Municipal Waste Recycling Program (MWRP)

Providing grants and technical assistance for promising solid waste management and waste recycling efforts in urban and peri-urban areas

With rapid global population growth and urbanization, municipal waste generation is expected to rise to 2.2 billion tons per year by 2025 according to the World Bank. Much of this waste will be generated in parts of the world without adequate waste management systems and infrastructure. Mismanaged waste anywhere can affect marine health everywhere when waste pollutes the environment and flows into our oceans. Marine debris, including microplastics in the ocean, can lead to declining global fish stocks and cost billions of dollars to fisheries, tourism, and other industries – threatening economies and livelihoods across the globe.

USAID is working to address this critical challenge by building local capacity for more effective municipal waste management through the Municipal Waste Recycling Program, which operates in four countries that are among the world’s top contributors of marine plastics pollution: Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam .

Program Overview

USAID’s Municipal Waste Recycling Program is designed to reduce land-based sources of marine plastics pollution in Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. With proximity to two oceans, the cities of these countries are critical to reducing mismanaged plastics waste. Funded under the Making Cities Work IDIQ, the program provides grants and technical assistance for promising solid waste management and waste recycling efforts in urban and peri-urban areas, enhances the effectiveness of such programs and makes recommendations for future investments in municipal waste recycling.

Grants Program

The Municipal Waste Recycling Program grants support innovative and/or scalable solid waste management and recycling activities that promote social inclusion, empower women and youth, generate jobs and economic growth, and strengthen resilience. Qualified non-profit and for-profit non-governmental organizations, as well as academic and scientific institutions in the four MWRP countries and the United States were eligible to apply for grants funding. Submissions for grant applications and concept notes are now closed, and there will be no further rounds of grants funding. Though no additional rounds of funding will be awarded, interested stakeholders can access the MWRP Annual Program Statement here.


Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation in the world with a massive coastal population and growing economy. It is estimated that 83% of the waste generated in Indonesia is mismanaged – not properly recycled or safely disposed of in sanitary landfills. Recent scientific research shows that Indonesia could be responsible for as much as 1.29 million metric tons of plastic waste in our oceans annually, marking the country as the world’s second largest polluter as measured by total mass of mismanaged plastic debris.

Indonesia Country Profile

Fact Sheets:



Waste generation in the Philippines varies from 0.2 kg per capita per day in rural areas to close to 1.0 kg per capita per day in affluent urban areas. The Filipino government has put in place regulations for waste collection and treatment at the national level and plastic regulations at various local levels. Unfortunately, solid waste management supervision and rules enforcement are weak. Currently, waste is disposed of in open dumping sites, as well as sanitary and unsanitary landfills. Local initiatives to promote waste segregation at source and “zero waste” initiatives are increasing plastic waste recycling.

Philippines Country Profile

Fact Sheets:

Sri Lanka

Over the past few decades, Sri Lanka has enjoyed advantages in economic growth; however, this development has come at a cost, particularly in regards to coastal pollution. In 2005, Sri Lanka generated an estimated 6,400 metric tons/day of solid waste. The mismanagement of waste and an insufficient number of disposal sites have led to a reduction of flood retention areas, the pollution of wetland habitats, and the pollution of surface and groundwater sources.

Sri Lanka Country Profile

Fact Sheets:


Vietnam has experienced rapid urbanization and industrialization, notably in the last twenty years, as the country strives to reach industrialized nation status by 2020. Such intense development, particularly taking place in its larger cities, has led to an average annual increase of 10 to 16 % in urban waste generation. Vietnam lacks the financial resources to adequately equip and build facilities, and faces issues with the collection, transport, treatment, and disposal in urban areas.

Vietnam Country Profile

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To learn more about USAID’s flagship program on ocean plastics, visit