Issue 6
February 2001


a newsletter on
waste management and recycling
in Bangladesh



Solid waste management has become a major environmental concern in the city of Dhaka, which is one of the fastest growing mega cities of the world. Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) with its limited resources, technical know-how, and inadequate policy framework is facing an uphill task to keep the city clean at an acceptable level.

In order to keep the neighborhoods clean at local level more than 200 neighborhoods in 90 wards of Dhaka city have organized on self-help basis their own primary house-to-house waste collection system on cost recovery basis with contributions in the form of service charge by the community. Community based collection of solid waste in the capital city is in operation for more than a decade. It provides waste collection service from house-to-house and transports the waste to nearest municipal bins or demountable containers. In the absence of bins or containers, they transport the waste to nearby open waste collection points.

These community based initiatives have led to a clean neighborhood but at the same time given a dirty look to the city, due to non-removal of waste from secondary waste collection points like bins and containers. Moreover, faulty design of bins and containers for linking it with rickshaw van based primary collection; it is not possible to discharge the waste directly into the bins and containers for secondary collection.

In order to solve the linkage problem between primary and secondary collection, it is high time to introduce the concept of small transfer stations in Dhaka, which facilitates solid waste from primary collection vehicles (such as rickshaw vans) to be discharged directly into loads that are to be carried by bigger motorized trucks or by other means to distant landfill sites. A transfer station may also serve as materials recovery facility. This type of transfer stations are in operation in the cities of Beijing, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Manila, Bangkok, and Jakarta in the region.

We strongly believe that in order to improve the cleanliness of the city there is an urgent need to introduce transfer stations in


Dhaka city and also to dispense with municipal bins and containers which have become an eye sore and breeding ground for disease vectors. A low cost transfer station designed by Waste Concern as shown in the following figure may be suitable and after trail in urban setting of Dhaka extended to all parts of the metropolis.


  • Potentials Of Organic Waste Recycling Through Composting In Khulna City
  • Community Based Decentralized Solid Waste Management Systems Forging New Partnership At Bangalore, India
  • Fourth Community Based Composting Plant At Dhalpur
  • Training Program On Solid Waste Management
  • 26th WEDC Conference Participants Visits Waste Concern's Project Site At Dhaka
  • Publication On Solid Waste Management.



Iftekhar Enayetullah & A .H. Md. Maqsood Sinha
Contributions, comments and suggestions may be sent to:

Waste Concern
House 21B, Road-7, Block-G, Banani Model Town,
Dhaka-1213, Bangladesh
Phone: (8802)9884774, (8802)608006, Fax: (8802)9564732

Potentials Of Organic Waste Recycling Through
Composting In Khulna City

Iftekhar Enayetullah & A .H. Md. Maqsood Sinha


Composting is the controlled biodegradation of organic matter, usually under aerobic conditions, by which a material is transformed into compost. Compost is the stable end product derived from biological degradation of organic material, which can vary from dead leaves and roots to kitchen waste and vegetable remains under controlled conditions.

If properly decomposed, compost is free from odor and pathogen free brown mixture which can be used as soil conditioner. Compost increases the efficiency of plant nutrient uptake, water-holding capacity of soil and soil aeration. In addition to these, compost reduces soil crusting, soil erosion, water logging problems and incidence of some root diseases.

Compost is not a substitute of synthetic fertilizers with high nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content, rather it complements the use of synthetic fertilizers. Compost helps to increase better nutrient distribution and retention by the soil.


Waste generated in Khulna city is suitable for composting as its physical composition analysis shows that the bulk (78%) is compostable. It has been found that informal sector extracts most of the readily recyclable materials which is about 6% of the total generated waste from Khulna's waste stream comprising of paper, plastic, polythene, glass, iron, bone, tin etc. However, still considerable value remains in the bulk compostable portion of the waste, that may be further recycled through composting.


Major preconditions which are necessary for successful operation of composting are:
Suitability of waste;
Market for end product near the source;
Support from government authorities, particularly those responsible for agriculture, local government and environmental protection;

Affordable price of compost for the farmers; and Availability of labour.


