How to train people on zero waste?

Zero Waste Training Handbook and two training programs

Zero waste is one of those things that everyone seems to be talking about and yet many don’t really understand what it is. From a systemic point of view it is the practical toolkit for implementing circular economy on a local level. In reality it is often the city or municipality that has to finally implement many of the green goals and targets set by the governments and the EU.

For this reason we have created two training programs:


These documents explain the main framework and competences needed to either support municipalities in their zero waste journey or to educate people in zero waste topics. Both of these curricula are supported by a comprehensive Zero Waste Training Handbook that digs deeper into the main topics. The handbook chapters can be used both as teaching material and as self-learning tool.

You can download the Zero Waste Training Handbook as one file or below just the chapters that interest you. The handbook is divided into three main sections as listed below.
For future improvements, we welcome here your feedback after reading any of these documents.

1. Underlying principles

These short chapters give an overview why we have created this handbook, how to use it and describe our two main topics – zero waste and education – in a broader picture.

2. Zero Waste Trainer Resources

This section focuses on the main principles around learning and teaching and how these principles can help us teach zero waste more effectively. Note that most of these principles are quite universal for learning in general and therefore can be useful for any educator. These resources provide the „How?“ of our training materials.

3. Zero Waste Ambassador Resources

This section gives an overview of the basic zero waste knowledge that is needed in order to promote zero waste solutions on a municipality level.  These resources provide the „What?“ of our training materials.

Ambassador and Trainer Certificate

Both training programs are certified with a Zero Waste Ambassador and Zero Waste Trainer Certificate. It is a separate process you can apply to have your competences certified after a training or after learning the materials independently. Certified Ambassadors and Trainers from all across Europe are listed on the Zero Waste Europe’s expert page. An expert certification will give you confidence in carrying out your mission. It also can advance you in your career. Qualified knowledge in implementing circular economy is increasingly sought after in all sectors and various positions.

If you want to learn more about getting the Certificate, please look for more information here.



How is our work different from any other zero waste teaching materials?

There are a variety of workshops and training courses using both formal and non-formal education methods across the world that focus on teaching zero waste and circular economy. What makes our resources special is the strong basis on educational psychology. This means that the latest scientific knowledge on how the human brain learns and effectively acquires new information for long term memory has been embedded into these documents, which is unfortunately often not done in educational activities in general.

These documents are the result of the BEZWA project (Building a European Zero Waste Academy) – an Erasmus+ funded collaboration between five organisations with the main aim to create a strong educational framework in support of the zero waste cities movement in Europe. The project partners were Zero Waste Europe, Ekologi brez meja, Estonian University of Life Sciences and Tallinn University, with Let’s Do It Foundation as the project coordinator.

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