Waste Concern

Regional Workshop RETA 6337:Innovations for Scaling up Organic Waste Management in South Asia

Radisson Hotel, Dhaka, Bangladesh
2-3 August 2010


“The goal of the workshop was to carefully consider the solid waste management related challenges and propose innovative ways for overcoming them through a comprehensive assessment of policy, management, and technological approaches.”


Rapid urbanization in South Asia is creating an increasing strain on overburdened infrastructure, as well as more demand on limited public services. In Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and India, these trends are acutely noticeable as urban population growth rates exceed total growth in each country. An enormous potential exists to improve existing municipal solid waste management operations with improved organic waste components and to provide positive economic and environmental benefits, including alternative energy sources and increased revenue generation from carbon co-financing through the Clean Development Mechanism. Organic waste management, therefore, is a key sub-sector of municipal waste management which deserves more attention

A small handful of entrepreneurs have demonstrated that organic waste can be treated through tested technologies and converted to marketable organic fertilizers through a process that reduces carbon emission. A number of economic and environmental benefits are quite obvious from composting. However, the process of reducing organic waste into organic fertilizers while simultaneously reducing carbon emission and tapping CDM need high degree of efficiencies, technology application, and business orientation. Organic waste recycling and treatment in the region have mixed results of both failure and success.

In this backdrop a regional workshop entitled `Innovations for Scaling up Organic Waste Management in South Asia’ was organized by the Asian Development Bank with the assistance from AusAid of Australian Government in Dhaka. More than 80 nos. of senior officials representing government, private sector, NGOs, research bodies and universities from Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, USA, Australia and Bangladesh participated in this two-day workshop.


During the inaugural session Mr. Thevakumar Kandiah, Country Director, Bangladesh Resident Mission of ADB gave his welcome and opening remarks. Mr. Ron Slanger, Urban Development Specialist, Team Leader, RETA 6337, ADB, Manaila, Philippines gave his opening remarks. Mr. Monowar Islam, Director General of the Department of Environment (DoE), Government of Bangladesh, as a special guest gave his opening speech.

After the tea break in the session on Country Overview and International Experience in Organic Waste Management a number of country overview papers were presented by the country consultants under the RETA 6337 project of ADB. Dr. Muhammad Alamgir, Khulna University of Engineering and Technology as a country consultant from Bangladesh gave a brief introduction about the workshop and also introduced the participants. After the tea break  country reports were presented by Dr. Muhammad Alamgir (Bangladesh), Dr. N. B. Majumdar, Senior Technical Advisor of Waste Management Division, IL&FS (India), Mr. Bhusan Tuladhar, Executive Director, Environment and Public Health Organization (Nepal), Mr. R.P. Samarakkody, Director of Waste Management (Authority Province), (Sri Lanka) and the closing remarks were given by the chair of the session Mr. Iftekhar Enayetullah of Waste Concern.The second session was on `Thematic Focus: Innovations in Scaling Up Organic Waste Management and this session was chaired by Mr. Angus Campbell, Director, Recycled Organics Unit (Sydney, Australia).

A number of papers were presented by the experts on topics related to current trends of organic waste management in South Asia, policy & regulatory models in organic waste management, economic & financial issues for scaling up composting operations and carbon financing in waste management. Finally after the presentation of the country level priority on waste management by the respective countries a plenary session waste conducted on the topic entitled `Scaling up of Innovations in Organic Waste Management in South Asia: Opportunities and Challenges. This session was chaired by Professor Dr. Mujibur Rahman of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET).

On the second day a field visit was organized to have first hand experience on composting and carbon trading. Participants visited the Waste Concern’s Regional Training Centre cum a 10 ton per day capacity compost plant located at Katchpur (20 km from Dhaka city centre) and also visited the world’s first carbon trading compost plant (130 tons per ay capacity) locate at Bulta (30 km from Dhaka city centre a joint venture initiative of Waste Concern and its Dutch partners.