In 2009, the Egyptian Government identified the need for a National Solid Waste Management Programme (NSWMP) in response to the growing solid waste management crisis being faced in Egypt.
The political intention to address the situation was signaled by the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) tasked with guiding the process of formulating the National Solid Waste Management Programme (NSWMP). The Committee comprises representatives from key Ministries playing a role in the waste management sector.
Following the revolution, work on the NSWMP intensified, as it became clear that there was real potential for change in policy, and increased demand from citizens to improve solid waste management practices at the local level. The IMC and sector stakeholders recognized that inadequate standards of solid waste management impact health of citizens and the quality of the environment. It is the most visible of all public services, is one of the most practical of governance challenges, and is an essential component of the sustainable development of Egypt’s economy.
Above all, solid waste management was viewed as a sector of the economy with a strong growth potential, and an industry which has the potential to employ hundreds of thousands of people, including skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers, including youth of working age and poor and disadvantaged people.
In 2010, following an intensive process of consultation between Ministries, international and local experts as well as other stakeholders, broad based agreement was reached on the need to establish a national solid waste management entity. The IMC felt that developing a national centre for excellence in policy, legislation, strategy, technology, contracting and financing of solid waste management was necessary given the scale of the solid waste management problems being faced in Egypt, and the complex demands which need to be met in order to develop the sector. The entity was not aimed at centralizing waste management operations, rather as supporting the decentralized implementation of improved solid waste management practices at the local level.