Waste Concern : Collecting and Recycling Waste in Dhaka
|In domains||Reuse of Materials, Waste Management|
Only half of the 3000t domestic waste from the inhabitants living in Dakha is collected by the city council. The number of inhabitants will have reached 19, 5 million inhabitants by 2015. It will be more and more difficult to find sites to bury waste, as the city keeps growing. In parallel, waste pickers (tokai) look for re-usable or recyclable elements they sell. This non-official channel shows waste utilization can be worth.
Solution: Showing that waste can be a resource.
The waste collection and recovery program, as implemented by Waste Concern, relies on the community-based system. This system provides the following three stages:
- Collection: domestic waste is collected from each home thanks to a rickshaw (a driver and two pickers), working for 300 to 400 homes. Each home has to pay every month a tax between 20 and 35 cents, covering the incomes of the driver and the pickers, as well as operating and running costs.
- Composting: the collected waste is brought to neighbouring composting plants, which are often located next to residential areas. Waste is sorted out into either organic waste, or recyclable or no recyclable materials. Organic waste is converted to compost according to an odorless method. Once ready and sorted out, compost is put in 50kilo bags and then sold. A plant produces between 500 and 600kilos compost a day and processes between 2 and 3t domestic waste. Six employees –most of them being women- do the work.
-Marketing: Waste Concern helps the communities sell their compost to fertilizer companies and tree nurseries (between US $2,50 and 4,50 for a 50kilo bag)
Each community has its waste management committee. Waste Concern offers technical help and training to help members manage process and preserve the on-going services. After a year of training, Waste Concern transfers the project to the community but keeps following it during 3 years. City councils and NGOs then consider it a model and try to do implement it themselves.
• The authorities asked Waste Concern to apply the system to 5 other areas in Dhaka in 1998.
• Waste Concern has been backed by the United Nations Development Programme since 1998.
• As a result of a growing demand in enriched compost, another composting plant is going to establish itself.
• A methane recovery industry was created.
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