved responsibility under the Constitution of

Kenya 2010.However, most counties lack adequate infrastructure, governance

mechanisms and dedicated funding for effective sustainable waste

management. Many have not set aside land for building waste management


It is estimated that only about 40% of the population in many parts of major

cities receive waste management services; in many cities, low income and

informal settlements do not have waste collection systems at all.All counties in

Kenya currently have uncontrolled waste dumpsites where leachate pollute

waterways and underground aquifers, and where burning waste emit toxic air

and noxious fumes that contaminate the air.There is no systematic waste

segregation at the source and the recovery of recyclable items like plastics,

papers, glass and metals is done by informal waste picker groups who recover

only a fraction of the total recyclable materials, mostly directly from the

dumpsite.Informal waste pickers at these dumpsites are exposed to toxic

chemicals (from batteries and other waste and burning plastics) air pollution

and pests that spread disease.


County governments have not to date taken advantage of economies of scale by

partnering with neighbouring counties in the metropolis clusters to pool their

resources for more cost-effective and efficient waste management. Additionally,

most counties do not to date have waste laws or plans to guide efficient,

sustainable waste management, nor a dedicated county waste fund to support

investment in waste management programs.

Impressive local and small-scale action is being taken in counties across the

country.Waste pickers are organizing into cooperatives.Programs to create jobs

in waste collection, sorting and recycling for youth and women are being

created. In some areas, Kenyan entrepreneurs have launched small scale

production of organic compost from organic waste.Small-scale, artisanal

recycling of glass, plastic and metal is converting some waste into crafts for the

domestic and international market.

1.2.2 Waste Management Services by Private Firms

County governments have contracted private waste management firms to

collect garbage, transport and dispose waste and other related services.Many

counties also supply bins, liners and collection bags. In most upmarket

residential areas, garbage is collected twice a week, while in middle income

areas, waste is collected once a week, and in low income and margin areas

there is no waste collection. Franchising systems for waste collection have been

tried by a number of counties whereby a county is zoned, and private sector

firms assigned to deliver waste management services to the designated zones

and are in charge of both fee and waste collection. This approach has not been

efficient as the firms compete for contracts in the wealthier areas but decline to

service poorer areas and are vulnerable tocorruption.

The system is heavily reliant on the under-resourced public sector for

enforcement. Mountains of garbage are still a common feature in most

residential areas, market places and road sides. In addition, the private sector

waste management companies involved in collection of wasteare accused of

illegal disposal of waste in rivers, by road sides, in quarries as well as of illegal

y disposal at dumpsite. There is no framework to guide fee charged by private

waste management companies, thus most charge a high fee that the majority

of the Kenyan population, especially marginalized urban areas cannot afford.

Waste recycling companies have indicated that extracting recyclable materials

is often impossible in practice as most household waste is not sorted and is


comprised of 60 per cent organic waste, and cleaning recyclables that have

been comingled with waste is expensive.Recycling companies are also faced

with challenges including opaque regulatory requirements, a multiplicity of

licences and charges, lack of distinction in licensing of waste collection and

recycling companies, and the fact a lack of sufficient controls at recycling

sitesarefrequently leading to their use as dump sites rather than materials

recovery centres.

Private sector investment is slowly expanding in waste in collection,

transportation, waste sorting at material recovery facilities, recycling and

production of marketable products from recovered materials.

The high level of privatisation of waste management services by counties

without proper regulation and enforcement has also led to uncoordinated

delivery of waste services to citizens. Strict regulation and enforcement ofwaste

services provisionby the private sector in Kenya is crucial.

1.2.3 Waste Picker Cooperatives and Community Waste Management


Community waste management initiatives established by community based

organizations, youth and women’s groups are engaged in collection, sorting,

enhancing reuse and recycling of waste.These initiatives create jobs for

community members, women and youth but face significant challenges

includes lack of infrastructure (collection points, transfer stations, material

recovery facilities) for collection, sorting and recycling, lack of access to

markets for recyclable materials, lack of training, and limited access to finance.

Many communities across the country do not receive basic waste collection

and disposal services, driving them to burn their waste - with damaging health

and air quality impacts.

Informal waste pickers, typically from impoverished and marginalized groups

work in hazardous and sometimes deadly conditions to eke out a living from

reclaiming a tiny fraction of the recyclable waste. Waste pickers working at the

nation’s uncontrolled dumpsites are exposed to toxic chemicals (from batteries

and other waste and burning plastics) air pollution and pests that spread

disease. Waste pickers cooperatives have been formed in some counties under

the national Sacco societies, or cooperativeslaw, to improve labour conditions

and livelihoods.


1.2.4 Role of the Citizens in Waste Management

Citizens are key players in the management of waste. They are consumer of

goods and services, generators of waste, main players of waste minimisation

and sorting at source. Their participation, or lack of participation thereof,

determines the success or failure of the adoption and implementation of waste

management initiatives.

The shift from mixed disposal at household level to “sorting of waste at source”

of recyclable materials, organic and other waste recoverable streams will be key

in the realisation of sustainable waste management.

Citizens are also key stakeholders to monitor compliance and reporting illegal

waste dumping.

1.3.National Legislative and Regulatory Framework for Waste


Legislative and institutional mechanisms are necessary to establish good waste

sector governance and waste management approaches at the national and

county level.

Kenya has addressed waste management as part of the nation’s development

agenda (Kenya Vision 2030), National Climate Change Action Plan), and laws

and regulations including the Environmental Management and Coordination

Act (EMCA, 2015), Environment Policy (2013), National Solid Waste

Management Strategy (2015), and the Waste Management regulations of

2006.However, the legal and policy regime must be significantly strengthened

for the county to achieve its waste management goals.

The Constitution of Kenya (2010) Article 42 provides that “Every person has

the right to a clean and healthy environment,” that the State will “Eliminate

processes and activities that are likely to endanger the

environment.”Additionally, the Constitution devolved responsibilities over

waste management to the 47 counties.

Kenya’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement set

an emission reduction target of 30 per cent by 2030 compared with the

“business as usual” (BAU) scenario and includes the waste sector as an

important mitigation opportunity.A Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action

(NAMA 2016) proposal for a Circular Economy Solid Waste Management

Approach for Urban Areas in Kenya was developed by the Ministry of

Environment and Natural Resourcesin 2016. The NAMA concept includes

waste sorting, creation of recycling points, recycling of 600 tons of waste per

day and composting facilities for organic waste treatment.


The National Climate Change Action Plan 2018–2022 proposes to reduce GHG

emissions’ through adoption of circular approaches to waste management and

engineered landfills

Kenya’s development blueprint, Vision 2030, includes a Solid Waste

Management initiative which calls for relocation of Nairobi’s Dandora dumpsite

and the development of solid waste management systems in five (5) leading

municipalities.The National Solid Waste Management Strategy aims to create a

7R society prioritizing Reducing, Rethinking, Refusing, Recycling, Reusing,

Repairing and Refilling to minimize waste generation, and maximize value

creation from waste.

