1 Sep 2021

How do I become a Zero Waste Candidate City?

#AskMiZA - An interview with our team

Since we launched the Zero Waste Cities Certification, a huge amount of questions were raised about the what, why and how of the Certification process.

Therefore, we interviewed Mission Zero Academy and Zero Waste Europe‘s staff to answer the most frequently asked questions.

The Zero Waste Cities Certification is a third party assessed certification standard based on two different stages – the Candidate and Certified one – that the municipalities need to accomplish following 5 simple steps. Click here for more information.


In this short interview, Kaisa Karjalainen, MiZA Coordinator responsible for the overall development of the Academy and its services, summed up what are the requirements needed to reach the first stage of the Certification and become a Zero Waste Candidate City.

What are the requirements to become a Zero Waste Candidate City?

Becoming a Candidate Zero Waste City can seem pretty simple on paper cause it’s 4 requirements that a municipality needs to comply with.

And it can be pretty simple in practice as well if the municipality leadership is already committed to start their journey towards zero waste.

In the very core of the requirements is to make the commitment – start making those changes and to improve the waste management continuously.

The commitment needs to include a long-term vision to reduce the total amount of waste the municipality is producing, as well as minimizing landfilling, incineration and any other harmful types of disposal. And because zero waste is a journey – it doesn’t happen overnight – the commitment should be made in a way that even though there might be changes in the local government over the years, the commitment still stays valid.

The very last requirement to become a Candidate City is to raise awareness about zero waste and the commitment the municipality has made.

And that’s very important because, even though municipalities are pretty well equipped to do lots of the changes, they can’t do it all on their own, they need the help of the citizens and other stakeholders to really get those results. And that’s why awareness-raising is such a key step for success that it has made its way to become a mandatory requirement.

That’s all you have to do, that’s how you become a Zero Waste Candidate City.

Want to watch the interview? Have a look here:

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