Factors in favour of composting as a resource recovery option for Khulna city are :
Waste generated in Khulna is suitable for composting as around 78% of it is compostable. Moisture content of 50 to 60 percent is optimum for aerobic composting. The typical moisture content of Khulna city is 55 percent, which is within the acceptable range for composting.
Source separated organic waste, free from toxic and clinical wastes, which is essential for good quality compost, can easily be obtained in Khulna. House to house collection of waste and separate collection of clinical and hospital waste are being introduced in Khulna with community participation by NGOs/ CBOs and active support of KCC.

There is a good potential market for compost around Khulna city as majority of land use in greater Khulna and adjoining areas is agricultural. 21.2 percent of KCC area is under agricultural use while 59.4 percent of the area of KSMA is under agricultural use. There is also a big market


for compost in Godkhali, Jessore with an annual demand of 5550 metric tons (Sinha and Ena- yetullah, 1997) of compost. At present the farmers are not getting compost in Godkhali

Recently adopted environmental policy of the Government of Bangladesh favours to restrict the use of chemical fertilizer as far as possible and encourages use of organic manure. Moreover, recently adopted National Policy for Safe Water & Sanitation, 1998 of the Government of Bangladesh, has also recommended for recycling of organic waste and use of compost in agriculture.
The production cost of compost using manual aerobic method in the Waste Concern project at Dhaka is Tk. 1.65 per kg, excluding the land rent/cost. From field survey it has been found that 100 percent of the surveyed farmers of the KCC area are interested to buy compost. Most of the farmers are willing to pay for the compost if the price is between Tk. 4 to Tk. 6 per kg, that is the price less than market price of chemical fertlizer.
A large number of unemployed labour force is already available in Khulna city. Compost plants can be initiated in Khulna city in an organized way, involving these unemployed and neglected labour force. In Khulna city 46 percent of the labour force is gainfully employed. (Sinha & Enayetullah, 2000)


Experience has shown that in developing countries large centralised and highly mechanised composting plants have often failed to reach their target and had to be abandoned due to high operational, transport and maintenance costs. In many cases, small-scale decentralised communal composting plants may be considered as a suitable option for treating municipal solid waste as they reduce transport costs, make use of low-cost technologies, based mainly on manual labour, and minimise problems and difficulties encountered with backyard composting.
Small scale manually operated decentralised compost plants can be used in Khulna city strategically in different wards rather than one single large mechanical plant. Such decentralized approach will have the following benefits:
Khulna being a medium sized city has many potential consumers of compost- farmers, shrimp farms and fish farms etc who are mainly located outside the city boundary near its peripheries;
Low transportation cost both for carrying of wastes from collection centers to the compost plant and transportation of compost from plant to potential consumers; and
Low production cost due to manual composting method. Because of smaller size, it is feasible to use manual method for process.


Table-1 shows land required for composting as well as number of plant and manpower required for this purpose.
In total 13.24 bighas of land is required for composting of all the organic waste generated in Khulna city.
For composting, fresh organic waste is necessary as raw material which can be collected by introducing house-to-house collection of solid waste. 300 workers are required for operating decentralized compost plants effectively. These workers should have basic knowledge of different steps involved in composting process such as pile formation, balance of C/N ratio, temperature and moisture control.

Table 1  Land, Manpower and Estimated Cost Involvement for Installation of Different Capacity of Decentralized Composting Plant in Khulna.

* Without Land Cost / Rent
** Operating Cost Per Year Including Salary of Plant Manager
*** Labours Required for Composting Purpose only
**** From 1 ton of organic waste 250 kg of fine compost can be produced.
At present compost is being sold at the price of Tk. 2.5/Kg in Dhaka.


Figure 2 shows benefit cost ratios (BCR) of a 3 ton capacity composting plant integrated with door to door collection of waste, under different scenarios. It is evident from the figure that composting plants are financially viable.


