For Canadian municipal staff like Aron Hershmiller of Yorkton, Saskatchewan and Russ Smith of the Capital Regional District (CRD) on Vancouver Island, solid waste management planning is not a luxury — it is a provincial requirement.

But after volunteering with the Jordan Municipal Support Project (JMSP) and working with their Jordanian counterparts to develop solid waste management plans, both experts reflected on the importance of the “why” and “how” of planning.

“It’s more than just complying with government regulations. We create these plans to protect the environment, and to engage our citizens. It’s about creating stronger communities,” said Russ Smith.

Aron Hershmiller added that for him, it was all about diving into the process and mechanics, and “taking the time to collect the data and interpret it so you can make sustainable solid waste decisions.”

JMSP is a 5-year project that is focused on strengthening governance at the Ministry of Local Administration and 12 municipalities in Jordan. Municipal staff from Canadian municipalities, Yorkton, SK, the Capital Regional District, BC, and Colchester, ON, are working with four Jordanian municipalities (Ayl, Um Al Basateen, Abdullah Bin Rawaha and Al Gweireh) to enhance their capacity to plan and implement solid waste management services and introduce innovative solid waste management solutions. 

Alongside JMSP staff, the Canadian partners have worked alongside municipal staff to conduct 10 waste audits, host numerous focus groups and community meetings, offer trainings on sustainable behavior, and analyze their performance in solid waste management delivery. These activities help collect important data that will form the baseline for municipalities to develop their first solid waste management plans. JMSP municipalities are already using the data to encourage composting, textile recycling, and conducting clean up campaigns in their communities. By listening to the data, Jordanian municipalities are making important improvements in their communities.

JMSP and municipal staff perform a solid waste audit.

This project is funded by Global Affairs Canada.

© 2019 Federation of Canadian Municipalities