Solid waste management

Solid waste management (SWM) is the process of collecting, handling and disposing of organic and inorganic waste and should be included in WASH interventions. Engaging with community members and collaborating with local government agencies, as well as informal and formal (private sector) waste actors is important. Solid waste management involves:

  • Planning solid waste management systems
  • Handling, separating , storing, sorting and processing waste at source
  • Transferring waste to a collection point, and
  • Transporting and final disposal, reuse, re-purposing or recycling.


Guidelines and tools​

Red Cross Red Crescent Guidelines and tools

Developed as part of the Red Cross Red Crescent Green Response Initiative, these guidelines provide practical, sector specific information on how to better manage solid waste in emergency response operations, with the aim of leading to better outcomes for affected communities and improved environmental sustainability.

Use the navigation menu on the left of each page to quickly access the relevant sections and information.

These guidelines are organised in four main sections:

  • Section 1 – General framework for solid waste management (SWM) in emergencies;
  • Section 2 – Sector specific guidance notes for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), shelter and settlements, livelihoods, relief and logistics, health and facility and office management;
  • Section 3 – General guidance notes on SWM including standards and legal requirements, waste assessments, waste collection systems, recycling, organic waste recovery, incineration and land filling;
  • Section 4 – Additional resources and further information.
Checklist for inclusive MHM friendly solid waste facilities





External Guidelines and tools

To include resources on this page, or for more information on IFRC initiatives please contact: