13 Sep 2021

How long does it take to become a Zero Waste Certified 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 team 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 – aiming to accelerate the transition towards zero waste and circular economy implementation at the local level.

Among other aspects, becoming a Zero Waste Certified City can help you comply (and go beyond) with EU and national regulations; save natural and economic resources with numerous social benefits (like new social jobs) for your community and gain worldwide recognition and credibility.


In this short interview, Jack McQuibban, Coordinator of the Zero Waste Cities Programme for Zero Waste Europe, tells us how long does it take for a municipality to become a Zero Waste Certified City.

How long does it take to become a Zero Waste Certified City?

This will depend on how ready the municipality is to become certified, including how prepared they are regarding the availability of local data and the evidence needed for the certification audit.

A municipality can submit their application to become a Zero Waste Candidate City at any time.
Once this has been completed and they are part of the network, then each municipality has a 2-year window to submit their request to be audited and become a Zero Waste Certified City.

Of course, if a municipality is ready then they can become Certified at any stage before the 2-year mark after their Candidate status is confirmed.

2 years is the maximum time allocated to make this next step, to ensure the Certification rewards actions rather than just commitments.

We have set this 2-year limit as from our experiences, this is sufficient time for a municipality starting from scratch to have the basic framework of a zero waste plan installed and operating effectively enough to reach at least the first level of Certification.

Of course, each municipality begins their journey from a different starting point and within a different context.

Together with MiZA, certification mentors will be able to provide municipalities with high-quality support to help design and begin implementing these zero waste plans, ensuring the effectiveness and positive impact that these policies have on the local community.

Want to watch the interview? Have a look here:

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