The Environmental Policy(2013) section 6.3 Waste Management, states that

“Inefficient production processes, low durability of goods and unsustainable

consumption and production patterns lead to excessive waste generation” and

states that the nation will: “Promote the use of economic incentives to manage

waste, and Promote establishment of facilities and incentives for cleaner

production, wasterecovery, recycling and re-use.”

The Environment Management and Control Act (2015) includes provisions for

economic incentives that could be developed to encourage good solid waste

management practices and incentivize investment in, recycling and green


Kenya has implemented a ban on the manufacture, sale, export and

importation of plastic carrier bags (Gazette Notice number 2356, February

2017) which took effected in August 2017 and has make a major contribution

to minimizing waste generation.

Finally, Kenya’s National Climate Change Action Plan 2018-2022 commits the

government to develop a “National waste management policy to substantially

reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse”

and to develop “Five County-based waste management plans and regulations

that are consistent with National Waste Management Strategy and other

relevant policies.”

The following documents are currently under development or approval:E-waste

management regulations; Asbestos handling and disposal guidelines;

Regulations on used oil, waste tires and plastic wastes, and; end of life tires


Legislative and regulatory review will be an ongoing iterative process to ensure

that barriers to action are removed and enabling frameworks for

implementation are in place based on evolving circumstances.


1.4. Kenya’s Regional and Global Commitments to Waste Related


Sustainable management of the world’s rapidly growing waste stream is a

global challenge. Poor waste management affects many aspects of life for

millions of people around the world and is a significant source of the climate

pollutants methane and black carbon. Landfills are the third largest

anthropogenic source of methane, accounting for approximately 11% of

estimated global methane emissions, equivalent to nearly 800 megatons of

CO2e per year. In addition, uncontrolled leachate contaminates ground water

resources. Global and regional waste management related

conventions,including the Stockholm, Basel, Bamako and Rotterdam

Conventions to which Kenya is a party, provide a global regulatory framework

for management of waste, particularly hazardous waste.

African nations have long recognized the need to address waste issues,

adopting the Bamako Convention in 1991 to bans the import of all hazardous

and radioactive waste. It also prohibits the dumping or incineration of

hazardous wastes in oceans and inland waters and promotes the minimization

and control of trans-boundary movements of hazardous wastes within the

African continent. The Convention also aims to improve and ensure

ecologically rational management and handling of hazardous waste within

Africa, as well as the cooperation between African nations.

The East Africa Community (EAC) has similarly recognized the urgency of

addressing waste as key component of sustainable development. The EAC

Polythene Materials Control Bill (2016) establishes a regional approach to the

control and regulation of use, sale and manufacture and importation of

polythene materials and products.The EAC bill provided the regional

framework for the Kenyan plastic carrier bag ban in 2017.1

Currently, the EAC member states -- Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda,

Burundi and South Sudan – are working to develop harmonized regulations

and policies to reduce electronic waste, or “e-waste.”A harmonized regional

approach in the EAC will enhance efforts to reduce and recycle e-waste, help

ensure that e-waste is not exported from one EAC partner state to anotherand

facilitate joint e-waste recycling centres.

Kenya is an active participant in multiple international and regional

conventions that address different aspects of the sustainable waste



management challenge.These include agreements on sustainable development

and reducing waste, the control of hazardous chemicals and chemical and

electronic waste, and climate change:

a) The Basel Convention, ratified in 2000, which addresses the need to

control the trans-boundary movement of hazardous wastes and their

disposal, setting out the categorization of hazardous waste and the

policies between member countries.

b) The Bamako Convention, a treaty amongst African nations that prohibits

the import of any hazardous (including radioactive) waste into Africa.

The convention is a response to Article 11 of the Basel convention which

encourages parties to enter into bilateral, multilateral and regional

agreements on Hazardous Waste to help achieve the objectives of the


c) The Stockholm convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs)

(ratified in 2004) which seeks to protect human health and the

environment from these chemicals that remain intact in the environment

for long periods and have harmful impacts on human health and the


d) The Rotterdam Convention (ratified in 2005) which sets out the

procedure for Prior Informed Consent in the International Trade of

hazardous chemicals and Pesticides.

e) The Montreal Protocol which provides for the phase out of the production

and consumption of ozone depleting substances to reduce their

abundance in the atmosphere, and thereby protect the earth’s fragile

ozone Layer.

f) The forth United Nations General Assembly (UNEA4 of 2019) resolution

UNEP/EA/4/L.8 on environmentally sound management of waste called

upon member states to promote integrated approaches to solid waste

management through sustainable consumption and production not

limited to circular economy, but also economic models, innovation,

reduction of waste at source of origin,minimisation of packaging

materials, discouragement of planned obsolescence of products,removal

of hazardous substance from waste before recycling as well as give

special attention to recycling, re-use and reduction of landfilling as well

as give application of waste hierarchy for all waste. Kenya is a member of


the United Nations and houses United Nations Environment and thus

resolved to adopt the resolution.


2.1. Goal

The goal of this framework policy is:

To protect public health and the environment, as well as drive job and wealth

creation, by creating an enabling environment for sustainable, integrated waste

management and the minimization of waste generation, to contribute to a

circular economy.

2.2. Objectives

The objectives of this Policy are to:

(i) Establish and maintain an effective legal and institutional framework to

mainstream sustainable waste management measures and actions

across relevant sectors and into integrated planning, budgeting,

decision-making and implementation, at both the national and county


(ii) Promote sustainable waste management through implementation of the

waste hierarchy and circular economy concepts.

(iii)Enhancewaste segregation, collection, transportation and audit of waste

across the nation.

(iv) Adoptinclusive management with clear financial and accounting

mechanisms at national and county levels to encourage

investmentinitiatives in implementation of sustainable waste

management activities.

(v) Engage, strengthen and build partnerships with all stakeholders,

including the private and informal sector, as well as the general public

through education and provision of waste management services to

promote responsible waste management behaviour.

(vi) Incentivize private sector investment in building and operating

sustainable waste management infrastructure.


(vii) Facilitate widespread public awareness, participation, action and

oversight of Kenya’s sustainable waste management policy, law,

mechanisms, actions and investments at the national and county level.

(viii) Formalize the waste picker sector and ensure safe working

conditions through training, financing and facilitating participation in


2.3. Guiding Principles

The implementation of this Policy will be guided by the following principles:

(i) Right to a clean and healthy environment: under the 2010 Constitution

every person in Kenya has a right to a clean and healthy environment

and a duty to safeguard and enhance the environment.

(ii) Right to sustainable development: the right to development will be

respected taking into account economic, social and environmental needs.

Kenya seeks to achieve people-centred development that builds human

capabilities, improves people’s wellbeing and enhances quality of life.

(iii) Partnership: building partnerships, collaboration and synergies among

various stakeholders from the public, government, non-governmental

organisations, civil society and private sector, as well as vulnerable

communities and populations including women and youth, will be

prioritized to achieve effective implementation of this Policy.The private

sector will be encouraged to develop capacities for investment,

construction and service deliver in recycling and waste management.

(iv) Devolution and Cooperative government: embracing a system of

consultation, negotiation and consensus building in implementation of

sustainable waste management between and within the national and

county governments.

(v) Equity and social inclusion: ensuring a fair and equitable allocation of

effort and cost and addressing the disproportionate vulnerabilities,

responsibilities, capabilities, disparities among different social

groups,and promoting genderand inter– and intra-generational equity.

(vi) Integrity and transparency: the mobilisation and utilisation of financial

resources shall be undertaken with integrity and transparency in order


to eliminate corruption and achieve optimal results and ensuring that

communities are given all relevant information in a timely fashion.

(vii) Precautionary Principle: the principle that precautionary measures

should be taken even if some cause and effect relationship are not fully

established scientifically when an activity or product raises threats of

harm to human health or the environment.

(viii) Polluter pays principle: the principle that those who produce

pollution or waste should bear the costs of managing it to prevent

damage to human health or the environment. Makes the party

responsible for producing pollution responsible for paying damage done.

(ix) Zero Waste principle: the principle that society should aim for zero

waste, designing and managing products and processes that reduce and

eventually eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste, to conserve and

recover waste resources rather than to burn or bury them. It is related to

the waste hierarchy, which establishes an order of preferred actions to

manage waste, and the three R’s: reduce reuse, recycle.

(x) Extended producer responsibility: the principle that producers should be

given significant responsibility – financial and/or physical – for the

treatment or disposal of the waste from the products they create. Beyond

easing government budgets for waste management, such responsibility

in principle incentivizes companies to prevent wastes at the source,

promoting more environmentally friendly product design and supporting

the achievement of public recycling and materials management goals.




The policy interventions highlight the application of the waste hierarchy and

circular economy model for managing waste in Kenya as well the enabling

framework to support its implementation and realisation of a zero waste

economy. This is illustrated in Annexe 1.

3.1. Promote waste management through implementation of the waste

hierarchy and circular economy concepts

Increasing population and urbanization in Kenya, has led to increasing

challenges of collection, re-use, recycling, treatment and disposal of the ever

increasing quantities of solid waste. It is estimated that more than 22,000

tons/ day of garbage is currently generated and only 10% is recycled. Private

Companies that deal with waste recycling have indicated that, since most of

the collected waste from household waste is not sorted and comprises of 60 per

cent of organic waste, there is high contamination of garbage rendering

recycling difficult and expensive.

3.1.1 Adoption of Waste Hierarchy

The Waste management hierarchy provides an order of environmental priority

actions for proper waste management.It stipulates an integrated approach to

waste management by establishing an order for reduction and management of

waste., Extraction of total value from resources and generation of minimum

waste (the little waste to be disposed and disposal should be regulated). Proper

application of the waste hierarchy helps in reduction of waste, conservation of

energy and resources, development of green technologies and market practices,

prevention emission of green gas houses and boost green economy and create

new jobs in green entrepreneurship and resource management industry.

Sustainable and environmentally sound waste management is based on waste

management hierarchy that prioritises waste prevention and reduction, re-use,

recycling and composting, waste treatment and disposal to a regulated landfill

with energy recovery as the last least environmental friendly option. This policy

sets priority order for managing waste as a resource that should be harnessed

in Kenya according to the waste management hierarchy by adopting the

following policy measures.

Policy Statements


National Government will

(i) Develop national waste management law that prioritises and enforces the
waste hierarchy across the country.

(ii) Develop a national action plan for management of marine litter.

(iii) Developa 10 year rolling national waste management plan assessing
status of waste have management and long term approached for national

waste prevention programmes and approaches, future trends prediction
and measures to ensure achievement of zero waste status.

(iv) Support county governments to establish waste management

infrastructure for source segregation, standards and design for materials
recovery facilities’ and engineered landfills.

(v) Review and align regulations for E-waste, medical waste, chemicals,

pesticides’ and radioactive waste in accordance to this policy.

County Government will:

(vi) Align county waste management laws and strategies to the waste
management hierarchy.

(vii) Domesticate the national waste management and marine litter action

(viii) Set aside sufficient land for waste management activities, and generate

jobs and livelihoods from waste collection, recycling, and waste
management activities according to the waste hierarchy.

(ix) Establish and improve waste management infrastructure to promote
source segregation, collection, reuse, set up materials recovery facilities
and controlled disposal in engineered landfills.

3.1.2 Waste Prevention and Reduction

Waste prevention are measures adopted to create less wasteby reducing waste

at source of origin and minimising waste ending up to thelandfill much as

possible through integrating waste reduction in production processes, use of

eco-friendly inputs and packaging, better design of to enhance durability,

reusability and recyclability and use of , enhance segregation at source,

reduction of superfluous packaging, efficient resource use adoption of green

procurement and extension of product lifecycle. The following policy measures

are proposed for national government and county government in order to

reduce generation of waste:

Policy Statements

National Government will


1. Develop a 5 year rolling national solid waste management strategy that

prioritises zero waste, circular economy, waste hierarchy, education and

awareness programmes.

2. Develop framework for adoption of green procurement in public sector by

prioritising purchasing of locally produced goods and recycled products.

3. Develop economic instruments framework that promote waste prevention
and cleaner production at industrial production.

4. The ministry responsible for environmental affairs in consultation with

ministry responsible for industrialisation and standards authority will

develop regulations that

(i) Require all producers to use eco-friendly raw materials that

generate less waste, use cleaner production technologies and

manufacture eco-friendly products, packages and eco- labels that

promote circularity.

(ii) Require all producers, manufacturers, processors and importers to

declare lifecycle environmental impact of their products and

packaging in accordance to set international standards.

(iii) Sustainable packaging regulations to reduce waste from packaging

materials and labelling guidelines requiring all producers,

manufactures and importers to inform sellers and the consumer of

the characteristics of their product and packaging re-use, re-turn,

recyclability and measures to be taken with regard to waste

management at the end of the lifecycle.

County Government will:

(i) Prioritise waste prevention and minimisation in conformance to the
waste hierarchy when developing waste management plans and

3.1.3. Re-useof products and components

Re-use of products entails using again components or the product for the same

purpose they were conceived and includes cleaning and repair of discarded

items to facilitate re-use.

Policy Statements

National Government will:

1. Develop a national re-use framework for unutilised or excess goods

between government institutions in consultation with public

procurement authority and Kenya Bureau of Standards to ensure that

public sector organisations prioritise realistic re-use options over

purchase of new products.


2. Develop regulations and standards for locations for central collection

system for materials extracted from waste that can be re-used and

ensure that storage does not endanger human life, health or the


County Government will

1. Provide well managed central collection centres for materials that can

be harvested from waste that can be reused.

3.1.4. Re-Cycling

Recycling entails recovery of materials from waste for reprocessing and

production of secondary raw materials. Recycling also entailspreference

tosecondary raw materials in replacement where feasible of primary virgin

material.To promote circular economy and lock valuable resources in the

economy, the policy aims at maximising materials available for recycling

through the following measures:

Policy Statements

National Government will:

1. Review all laws and regulations and reclassify waste as “unsegregated

waste” and “recovered materials/ recyclable materials to give legal

recognition of “recyclates” extracted from waste in accordance to the

recovered resource concept.

