Practical Action, with the support of UNICEF, has been demonstrating an integrated sustainable waste management approach in Gaibandha municipality in Bangladesh. By introducing door step waste collection services from 1000 households using non-motorized three wheelers, segregation and recycling of waste to generate biogas energy for cooking, as well as production saleable nutritive compost has been made possible. This has generated 10 new full time positions. A partnership has been agreed between a local NGO (SMS) and the municipality, with Practical Action supporting SMS to improve its capacity to deliver these waste services particularly in low income settlements and slums. Increasing the coverage of the service and the efficiency of the recycling technologies will enhance the long term viability of the business.
Building on the earlier phase of the project, TOMRA Sorting Recycling is making an investment to introduce a conveyor belt to sort mixed waste collected from consumers to reduce the sorting time and increase the segregation performance. This will not only reduce health hazards to the workers but also optimise the efficiency of the recycling process. Allied to this, a number of awareness-raising events (courtyard meeting, rallies, cleanliness drives, posters, leaflets) have been organised to train communities in the safe handling and disposal of waste. These have attracted municipal representatives, social leaders and a wide cross-section of the communities themselves.
Work is now underway to upgrade the local biogas plant and increase its efficiency, enabling the compost to be used as organic fertilizer. An additional waste collection van has been purchased to serve the increased number of households from which waste is now being collected (which has increased to 1084 households in the municipality).
The distribution of compost to farmers for demonstration purposes has now commenced and it is anticipated that this will help build demand from an important potential – and growing – market.
More information about Practical Action: http://practicalaction.org/support