Apart from the financial benefit, there are a number of other advantages of decentralized composting. These may be enumerated as:

Decrease in solid waste management cost by reducing huge volume of the solid waste;

Small scale community based compost plants can save 15 acres of landfill area per year;

Improvement in overall environment of the neighbourhood by checking illegal disposal of waste on roads, drains or vacant lots as solid waste is directly collected from households;

40 tons of organic compost can be produced in Khulna city if the total generated organic waste is recycled every day. The decentralized community based composting plants can generate employment for the poor, especially the women, and offers new prospects for small entrepreneurs to take part in recycling business; and

Returns organic matter to the soil and minimizes the use of chemical fertilizers. The organic manure made from composting acts as a buffer protection against chemical fertlizer, improves soil texture, conserves top soil and natural resources by use of compost.


A pilot composting plant at waste dumping site located in Rajbandh locality of Khulna city has been constructed in January 2001, based on a feasibility study entitled "Potentials of Waste Recycling for Khulna City". Waste Concern has provided technical design as well as composting technology to local a NGO-Prodipan and Khulna City Corporation, while Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) provided the seed money for establishment of the compost plant.

Moreover, training programs for operation and maintenance of composting plant have been conducted for local NGOs and KCC staff recently. The compost produced from the plant is marketed within Khulna city as well as adjoining districts.

After initial success of the pilot project Water and Sanitation Program South Asia as well as local NGOs are planning to replicate the model in several other locations in Khulna city.

Reference :

Sinha, A.H.M.M. and Enayetullah, I.(2000),š Study on Resource Recovery from Solid Waste in Khulna Cityš, Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) South Asia: Dhaka
Sinha, A.H.M.M. and Enayetullah, I.(1997),š Technical Report on Pre-feasibility of Waste Conversion into Compost for Jessoreš UNIDO and UNDP :Dhaka.

Figure-3 shows the present per ton expenditure incurred by KCC for solid waste management vis a vis the benefit to be obtained per ton if composting is introduced. This figure illustrates why KCC should prefer composting.

Fig 3: Present KCC Expenditure Per ton for SWM Vis a Vis Income per Ton from sale proceeds of compost

Source: Sinha & Enayetullah, 2000








Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM) is one of the serious environmental issues confronting the governments of major Indian cities. The local authorities municipal corporations/councils are formally responsible for provision of this service. It is a complex task consuming 30 to 40% of the municipal revenues and involves a variety of actors from small/large generators of waste, to private sector and officials. Its efficiency and effectiveness largely depends on appropriate technical and managerial solutions for collection, transfer, recycling and disposal of waste. For variety of reasons, local bodies are unable to manage the problem satisfactorily.


Waste Wise is a project of Mythri Sarva Seva Samithi a registered non profit Trust, which began its work among the waste pickers of Bangalore in early eighties. In course of time, WW discovered the relationship between increased quantities of waste in the city and greater presence of waste pickers on the streets. It was the time, when plastics began to appear in large quantities in the Indian consumer market. The adult, male waste pickers who earlier dominated waste picking scene, gradually began to be replaced by women and children who entered waste picking profession for sheer survival in the urban scenario. WW was confronted with a reality for each waste picker rehabilitated. WW began dabbling with the ideas of clean waste procurement from homes and offices with an aim to prevent insanitary conditions of waste picking job. An idea to train waste pickers for door to door collection and revenue generation through composting, using organic portion of garbage emerged during 1987. The learning curve stretched itself with small experimentation here and there. The idea gained maturity and necessary props were obtained with funding from the Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology and Terres De Hommes (TDH), Geneva, Switzerland in 1990.


Waste Wise evolved the community based decentralized solid waste management system with an ecological need to educate people to reduce waste generation and to avoid dumping by facilitating community based treatment of garbage near source. WW focus was to combine a social concern to recognize the jobs of the waste pickers, to render their working condition less hazardous and to enable them to gain public recognition for their role in recycling and protecting the environment. To this end a project was conceptualized to arrive at the following-
Promotion of People's participation in garbage management; Integration of formal and informal system; and Creation of Policy changes in SWM of the City.

The general objective of the project was to create models for integrating formal and informal system through community based cooperative approach to manage solid waste. Such models, it was hoped, would complement efforts made by municipal authorities paving way for efficiency, accountability and sustainability in official systems.