2. Review laws and regulations that categorise all materials extracted in

accordance to recovered resource concept and reclassify waste as

“unsegregated waste” and segregated recyclable items as “recyclates or

recyclable materials”

3. Review and align licencing regime of waste management service

providers and recycling facilities with a view of proper categorisation and

licensing of waste service providers,materials recovery and recycling

facilities and landfill with a view of harmonising, fees and charges

according to the level at the value chain, ease the burden of compliance

and consolidation ofthe regime into aone stop shop/centralised and


4. Develop regulations on handling end of life vehicles, machinery and


5. Develop standards to stimulate development of a market for recycled
materials and organic compost in partnership with authority responsible

for standards.
6. Develop and promulgate quality standards for recycled materials and

secondary raw materials that will be developed in partnership with the

authority responsible for standards.


7. Create a regulatory environment that promotes a functional market for

waste and recycled materials without compromising quality standards,

public health and environment.

8. Put in place measures and economic instruments to reduce need for

virgin materials in favour of local recyclable materials in production


9. Initiate a mechanism for exempting recycling business and materials

recovery sector from presumptive tax, turnover tax and recycled

materials from VAT.

10. Develop regulations to require commercial properties such as

hotels, office buildings, hospitals to ensure that their waste is recycled

through a licensed service provider.

11. Develop co-processing guidelines that encourage the use of waste

as raw material, to replace natural minerals and fossil fuels in industrial

processes, mainly in Energy Intensive Industries (EII).

County Government will:

1. Create a County regulatory environment that promotes a functional

market for waste and recycled materials without compromising quality

standards, public health and environment.

2. Initiate a market and mechanism within the county procurement system

to prioritise recycled materials and materials recovery sector.

3. Develop countyregulationsto requireinstitutionsto ensure that their

waste is recycled through a licensed service provider

3.1.5. Composting

A major waste stream is biodegradable material consisting of organic and

kitchen waste, waste generated in agriculture through poor post-harvest

management, market places unsold produce, fresh and rotten vegetable waste,

expired grain produce and farm level agricultural waste which is biodegradable

under controlled aerobic conditions. Environmental effects of unmanaged bio

waste is green gas emissions and leachate production. Once segregated at

source, composting is an effective method for recycling organic waste.

Embracing use of compost from organic (agriculture and food based) and other

suitable wastes will contribute the reduction in GHG. This will recycle the

nutrients outside of landfills. Not all bio-waste though can be used to produce

compost due to contaminants. The following policy measures are proposed:

Policy Statement

National Government will:


1. Provide technical support to county governments and private sector to

manage food and organic wastes collection with appropriate treatment

options depending on the local conditions.

2. Develop guidelines and standards and review relevant legislation to

mainstream and recognise compost and organic fertiliser.

3. Support market development of compost as an alternative or

complimentary for synthetic fertilizer by mainstreaming 40 % quota

system for organic fertilizer in the national and county fertilizer subsidy


4. Develop a public information and awareness campaign to disseminate

the benefits of composting as technology in waste management.


1. The national and county government will carry out feasibility study to
identify potential sites for setting up composting plants and financial

requirements of setting up composting technology in the country.

County Government will:

1. Identify and prioritise potential sites for setting up composting plants

and financial requirements of setting up composting technology in the

2. Establish composting sites

3. Establish clear procedures for providing incentives to encourage private
sector participation in composting ventures.

3.1.6. Waste treatment before disposal

Waste treatment refers to physical, mechanical biological, thermal processing

of waste with by removal of toxic elements which if emitted would have severe

environmental impacts before disposal. The following policy measures shall

apply to waste treatment.

Policy Statements

Waste Management Entities

All legal entities performingtransport, storage, treatment and processing of

waste shall obtain an environmental license from NEMA for performing such


National Government will

1. Develop regulations:


(i) That ensurethat all residual waste is pre-treated to remove key

recyclables material and provide second opportunity to capture
recyclates missed at source segregation stage

(ii) That waste that cannot be re-used, or reprocessed or recycled be

subjected to physical, chemical, thermal or biological treatment in
order to reduce toxicity, volume andnegativeimpact to human life,

health and environment before final disposal.
(iii) Review and align regulations for treatment before disposal of

medical waste, chemical packaging, pesticides, e-waste and

radioactive waste.
2. The National Environment Management Authority will prescribe the form

and contents of license application for wastetreatment, storage, the

minimum technical conditions, organisational capacities and
environmental standards for waste treatment activities and facilities.

3. Put in place a framework for enhancing access to both local and
internationally best practices, technological advancements, and technical
process development for waste treatment.

4. Develop health and safety standards for all waste treatment facilities in
consultation with ministry responsible for occupational standards.

5. Develop standard competency based training curricula for waste
treatment operators.

County Governments will:

1. Domesticate waste treatment before disposal in County legislation.

Waste management facilities

1. The recyclers, bio-waste processors and material recovery facilities will

obtain environmental compliance licences from NEMA.

3.1.7. Transiting from Dumpsites to Landfills

Waste disposal is the final solution of discarding waste that cannot be used or

reprocessed at the least harm to human life, health or environment. Common

disposal methods consists of landfilling and incineration. Kenya will

progressively phase out open dumpsites. Engineered landfilling will be the last

option of the waste hierarchy and should be minimized.

Policy Statements

National Government will:

1. Develop guidelines for closure and decommissioning of existing


2. Ban all open burning of all waste at both household, commercial and

institutional level.


3. Prohibit disposal of hazardous waste including, e-waste and asbestos in

dumpsites and landfills.

4. Ban disposal of unsorted waste to dumpsites and landfills and will adopt

Materials Recovery Approach.

5. Ban disposal of hazardous, electronic waste, recyclables and

biodegradable waste in existing dumpsites.

County Governments’ will:

1. Implement the ban imposed by the national government

2. Develop a 3 year plan to transit from the current dumpsites and adopt

landfilling for residual waste.

3. Develop regulations and levying structure to promote the closure of open


4. Establish engineered landfills for disposal of non-recoverable fractions of


3.1.8. Landfills

A landfill is a controlled and regulated disposal site for unrecyclable waste with

basic operations and site management that has a controlled access, recording

facilities for incoming waste control and prevents the release of pollutants to

soil, water and air. Landfills are used for wastes that have no residual value.

The disadvantages of landfill disposal is that theyrequire large areas of land,

heavy investments, energy intense, produce a lot of heat, can contaminate soil

and water, and emits climate-relevant methane, carbon dioxide and odours. In

order to minimize the environmental damage, modern landfills are equipped

with a waterproof ground layer and the means to capture leachate and monitor

its quality.Alternatively, once the landfill is full, the waste can be compressed

and covered to capture the gas. This method is called landfill gas extraction

and it actually promotes the production of methane. The gas can either be

flared on the spot, used to generate heat and electricity (waste-to-energy), or

processed to natural gas-like fuels.

Landfills should only be used for residual waste (waste with no commercial

value left out after segregation process in a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).

The aim of this policy is to ensure that only those materials that cannot be

recycled are landfilled and shall apply the following measures

Policy statements

National Government will:


1. Develop classification, licensing requirements, standards and

engineering and design of landfill site design, planning, operations and

monitoring systems, landfill waste audit for non-hazardous, construction

and hazardous landfills.

2. Develop landfilling regulations requiring that the activity of landfilling be

performed by a public entity or a licensed materials’ recovery facility on

the basis of a license or contract for performing works of a public

interest or contract of concession.

3. Develop regulations on special conditions for disposing waste that

cannot be re-used, reprocessed or used as a source of energy including

disposal of e-waste, asbestos, radio-active and hazardous waste

requiring special permit, special handling and disposal.

4. Develop guidelines for landfills operations, automation and management.


1. The national and county governments in consultation with the Ministry

responsible for lands and urban planning will designate landfills

according to the national and county waste management plan while

taking consideration of impacts on natural resources, land use patterns’,

sensitive ecosystems and cultural resources.

County Government will:

1. Ensure that landfills are only used for residual waste that has no
commercial value left out after segregation process at a Materials

Recovery Facility (MRF).
2. Establish an engineered landfill in its county boundaries unless an inter-

county or county economic bloc agreement is in place for common

disposal of waste in a jointly managed engineered landfill.
3. Develop a public private partnership and concession framework for

establishment and operation of landfills by private operators.

4. Impose landfill fee to deter waste from landfills and dumpsites.

5. Domesticate national guidelines and regulations on landfilling.

3.1.9. Incineration (Waste to Energy)

This is the thermal treatment of wasteto convert it to energy, heat ash, and flue

gas and will be the last preferred option as per the waste hierarchy for waste

management in Kenya.

Policy Statements

National Government will:


1. Develop incineration guidelines and regulations.

2. All incinerators to acquire environmental licences from NEMA

3.2. Enhance Mapping, Planning, Segregation, Collection, Transportation

and Service Provision

With its increasing economic prosperity, increasing population and subsequent

urbanization, Kenyan county governments are challenged by collecting,

segregation, treatment and auditing of the ever increasing quantities of solid

waste. There is need to organize waste collection, segregation and

transportation services so as to regularly gather and organize already existing

data while generating additional knowledge and information to inform planning

and decision-making for integrated waste management going forward.

3.2.1 Waste Mapping

The country’s ability to respond effectively to the waste challenge requires

enhanced data collection on waste generation, current waste disposal

practices, waste minimization, reuse and recycling opportunities, as well as the

impacts of the current poor state of waste management on public health and

the environment.

Policy Statements

National Government will:-

1. Develop a national data collection system and baselines on all waste

types, volumes generated and how they are handled, to ensure that all
policy and regulatory decisions at the national level are informed by and
based on credible data.

2. Develop a national reporting system for monitoring and enforcement,
and maintain a regularly updated waste management database of private

entities engaged in waste management services.
3. Incorporate waste management indicators into the National Integrated

Monitoring and Evaluation System

4. Map the waste value chain with a view of proper categorization and
regulation of players in the sector including waste handlers, waste
treatment and processing and waste disposal.

County Government will:-

1 Set up data collection system of the county waste streams, volumes
generated and how they are handled, registered service providers to
ensure that all policy and regulatory decisions at the county level are

informed by and based on credible data.


2 Incorporate waste management indicators into the County Integrated

Monitoring and Evaluation System.
3 Put in place measures to harness the waste value chain to generate jobs

and income for diverse stakeholders.

3.2.2 Waste Segregation

Waste segregation includes all measures to ensure quality of materials

extracted from waste and reprocessed is maintained for the realization of

maximum value of resources and environmental protection from waste.The

following policy measures shall apply to waste segregation:

Policy Statements

National Government will:-

1. Develop regulations that require all Institutions, businesses, commercial
trading, Industrial, residential and property developers to provide source
segregation receptacles at their premises.

2. Design standard waste segregation receptacles to be mainstreamed in
building designs.

3. Develop food waste regulations to require separate collection, transport and

processing into useful products thus diverting organic waste from landfilling
by all institutions, commercial, industrial and households waste generators.

4. Develop harmonised regulations and guidelines for the minimum waste
fractions for sorting at source at household, business, industrial and
institutional levels.

5. Develop regulations requiring all hazardous and radioactive waste including
electrical and electronic equipment waste to be sent to a licensed recycling
and recovery facility locally and abroad for disposal.

6. Carry out national public awareness on waste segregation categories, colour
codes and national campaign on importance of sorting at source.


1. Streamline and harmonise national and county government legislation

on licensing of sorting sites toavoid double licensing and make waste
management more attractive to investors.

County Government will:-

1. Enforce waste fractions segregation at source based on the national

gazetted minimum waste fractions for all waste generators including
household level.

2. Ensure waste service providers provide separate waste segregation

containers to enable sorting at source of organic waste, recyclable and
non-recyclables and educate the waste generators on the prescribed

sorting categories and methods.


3. Carry out county public awareness on waste colour codes and

importance of proper sorting in all public labelled bins for easier sorting.

3.2.3. Waste Collection

Waste collection is the transfer of recyclable materials and waste from point of

generation. Waste collection should be managed in line with the waste

hierarchy supportive of extraction of maximum value principle of waste

segregation and resource efficiency.System of deposit return of products or

containers allows for special upfront surcharge or deposit by manufactures

which is then refunded to the consumer when he or she returns the containers

or products for recycling or proper disposal. Historically, deposit systems are

used for glass, aluminium, plastic, drinking bottles and cans. Deposit- return

systems enhance collection of materials and packages and reduces

contamination by incentivising the consumer as well as enhancing

recirculation back to the economy loop. The following policy measures will

apply to waste collection:

Policy Statements

National Government will:-

1. Developregulations on design, size, construction and maintenance of public

waste receptacles for purpose of access and emptying.
2. Develop regulations on management of construction waste.0724443347
3. Develop extended producer responsibility regulations that require all

producers, importers, and distributors and traders to be members of a
mandatory or registered extended producer responsibility scheme.

4. Develop regulations for deposit return system and requirements for system

operations, coordinator, administrators and operators.
5. Develop regulations and standards for refund marking of products and

containers under the deposit return system.
6. Specify materials and packaging subject to be managed under compulsory

deposit return system.

7. Develop regulations that all bottle containers and cans to have ISSBN
number orre-use/recycling markthat can be recognized by the reverse

vending machines to facilitate identification and implementation of deposit
system for bottle containers

8. Develop and formalize trade-in, take-back schemes, and innovative

approaches for collection of specific reusable products, packaging and
other recyclable materials.

9. Develop economic incentive including tax measures to incentivise reverse

vending machines, balers and compactors to facilitate easy collection of
voluminous waste materials.

10. Ensure that all producers label the products or containers with a refund
marking in a manner established by law.


County Government will:-

1. Establish “public collection centres“ guided by the principle of proximity,
where the public can discard a variety of recyclable household waste such
as paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, & metal including electronic products

and hazardous waste.
2. Develop regulations and guidelines for county cleaning, collection and

transportation schedules in respect to waste fractions segregated at source.
3. Ensure all citizens have access to waste collection services and receptacles
4. Adopt nationally prescribed design, size, construction and maintenance of

public waste receptacles.
5. Authorise placing of waste receptacles on county public places.
6. Enforce requirement that property owners, landlords and caretakers be

held responsible for waste dumped infront and around their facilities.
7. Ensure all public places within their jurisdiction are clean.

8. Ensure that all public event organisers submit waste management plan of
the waste generated or engage a licensed waste provider to manage waste
generated during the event.

9. Foster cooperation with Resident Associations to eliminate waste dumping
within their jurisdiction.

3.2.4 Waste Transportation

Waste should be transported in an environmentally sound manner without

causing pollution or bad odour or further littering. A waste manifest system

enables tracking of transportation of waste both hazardous and non-hazardous

till it reaches its disposal destination.

Policy Statements

National Government will-:

1. Develop segregated waste transportation designs for trucksand waste
transportation vehicles and handcartsincluding compartmentsfor waste

transportation vehicles,GPS trucking devise, single colour for all
wastetransportation trucks, standard labelling to identify waste service

2. Develop guidelines requiring all legal entities or individuals handling
hazardous or non-hazardous waste to provide identification and waste

3. Review and align all existing waste and recovered materials transport

regulations to this policy.

4. Ensure waste transportation trucks adhere to air quality regulations.
5. All waste transportation shall be licenced by NEMA.



1. The national and county governments will review and harmonise waste

transportation charges.
2. Develop designs, guidelines, and requisite operations for transfer stations

for non-hazardous waste intended for storage, processing and transfer to

designatedMaterial Recovery Facility (MRF).

County Government will:

1. Develop guidelines for waste transportation in Counties that is is aligned to
national regulations.

3.2.5. Waste Service Providers

Waste Service Providers include legal entities or registered individuals and

community groups licensed to collect , transport waste ,run and

operatematerials recovery facilities , Recycle, treatand dispose waste to

engineered landfills.The harmonisation of their services is very crucial to

ensure achievement of waste hierarchy goals and targets.

Policy Statements

National Government will:

1. Establish a national integrated network of waste service providers,
including collectors, transporters, materials recovery facilities, waste

treatment and disposal facilities for coordinated delivery of waste
management services in the country.

2. Develop guidelines, standards and regulations and licensing requirements
to harmonize waste management services and require that all waste service
providers provide quality services that protect human life, health and

3. Publish annually locations and managers contacts of established and

licensed material recovery facilities, recycling facilities, co-processing and

energy recovery of waste.

County Government will:-

1. Ensure that Waste collectors and transporters take their collected waste
to materials recovery facilities and not directly to dumpsites.

2. Publish annually a list of licensed waste operators.
3. Supervise and manage waste management service providers operating in

their jurisdiction to ensure they deliver effective waste management

services to the materials recovery facilities in accordance to the waste
hierarchy priority.

The following policy measures shall apply to waste collectors and transporters:


1. Licensed waste management service providers shall be responsible for

collection and transportation of waste from locations specified in their

contracts and transport them to materials recovery facilities or licensed

recycling facilities only.

2. Waste collectors and transporters shall adhere to determined collection

and transportation schedules of sorted materials and waste streams.

3. Waste collectors and transporters shall submit a 3 year waste

management planaligned to the waste hierarchy priorities for the area of

coverage as part of the licensing requirements with a direct linkage to

Materials Recovery facilities for further sorting and processing of waste


4. Waste Service collectors shall put in place customer charters setting out

charging fees, collection schedules, and collection of extra waste or

removal of bulky waste as well as provide protective equipment and

proper identification of their employees/waste handlers.

5. Waste service collectors and transporters shall provide health safety

information to all staff and visitors regarding waste handling and ensure

their staff possess the requisite technical and knowledge on waste


3.2.6Material Recovery facilities (MRFs)

A materials recovery facility (MRF) is a specialized plant that receives,

separates and prepares recyclable materials for marketing and subsequent use

in terms recycling of the dry materials and composting of the organic materials

and processing of secondary raw materials. MRFs form an integral part of a

circular economy value chain as waste materials need to be sorted first before

they can be recycled.

To promote circular economy and locking valuable resources in the economy,

the policy aims that all waste collected by waste collectors should first go to

MRFs and only the sorted residual materials should then go to a waste-to-

energy or landfill facility.

Policy statements

National Government will:-

1. Develop regulations and guidelines on operations of MRFs
2. Ensure the Material Recovery facilities be licensed in accordance with

guidelines and regulations developed by the National Environmental

Management Authority (NEMA).


The National and County Governments will:-


1. Ban unsorted waste dumping andadopt Materials Recovery approach.

2. Redesign existing dumpsites into Materials Recovery Facility (MRFs).
3. Facilitate establishment of materials recovery facilities (MRFs).

County Government will:-

1. Establish MRFs.
2. Domesticate and enforce national regulations and guidelines on MRFs.

3. Consolidate an annual report of the MRFS and submit to the Ministry
responsible for environmental matters.

4. County government shall collect and transport residual waste from MRF to
the landfills.

5. Ensure MRFs be the only facilities allowed to take waste to engineered

6. Provide enabling environment for private sector to establish MRFs

7. Enforce ban on unsorted waste dumping

Materials Recovery Facility Operators

1. Ensure all material recovery facilities submit a 3 year waste management
plan with clear linkages to waste collectors, recycler and landfills for the
area of coverage as part of the licensing requirements.

2. Ensure all materials recovery facilities automate their operations and
record trucks that enter facility (plate number, amount) technical and

organizational capacities.
3. Provide data quarterly to county governments of materials received,

quantities sorted and dispatched or disposed to a landfill.

3.3. Strengthen national and county legal and institutional frameworks

3.3.1. Strengthening the Institutional Framework

Currently, there exists gaps in the coordination and enforcement of

environmental legislation on waste management in the country. The situation

has been exacerbated by the lack of national policy for the coordination of

waste management. Further, laws related to waste management are

fragmented and outdated leading to disparities in regulation and enforcement

by different government institutions and counties.

The situation has resulted in the uncoordinated and uneven manner in which

these institutions implement the waste management functions. To address

these gaps, this policy outlines the roles and responsibilities of the government

entities, devolved units and stakeholders as follows:

Policy Statements

National Government will:-


1. Review and align current national waste management strategy to the

waste management hierarchy and circular model.
2. Establish an inclusive National Waste Management Council.
3. Establish a secretariat of the Council under the Environment Secretary

that shalldevelop, coordinate and oversight the implementation of the
national waste management plans, reporting and monitoring of set

national targets and goals, strategies and activities.
4. License materials recovery facilities, waste treatment facilities and


5. Involved in establishing on public legal redress on waste management


1. Ensure that the waste management enforcement and inspection regime

is robust and well resourced.

County Government will:-

1. Domesticate the national waste management plan..
2. Mainstream county waste management oversight in the county

environment committee.


1. Individuals and households shall contribute to the costs of providing the

services used for segregation, collection, transportation, treatment and

disposal of the wastes they generate.

