A sucessful community/private/public partnership model for waste recycling in Bangladesh
In Bangladesh, the large proportion of urban population combined with limited waste collection systems poses serious social, environmental and health problems. A social enterprise called Waste Concern has found a way to transform solid waste into organic compost using a low cost, low-tech and labour-intensive method and a decentralized partnership model involving local communities, development agencies, government entities, private companies, as well as academic and research institutions.
The project has generated about 1,000 jobs among the urban poor, especially women, and close to 500,000 people are benefiting from household waste disposal system across the country. The use of organic fertilizers also benefits farmers, by preventing degradation of soil fertility and increasing per hectare yield by 30-50%. Waste Concern has enabled to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17,000 tons between 2001 and 2006, and save 33 acres of landfill area. An upcoming Clean Development Mechanism project is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1 million tons over eight years, produce 50,000 tons of compost per year and create 1,000 new jobs for the poor. The model is being replicated in 10 cities across Asia and the Pacific.