In order to achieve these general objectives, WW strategy has been based on the following aspects:

To help neighbrhood groups to come together through awareness program on solid waste issues and empower them through interaction/technical/financial inputs and link them to formal and informal system, eventually leading them to decentralized community based solid waste management system. It is hoped that through service fee collection and composting in the neighborhood parks, the revenue generated would sustain the project financially.

Creation of such localized models at the city level would promote „Self helpš concepts in the citizens, eventually leading the neighborhood groups to design and implement these programs according to their local conditions. This in turn would create responsibility and ownership in people paving way for collaboration, accountability and complementary with the local authorities dealing with waste.

To put it simply, approach of WW Stage I was to first create „demandš within the neighborhood and organize both the demand side at the local level and „responseš side by NGO and GO, to that micro level demand. Through such a process it was deemed possible to create a sustainable model which would play an indispensable role at the city by promoting environmental awareness and responsible behavior.


Waste Wise operates in 32 different locations in Bangalore, promoting decentralized management of solid waste by the neighborhood groups. Some of the groups are functioning with complete process viz. collection, transportation and neighborhood composting, and some are involved in only collection and removal by the corporation authorities. Yet others are in early stages of formation of working group and linking with officials, sponsors and the like.


An evaluation, after five years of operating the project, it was found that despite many useful and appreciable elements of the strategy, a notable gap existed between potential and reality at various levels.

In course of time an interesting model of neighborhood resident groups concerned about garbage had emerged in localities where WW is involved. These groups were found successful only in high-income areas than in middle/low income areas. The earlier groups who were helped in formation, did not contribute significantly towards capital costs or day to day running of the projects. They began to look at WW as an alternative to Municipal body. Resident's activity limited itself in terms of giving the garbage and paying the service charges.In such a situation, the whole burden of day to day operation of the project fell on WW and the limited full time staff of WW could not cope with problems arising out of implementation. Hence a lot of rethinking on approach, and involvement has taken place which eventually led to shift in strategy. The later groups that came into existence were supported indirectly for their initiatives. They were helped to look at management and financial component associated with a typical neighborhood scheme and make conscious decisions to obtain funds and manage the programs themselves. Waste Wise limited itself to providing technical support and identifying and training of waste pickers for door to door collection.


A major shift in WW strategy took place during 1995. A large coverage was initiated with funding from „Environmental fund for NGO'sš promoted by the Ministry for Development Co-operation, Netherlands. Bangalore served as a setting to initiate decentralized model of SWM with the integration of waste pickers. The project of WW in various locations of Bangalore has resulted in well articulated strategies for implementation of CBSWM. Its impact is felt at various levels, from organized groups at local level to linkages and networking at the city level.

Recent years has witnessed increased activism by resident groups, who are not only promoting self help concepts but are also stretching the governmental agencies to the limit to provide basic services. In a democratic situation, residents taking up common civic issues that affect their lives and the neighborhood is a progressive and sustainable step, which needs to be pursued at all costs. Decentralized Waste Management by the neighborhood groups is but an entry point to tackle various ailments affecting our society.


Waste management problem in India is essentially structural and has resulted in evolution of number of alternatives of citizen and private sector initiatives. A variety of models have emerged across the country and their successful contributions to solid waste management have created certain forms of structural evolution, which cannot be ignored by the authorities. The emergence of decentralized waste management systems, the growth of private resident, NGO, CBO, waste picker combinations to address management of neighborhood waste have come a long way to complement the City's initiatives. However, by themselves they are not and cannot provide a complete or comprehensive solution to waste management problems at the city level. These trends across the country have sowed the seed for stakeholder participation, city level joint planning, transparency, accountability, laws and rules, which offer potential reform in functioning of City governments. The public Interest Litigation and the recent directive on „Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 1999š is an evolution of citizen's concern and mitigation for the unsanitary conditions prevailing in the Indian cities.