3.4 Transparent mechanisms for waste management infrastructure.

Adequate and predictable financial resources are a crucial component for

achieving Kenya’s sustainable waste management objectives. Given the extent

of the waste management challenge, it is important to ensure that internal and

external sources of finance are mobilized. Kenya therefore requires a suitable

framework to attract and efficiently utilise waste management finance.

Governments at all levels will be required to integrate sustainable waste

management actions into budgetary processes. Sufficient budgetary allocation

for all institutions performing sustainable waste management functions will be

prioritised to ensure that the necessary human, technical and financial

resources are available.


3.4.1 Setting up financial mechanisms

Economic incentives are useful tools to encourage good solid waste

management practices and incentivize investment in waste management. In

addition the polluter pays principle ensures that waste management at County

level is financially viable. The Ministry will, in collaboration with lead agencies

and County Governments, optimize the country’s opportunities to mobilize

finance for sustainable waste management, and ensure coordination across all

national and county government bodies.

Economic instruments that encourage or discourage particular behaviour or

actions with respect to sustainable waste management will be critical to

augment other legal and regulatory instruments.

The government recognizes the need to strengthen transparency and

accountability and will take necessary steps to prevent corrupt practices in

waste management finance and actions.

Policy Statements

National Government will:-

1. Adopt a sustainable waste management finance strategy and eligibility

criteria that enables implementation of priority actions.

2. Explore possible avenues to attract internal and external sustainable

waste management finance, including through foreign direct investment

and other multilateral or bilateral funding

3. Ensure sufficient resources for institutions engaged in sustainable waste

management education and public awareness.

4. Promote private sector involvement in the waste sector through the

introduction of incentives, removal of investment barriers, and creation

of a conducive investment climate and facilitation of access to finance.

5. Prepare and implement a comprehensive, full costing of the

nationalwaste management action plan developed by the waste

management Council andperiodically review its financing under the

framework of this Policy.


1. The national and county governments will set up a 5 year waste
Infrastructure delivery programme including financial support through
waste infrastructure grants for material recovery facilities,waste

treatment to address shortfall in residual waste treatment capacity.

County Government will

1. Allocate resources for sustainable waste management actions in county

budgetary processes.


2. Build capacity to mobilise and enhance absorption of resources for

sustainable waste management interventions.

3. Promote the creation of green jobs by establishing an enabling policy

framework for investment, and creating business friendly regulatory

environments in recycling, green economy, and sustainable waste


4. Support waste management enterprises at county level, including those

run by vulnerable and marginalized Groups.

Citizens and Individuals

1. Waste generators including individuals and households shall contribute

to the cost of waste management services.

3.4.2. Waste Reporting and Audit

The purpose of waste audit is to monitor waste management activities and

compliance with waste management procedures and regulations. It is

fundamental in accounting for waste and data generation for planning and

informing decision making.

Policy Statements

County Government will:-

1. Provide semi-annual reports to the national waste management council

showing how and when materials were collected within their jurisdiction,

volume of materials recycled and measures undertaken to implement the

waste hierarchy in the county.


1. National and county governments will through the national waste

management council establish annual consultative forum for Waste

Management Development and stock taking towards the set waste hierarchy

priority targets.

Waste Management Service Providers will:

1. Submit report and data on organizational and technical capacities,

measures for waste handling in the order of waste hierarchy on a quarterly

basis to the county government.


2. Keep monthly records of quantity, source of waste, storage, waste handled

or processed or handed over to recyclers and waste intended for disposal,

technical and organizational capacities and submit the report to county

government on a quarterly basis.

3. All waste treatment and disposal facilities shall record trucks that enter

facility (plate number, amount) technical and organizational capacities and

provide data quarterly to county governments.

National Government will:-

1. Publish bi annual national report on waste management in the country and

level of achievement of the waste hierarchy including total volume of waste

collected in the country, total recycled and disposal methods and measures

being undertaken to ensure best environmental and zero waste outcomes

are being achieved.

2. Prescribe conditions and requirements including technical, equipment,

facilities and competencies to be fulfilled by waste auditors and

accreditation of bodies eligible for waste assessment and audit.

3.5. Strengthen partnerships and increase public awareness

In order to enhance an integrated waste management system, it is essential to

engage with and educate all stakeholders, since each one plays a unique role.

The current situation is that stakeholders are not working together. The

informal sector is inadequately integrated in the formal waste related economy.

Citizens are not fully aware of their roles. The private sector is mainly

implementing business as usual approach. Government does not have

appropriate engagement programs and mechanisms. Therefore, different

measures and approaches are needed to ensure participation and coordination

of all stakeholders.

3.5.1. Education and public awareness

Raising and maintaining awareness on integrated waste management is crucial

to enhance the participation and increase the responsibility of the public as a

positive agent of change. Inclusion of sustainable waste management

knowledge into the education curriculum at all levels should be prioritized.

Policy Statements

National government will

1. Develop a training and certification curriculum for waste management



2. Develop and implement guidelines for mainstreaming of sustainable

waste management in education curriculum at all levels through

Environmental Education and extra-curriculum activities.


The National and County Government will

1. Incorporate sustainable waste management knowledge intogovernment

public awareness initiatives and advertising

2. Collaborate with, and support, media, private sector and civil society in

incorporating sustainable waste management into their advocacy and

public awareness raising programmes

3. Encourage smart purchasing such as buying right amount of goods like

food so that none goes to waste.

4. Provide timely information on waste management using diverse

platforms including institutional websites.

3.5.2. Formalization of the informal sector

The informal sector plays a vital role in the waste management system,

especially in the collection and recycling of waste. Recognizing their role and

including them in the formal economy are necessary steps to enhance an

integrated waste management system and contribute to a circular economy.

Policy Statements

National Government will:-

1. Translate the waste hierarchy campaign in local languages for easier

understanding of the informal sector.


National and County governments will:-

1. Support the formalization of the informal sector through mapping and

organisation and legal registration of the waste pickers groups.

2. Train the informal groups on this policy, waste hierarchy, materials


recovery facilities, safety measures and marketing of recycled waste and


3. Strengthen linkage between informal sector with markets for recycled


County Government will:-

1 Assign communal waste collection centres and transfer stations to

formalised and organised groups to manage the services

2 Mobilise communities especially in the informal settlements and support

formation of community based waste management groups or organisations.

3 Support waste management initiatives of the formalized groups through

County Waste Funds.

3.5.3. Capacity Development

Capacity-development on sustainable waste management is critical for multiple

sectors of the economy, the public, and national and county governments. Its

focus will include the training of government and county institutions to

effectively implement policy frameworks, laws and regulations. It will also

include the private sector through capacity building and knowledge transfer on

the circular economy and move beyond business as usual model.

Policy Statements

National Government will:-

1. Develop and implement a sustainable waste management capacity

development strategy targeting public institutions (ministries and counties) as

well as private sector and informal groups

County Government will:-

1. Prioritize proximity in capacity building and waste management


2. Domesticate the national sustainable waste management capacity

development strategy.

3.5.4 Mainstreaming Gender, Youth and Special Needs groups


In view of their unique roles in society, women and men can be active agents to

address sustainable waste management challenges. The youth represent a

crossover between the present and future generations, and therefore play a

critical part in socio-economic development. It is necessary to carve out

opportunities for them to participate in the decision-making processes of waste

governance. Moreover, creating job opportunities for people with special needs

in the waste management sector should be prioritized.

