The authors assess the governance capacity to implement resource recovery from organic waste streams in the municipality of Chía, Colombia, through applying the Governance Capacity Framework in a participatory process with local stakeholders. Their findings highlight the importance of local initiatives for resource recovery that allow experimentation, raise awareness and foster collaboration, as well as mechanisms available for public participation in decision-making processes as enabling factors.

Meanwhile, key barriers emerge from the research: inadequate monitoring and assessment of environmental strategies and policies, inadequate sharing of information among stakeholders and relatively low awareness of potential benefits of recovering resources from organic waste streams, especially among public sector actors.

Beyond Chía, the results provide insights on crucial factors for ensuring sufficient governance capacity in other urban areas in low- and middle-income countries that are considering circular approaches to urban sanitation and waste management. The findings also provide an empirical basis to advance the understanding of the governance conditions necessary for implementing resource recovery from organic waste streams, upon which further applications of the governance capacity framework along with participatory aspects in other similar urban contexts could build.