Community based decentralized waste management systems flourish when the city authorities back them with their input and encouragement. One of the important features of this system is the „willingness to pay for their serviceš. Such an attitude is remarkable in a no pay culture where public sector is traditionally forced to cover the costs. Unfortunately, this trend is not fully activated by the authorities. A decentralized waste management system amply demonstrates their effectiveness and sustainability and offers the following indicators for incorporation.


Offers personalized service with fair amount of client satisfaction;

Low operational and storage costs over a period;

Extensive knowledge of the local area, waste and residents habits;

Residents and workers belong to same area and have common interests and shared responsibility;

Appropriate technology used with organized monitoring systems;

Balance between demand and capacity; and 

High recovery of organic and inorganic material for recycling.


Absenteeism and irregularity of the services of the waste pickers;

Less coordination with the municipalities;

Vulnerable to change of policies;

Lack of financial resources and administrative backups;

Difficulty to get clients to pay in time;

Turnover of personnel high;

Lack of unity among resident groups with few actively involved; and

Difficult to replicate on large scale because of its site-specific nature.


There is a strong demand for service;

Service offered can be extender and diversified to include street  sweeping, drain cleaning and to other sectors;

Extensive potential for productive/safe employment;

It is consistent with privatization, decentralization, resource recovery and recycling policies; and

Potential for multi stakeholder participation, local resource mobilization, and community education and site specific solutions.


Non availability of institutional support inhibiting growth;

No legal framework exists that can guarantee and regulate the system;

Competition when waste becomes a valuable resource; and

Distortions in rates and fluctuations of market price.


CBSWM is a sociological process by which residents organize themselves in a neighborhood to improve their environmental conditions and civic life. It comprises of various degrees of individual and community involvement. It produces a spirit of volunteerism, a friendship among neighbors breaking social barriers, community talent and capabilities, and above all understanding of democratic institutions and mutual rights and responsibilities. It facilitates new methods of urban management and a new relationship between city dwellers and the authorities.


News in Brief

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Center for Human Settlements (Habitat) Fukuoka Office, in collaboration with The Urban Governance Initiative (TUGI/UNDP) and CityNet organized a meeting at the World Trade Center Grand Hotel Zhejiang in Hangzhou, People's Republic of China from 19 to 23 October 2000 in preparation for the Special Session of United Nations on Istanbul+5 in June 2001. Objectives of the meeting were two-fold: 1) To provide an overview of the progress made in implementation of the Habitat Agenda since 1996, including policy changes, successes and failures and the contribution of international cooperation; and 2) To discuss future actions including regional cooperation for implementation of the Habitat Agenda specific to the Asia-Pacific region. The meeting covered the following areas as identified by the UNCHS in the Habitat Agenda:


Social Development and Eradication of Poverty;

Environmental Management;

Economic Development;

Governance; and

International Cooperation.

Mr. Q.I. Siddique, Secretary Ministry of Housing and Public Works, Mr, Azizul Haque, Chairman, Dhaka Capital Development Authority (RAJUK), Brig Manzurul Alam, Chairman, Khulna Development Authority, Professor Nazrul Islam, Department of Geography and Environment, University of Dhaka, Mr. Iftekhar Enayetullah, Engineer-Planner and Assistant General Secretary of Waste Concern, Ms. Mashuda Khatun, Executive Director, Nari Uddug Kendra, Mr. Md. Salim Ullah, Deputy Director, Urban Development Directorate, Mr. Md. Abdul Gaffar, Project Director, Secondary Towns Infrastructure Development Project-II, LGED, Mr. Md. Abdul Karim, Superintending Engineer, LGED, Ms. Selina Afroza, Assistant Chief Architect, Department of Architecture, and Mr. Shajahan Bhuiya, Research Fellow, Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) participated in the regional high level meeting from Bangladesh.

