Implemented by: United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in partnership with Waste Concern, with financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
22 to 24 February 2010
A three day long exposure workshop regarding solid waste management techniques was organized in Dhaka. This workshop was titled, “Regional Exposure Workshop on Pro-poor and Sustainable Solid Waste Management in Secondary Cities and Small Towns.” It was organized by Waste Concern in partnership with ESCAP, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and UNDP’s Bangladesh office.
This workshop is the first major regional activity under the aforementioned project. It is based on an earlier project that ESCAP and Waste Concern undertook from 2004 to 2007 in Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
More than sixty international delegates participated in the workshop. The countries they represented included: Australia, Bhutan, Cambodia, Egypt, France, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Japan, Maldives, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and the USA.
The participants represented government as well as non-government organizations, members of the private sector, financial institutions, research bodies, and universities.
The objective of this exposure workshop was to give these participants an opportunity to enhance their knowledge regarding:
• Decentralized composting and the concept of Integrated Resource Recovery Centres (IRRC);
• Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and non-CDM opportunities for carbon financing of solid waste management;
• Implementation strategy of the regional ESCAP-Waste Concern project;
• Experiences of other countries vis-à-vis solid waste management
To enable participating local governments, civil society organizations, and those working towards sustainable development to develop and implement town-wide solid waste management strategies.
Proven to be economically feasible due to the sale of carbon credits, these strategies are also decentralized, pro-poor, and low in carbon emissions.
Partners: ESCAP and Waste Concern, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Workshop Day 1: February 22 2010
Dr Hasan Mahmud, State Minister for Environment and Forests, Government of Bangladesh, stated that the government is keen to extend Waste Concern’s model to sixty four district towns in the country. The Minister also remarked, “Appropriate waste collection and disposal is becoming more and more important not only to improve the living environment in our cities but also as a contribution to climate change mitigation and adaptation.”
The Government of Bangladesh’s State Minister for Environment and Forests, Dr. Hasan Mahmud, graced the workshop as its chief guest. Other special guests included: Dr. Mihir Kanti Majumder, Secretary of Bangladesh’ Ministry of Environment and Forests, as well as Mr. Robert Juhkam, UNDP Bangladesh’s Resident Representative. Mr. A. H. Md. Maqsood Sinha, Executive Director, Waste Concern, Mr. Iftekhar Enayetullah, Director, Waste Concern, and Mr. Adnan H. Aliani, Chief of ESCAP’S Sustainable Urban Development Unit, were also in attendance.
During the technical session, participants had the opportunity to understand a variety of issues surrounding Waste Concern’s approach towards waste management. These issues included the marketing and distribution of organic compost, the dynamics surrounding the replication of this model, and carbon financing opportunities in solid waste management.
Workshop Day 2: February 23 2010
Exposure visit to Waste Concern’s composting plant located at Bulta, in the Narayanganj district of greater Dhaka, 20 kms southeast of the capital
The second day of the workshop saw over seventy national and international delegates paying a visit to Waste Concern’s compost plants in Bulta and Katchpur.
The two hour trip, coordinated by Dr. Mahfuzul Haque, Mr. Mohammad Reazuddin, and Mr. Md. Sharifur Rahman, offered an ‘on-the-ground’ opportunity to understand how Waste Concern’s compost plants function.
The Katchpur compost plant is capable of processing up to seven tons of organic compost per day. The compost plant at Bulta has a daily processing capacity of 130 tons. Located 20 kms southeast of Dhaka, the Bulta plant is the world’s first organic compost plant based upon carbon trading.
Besides being walked through the different stages of composting, each of the delegates were also given an up-close understanding of a variety of issues.
Waste Concern members were on hand to address issues ranging from waste collection and transportation, methodology for checking oxygen content in the compost piles, commercial-grade equipment for screening and bagging, frequency of monitoring of data for CDM, fertilizer sales, and medical insurance for employees.
Workshop Day 3: February 23 2010
The third and final day of the workshop was an opportunity for delegates to offer their country-specific presentations regarding their experiences vis-à-vis solid waste management, as well as dynamics surrounding adaptation of the Waste Concern model. This provided a platform for delegates to express their opinions regarding the implementation of Waste Concern’s model within their respective countries.
Mr. Adnan H. Aliani, Chief of ESCAP’S Sustainable Urban Development Unit, also delivered a speech touching on the above issue.
Mr. Aliani also explained to the audience the steps that will be taken in the coming months to ensure continued implementation of this project.
Each of the participants was awarded a certificate during the afternoon closing session. On hand to distribute the certificates were the Joint Secretary of Bangladesh’s Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperative, as well as Dr. Selina Hayat Ivy, Mayor of Narayanganj Pourashava.