Policy Statements

1. The County government will put in place mechanisms to ensure and

enhance the participation of the youth and vulnerable groups in

sustainable waste management decision-making and implementation

2. Engender all activities of the Sustainable waste management policy.

3. National and County governments will undertake a systemic analysis of

the various special needs. Based on the analysis, job opportunities and

incentives for people with such needs should be included in the waste

management system.

3.5.5 Collaboration and Stakeholders Participation

Although the Government will continue to play the lead role in waste

management and planning, it will foster participatory partnerships with the

County governments, private sector, formalised informal sector, civil society

organisations, international agencies and media

Policy Statements

National government will:

1. Promote international collaboration to harness best practices, technology
and resources for waste management.

2. Strengthen partnerships for implementation of the waste management
hierarchy especially hazardous waste through the Basel convention and

other bilateral programs.


National and County governments will:-

1. Ensure industries align their waste management approaches and
priorities to this policy.

2. Develop and implement a partnership strategy targeting diverse


3. Enhance coordination of partnerships engagements.

4. Promote and facilitate regional waste management approaches for
certain types of wastes where economic viability is a challenge.

3.5.6. Research and knowledge management

Technological innovation, which involves expanding and adapting existing

waste management technologies to the national or local context requires not
only strong capabilities of the various actors but a strategy to build, enhance
and maintain the requisite human resource capacity. Waste management is a

dynamic paradigm and requires consistent research and innovation as new
waste streams are released regularly. Universities and research institutions
play a critical role in generating data to guide decision making as well as

innovation development. Currently, there is inadequate research being carried
out on waste management.

Research data handling requires enhanced coordination to enhance its
availability to all players. Currently, research data is scattered in diverse

libraries and portals and there is inadequate coordination. In this regard,
knowledge management will be strengthened to play a critical role in guiding
waste planning and interventions.

Policy Statements

National Government will:-

1. Enhance the capacity of the public and private sectors, civil society and

research institutions to develop and utilise technological innovations for

waste management.

2. Establish waste and material recovery research and training institution

to build professional waste management capacity in the country.

3. Develop a portal to share waste related data and information.


National and County governments will:-

1. Identify research and technology needs and promote strategic and

systematic waste management-related research, impact and vulnerability

assessments, and technology development and diffusion.

2. Enhance linkages between government, academia, private sector, civil

society and global sustainable waste management innovation




Annex 1 – Terminology

Circular Economy – An economic system aimed at minimising waste and

making the most of resources. This regenerative approach is in contrast to the

traditional linear economy, which has a 'take, make, dispose' model of


Waste hierarchy – the order of management preferences for waste management

which considers the prevention of its generation as the first alternative; then

its recovery, which includes the preparation for reuse, the recycling of one or

more of its components and the energy recovery of the waste, leaving as a last

alternative final disposal in an engineered landfill.

“domestic waste” means waste generated from residences that are not


“extended producer responsibility measures” means measures that extend a

person's or a firm’s financial or physical responsibility for a product to the

post-consumer stage of the product,

Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) – A materials recovery facility (MRF) is a


specialized plant that receives, separates and prepares recyclable materials for

marketing and subsequent use in terms recycling of the dry materials and

composting of the organic materials and processing of secondary raw


“recovery” means the controlled extraction of a material or the retrieval of

energy from waste to produce a product;

“recycle” means a process where waste is reclaimed for further use, which

process involves the separation of waste from a waste stream for further use

and the processing of that separated material as a product or raw material;

“re-use” means the action or practise of using something again, whether for its

original purpose or to fulfil a different function;

“sustainable waste management” means using material resources efficiently to

cut down on the amount of waste produced, and where waste is generated

dealing with it in a way that actively contributes to the economic, social and

environmental goals of sustainable development;

“toxic substances” means any substance, which on entry into an organism

through ingestion, inhalation and dermal contact is injurious, causes

physiological, or biochemical disturbances or otherwise causes deterioration of

the functions of the organism in any way;

“waste” means any substance, material or object, that is unwanted, rejected,

abandoned, discarded or disposed of, or that is intended or required to be

discarded or disposed of, by the holder of that substance, material or object,

whether or not such substance, material or object can be re-used, recycled or

recovered and includes all wastes as municipal waste, domestic waste, waste

from agriculture, horticulture waste, aqua culture waste, forestry waste,

construction waste, medical waste, chemical, hazardous and toxic industrial

waste, pesticide and toxic substances,but does not include radioactive waste;

or any other substance, material or object that is not mentioned above but may

be defined as a waste by the Cabinet Secretary by notice in the Gazette.Any

waste or portion of waste, referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) ceases to be a

waste once an application for its re-use, recycling or recovery has been

approved by the Authority or, after such approval, once it is, or has been re-


used, recycled or recovered;orwhere approval is not required, once a waste is,

or has been re-used, recycled or recovered.

“waste management facility” means any site or premise used for the

accumulation of waste with the purpose of disposing of that waste at that site

or on that premise, reducing, recycling, reusing, storage, conversion into other

useful products like energy, manure and disposal of waste;

“waste minimization or reduction programme” means a programme that is

intended to promote the reduced generation and disposal of waste; and

“waste valorisation” means any activities aimed at turning waste into useful

products including materials, chemicals and sources of energy and also by

reusing, recycling, or composting from wastes; and

“waste management hierarchy” – the waste management hierarchy is an order

of priority actions for proper waste management to minimize public health and

environmental impact.It stipulates an integrated approach to waste

management by establishing an order for reduction and management of waste

to extract maximum value from resources and generation of minimum

waste.Waste prevention, as the preferred option, is followed by reuse, recycling,

recovery including, as a last option energy recovery and safe disposal in an

engineered landfill.

“zero waste principle” means designing and managing products and processes

to reduce the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, and conserve and

recover all resources, and not burn or bury them, so that waste is understood

as a resource that can be harnessed to create wealth, employment and reduce

pollution of the environment.



COK 2010 Constitution of Kenya 2010

COG Council of Governors

EAC East Africa Community

EII Energy Intensive Industries

EMCA Environmental Management and Coordination Act

MRF Materials Recovery Facility

MEF Ministry of Environment and Forestry

NEMA National Environment Management Authority

NDC Nationally Determined Contribution

NAMA Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action

NIMES National Integrated Monitoring and Evaluation System

EPR Extended Producer Responsibility

POPs Persistent Organic Pollutants

UNEA United Nations General Assembly

VAT Value Added Tax


= |

Materials Recovery Facility Waste disposal
Reception: Sorting and (landfill) (5%)
Incineration / Waste-
| to-enersy (5%)
\_{_ “es }-—fero
[institutional Arrangements | [Financial Mechanisms | [Capacity Development | [Education and awareness _]
[Formatize informal Sector | [Waste Reporting and Audit | [Gender Youth and vG_|
Collaboration Stakehol Participation

Law clause

  • Article 42
  • Article 42
  • Article 11
  • section 6.3

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