Bangladesh Delegation at the High Level Meeting with UNCHS Executive Director

Quarters and Green Road Government Staff Quarters recently. The Green Force will raise awareness among the community members on solid waste management, actively, participate in separation of waste at source, and recycling activities. On the occasion, two separate meetings were held at both places. The meeting at Bailey Square Officers' Quarters was presided over by Mr. Abdul Hai Talukder, President of the Bailey Square Officers' Association while Mr. Asadul Haque, President of Green Road Staff Quarters Community Association, presided over the other meeting. The meetings were also addressed by Mr. Kamal Uddin Ahmed, Deputy Director, IMED of the Ministry of Planning, Mr. A. H. Md. Maqsood Sinha, General Secretary and Mr. Iftekhar Enayetullah, Assistant General Secretary of Waste Concern.





Green Force members at Bailey Square Officers' Quarter planting trees


Waste Concern in cooperation with Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) has started its fourth project on Community Based Solid Waste Management and Composting at Dhalpur, Saidabad, Dhaka on October 7, 2000. The Program has been initiated as a part of the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between DCC and Waste Concern. This project is being implemented in partnership between DCC-Community-NGO and is the first ever Municipal-NGO partnership in waste management sector in Dhaka City. A project-inaugurating workshop was also organized on the same day at Ward No. 85 of Dhalpur by Waste Concern and Dhaka City Corporation which was jointly sponsored by the Ministry of Environment and Forest and United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The workshop was addressed, among others, by Mr. Khalekuzzaman Chowdhury, Ward Commissioner of Ward No. 85, Dhalpur and EX-Deputy Mayor of DCC, A. H. Md. Maqsood Sinha and Mr. Iftekhar Enayetullah of Waste Concern, Sardar Kaisar Ahmed and Mr. Tariq Bin Yousuf, Executive Engineer of DCC.


Ms. Deborah Smith, South Asia Regional Affairs Officer, Department of State of USA and Mr. Chip Latinen, Economic/Commercial Officer of US Embassy Dhaka, visited Waste Concern's community based composting project in Dhaka supported by RUDO South Asia, USAID on 18 th October, 2000. Ms. Smith and Mr. Latinen were highly impressed by the activities of waste recycling being promoted by Waste Concern in Bangladesh.

Ms. Deborah Smith, South Asia Regional Affairs Officer, Department of State of USA and Mr. Chip Latinen, Economic/Commercial Officer of US Embassy Dhaka, at Waste Concern‚s Compotsing Plat at Mirpur, Dhaka


Waste Concern has formed „Green Forceš a Community Action Group, comprising members of young students, housewives and retired persons, both at Bailey Officers' 


A two-day training program on Solid Waste Management was held from 1st November, 2000. The training program was organized by Waste Concern and sponsored by Regional Urban Development Office (RUDO) South Asia, USAID. Chief Executive Officer of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) Mr. K.M. Nurul Huda formally inaugurated the training program and was addressed also by Mr. Mehdi Ali Khan, Superintending Engineer, Dhaka City Corporation. Resource persons for the training program were Mr. A.H.Md. Maqsood Sinha, Urban Waste Recycling Specialist, Mr. Iftekhar Enayetullah Urban Waste Management Specialist of Waste Concern and Mr. Tariq Bin Yousuf Executive Engineer of Dhaka City Corporation. About 20 Conservancy Officers and Conservancy Inspectors of DCC participated in the two-day long training program. On first day lectures on theoretical aspects of solid waste management were given, while on second day hands-on-training was provided to the participants on different aspects of resource recovery at the composting plant of Waste Concern. This training was for the first batch of trainees, organized by Waste Concern as part of the 10 batches of training program, in partnership with Regional Urban Development Office (RUDO) South Asia, USAID.


Component 3.3.2 of Sustainable Environment Management program entitled „Community Based Urban Solid Waste Management in Dhakaš being executed by the Ministry of Environment and Forest with financial support from UNDP and implemented by Waste Concern has been included in the web site of United Nations as a success story in the field of solid waste management. For detailed information please visit the web site of UNDP at:

Cambodian Team Visiting Primary Waste Collection Scheme of Kalabagan, Dhaka, initiated by Mr. Mehboob Ahsan Khurrom


A team of 15 persons consisting of 5 government officials and 10 NGO and CBO representatives visited Dhaka form 3-9 December 2000 to look into community based solid waste management and resource recovery activities being implemented by Waste Concern with support from UNDP, RUDO South Asia, LIFE-UNDP and Oxfam-GB in Dhaka. The team showed keen interest in the community based decentralized composting integrated with primary waste collection, barrel type composting and waste management project in slums and organic farming as well as enrichment of compost in different locations undertaken by Waste Concern. 

Apart from Waste Concern's activity, the team also visited Dhaka City Corporation's waste management facilities as well as primary waste collection system undertaken by CBO at Kalabagan, Dhaka. The team has expressed their desire to replicate the composting model of Dhaka in Phomn Penh, Cambodia.

A. Mr. K.M.Nurul Huda, CEO, DCC distributing certificates to the participants. B Group photograph of the participants. C Group photograph of the participants. D Participants of the training program at Waste Concern‚s composting plant


A group of participants from Netherlands, Pakistan, India, Nepal and Zambia of the 26th WEDC Conference held at Dhaka from November 5-9, 2000 visited Waste Concern's office and project sites at Dhaka on 6th November 2000. Before their visit to project sites, a detailed presentation on activities related to solid waste management undertaken by Waste Concern in Bangladesh was made by Messrs. A. H. Md. Maqsood Sinha and Iftekhar Enayetullah of Waste Concern. The participants of WEDC conference highly appreciated the solid waste management activity, specially the public-private-community partnership approach and enrichment of compost being promoted by Waste Concern in Bangladesh.

WEDC Conference Participants at Waste Concern‚s Composting Plant at Mirpur, Dhaka


Medical waste management has become a major health hazard in many countries. Medical waste generated by hospitals, clinics and pathological laboratories in Bangladesh are presently being disposed carelessly by the generators. This may cause deadly diseases like HIV and hepatitis among the people who handle it and also among the general public who may come in contact with such waste. Realizing the gravity of situation, Ministry of Environment and Forest constituted an expert group consisting of representatives of relevant government organizations and experts from the field of waste management. Mr. Iftekhar Enayetullah of Waste Concern has served as a Member of the Expert Committee. A draft Bio-Medical Waste Handling Rules 2000 has been prepared by Mr. Iftekhar Enayetullah and Mr. A.H.Md.Maqsood Sinha of Waste Concern and submitted to Department of Environment, Ministry of Environment and Forest for enactment by the government.



Urban solid waste management is considered as one of the most immediate and serious environmental problems confronting municipal authorities in developing Asian countries. Although municipal authorities acknowledge the importance of adequate solid waste collection and disposal as well as resource recovery and recycling, it is mostly beyond their resources to deal effectively with the growing amount of solid waste generated by the expanding cities. Consequently, solid waste is indiscriminately dumped on roads and into open drains, thus leading to serious health risks and degradation of living environment for millions of urban people. In the last decade, however, importance of community involvement in solid waste management and use of adapted technologies were duly recognized for improving the solid waste management system.
In this backdrop, several community-based initiatives have taken place in different Asian cities by the stakeholders, i.e. private sector, community groups, CBOs, NGOs and municipal authorities.
Against this background, a two-day regional seminar on community based solid waste management was organized by Waste Concern in Dhaka, from February 19-20, 2000 with the aim of sharing lessons learned so far from community based solid waste management with stakeholders with a view to evolve a workable strategy for solid waste management as well as for scaling up the activities to supplement the municipal authorities' efforts with community based solid waste management initiatives.
This publication is a compilation of papers presented by the participants in the seminar from different Asian cities and also recommendations made by them during the seminar. The papers presented by them demonstrate that community based solid waste management is a realistic approach to solve the solid waste disposal problem at local level. Moreover, municipal authorities in some Asian cities are showing interest in these initiatives by supporting communities or private sector to manage part of solid waste management services at local level. It is hoped that in more and more cities and towns, the concerned institutions and organizations would be inclined to promote community based solid waste management approach and integrate with main stream solid waste management system for eventual improvement of the environment.

Editors : A.H.Md.Maqsood Sinha and Iftekhar Enayetullah
Published by : Waste Concern, Dhaka, Bangladesh with support from RUDO, South Asia, USAID
Date of Publication: November 2000