3.5 Case study composting – Dhaka, Bangladesh

Welcome back! In this module we will be
presenting a case study of composting. For this, I would like to welcome
Maqsood Sinha and Iftekhar Enayetullah from Bangladesh.
They are the founders and directors of the Waste Concern Group. Waste Concern is a social business
enterprise, with a for-profit, and a non-profit section. And they will be sharing some of
their experiences with composting, particularly on a large scale
composting project in Bhulta at the outskirts of Dhaka. So now, the
floor to Maksood and Iftekhar. Solid waste management is a huge
problem in Bangladesh, mainly because of the rapid population
growth, as well as also the economic growth in Bangladesh.
In 1991, as per our estimate, 6,500 tons of solid waste were
generated per day, and in 2014, based on the study of this concern,
we have found that total waste generation is around
24,000 tons per day. And the volume estimation, by
2020/2025, of the daily waste generation in urban Bangladesh would
be around 47,000 tons per day. Dakha city is divided into
two parts, North and South. 4,200 tons of solid waste is a
combined total for both the cities. If we look at the composition of
this waste, in Dhaka, around 70% of this waste is
organic in nature. In terms of collection efficiency,
the cities are able to collect around 50% of the
generated waste per day. If we look at the solid waste
management process in Dhaka, waste is collected from the containers
by the municipality, and open dustbins, then transported by
the municipal trucks and there is disposed in the landfills. There, different kinds of
problems can happen. One of the major problems is that
the landfills are not designed properly, there is greenhouse
gas emission, mainly methane. Since the landfills are not
properly designed and it’s not a sanitary landfill site, there is an
issue of ground water pollution and surface water pollution
from the leachate. More land is required because
it’s an end of the pipe solution. There’s an increasing waste
management cost, and the way the entire waste is managed in Dhaka,
and also in other municipalities of Bangladesh, can
cause health hazards. The project which Waste Concern is
implementing in Dhaka and also in other parts of Bangladesh, is based on the 3 R approach. We are promoting segregation of waste. Segregated waste is collected from
the source, then is transported by the trucks, and then taken to
a compost plant, where it is recycled through an aerobic
composting process. The project we are implementing
in Dhaka is the first large-scale registered CDM-project,
where we are claiming carbon credits for recycling
of organic waste. Another project we are doing is
reducing greenhouse gas emission by avoiding waste from
landfill sites. It is saving the cost and reducing
pollution, it is reducing the need for land, creating
value from the waste. And when this organic fertilizer
produced from the organic waste, of Dhaka city, is used in the soil,
it can increase the soil fertility. So, Waste Concern’s approach is
basically trying to solve three problems which are very prevalent
in Bangladesh by converting this organic waste into organic
fertilizer and then using the organic fertilizer in agriculture
soils. This can not only improve the soil fertility, but at the same
time, it can give higher crop yield. The management model which
Waste Concern is following to implement a larger scale compost
plant, based on public-private partnership model, and the second
important feature of this project is that the project is also
harnessing carbon financing. The project is implemented
through a joint-venture company, between Waste Concern and a Dutch
company called World Wide Recycling BV. This is a for-profit company,
joint venture company, which has invested in the project,
and this joint-venture company called WWR Bio Fertilizer
Bangladesh Ltd. is currently operating this facility. We collect waste free of cost from
the different markets of Dhaka city. The markets are authorized by
the city, and we have got a concession agreement for fifteen years to
collect waste from the market. The revenue model of this concern
is based on two revenue streams, one is the sale of compost and
the second revenue is the sale of carbon credits. Due to the recent
crash in the carbon market, Waste Concern is mainly depending
on only one source of revenue which is the sale of compost. Compost is marketed by a private
company, and they market and distribute the compost
all over Bangladesh. There is a stress on the project
to sustain the operations with single source of revenue. First, we have to collect waste
from the sources, from the city. This is one of the largest market
of Dhaka city, where we have appointed a private company to collect
the waste from these markets. It generates about 60 to 70 tons of
waste, organic waste, every day. On the right hand side, the picture is
of our second facility and a truck. For each and every truck, we record
the weight on the weighbridge. This facility, at Bulta composting
plant, can recycle 100 to 130 tons of organic
waste every day. The waste is unloaded in our sorting
area, we put it in a composting box which is especially designed,
which has a draining system on the base, and we can blow air
to insure oxygen in the pile. Here, compost piles are aerated
by forced air from the bottom with large floors. And another
aspect during the composting process that we have to
monitor, is the temperature. As a thermophilic process, we need to
maintain the temperature and monitor it. Quality control is very much
important for doing this process. Normally it takes 40 days for
the composting process in the pile, and another 30 days
for the maturing phase. After the thermophilic
composting phase, the compost is transferred to the maturing
shed, where it stays for another 20 to 30 days, depending
on the seasons. Thereafter, it is sealed with
a rotating device. And then the next step is
bagging and marketing. For good quality compost, if you
want to market, you must ensure the moisture content. To
ensure that we use plastic liner to protect the compost from
moisture loss, and the design is very attractive to the farmer. Quality control of composting
process is very important, and good quality compost is one
of the important aspects for the marketing of this product, and
we have to comply with that. In Bangladesh, according to our
policy, we cannot market compost without a license, so we
need two licenses, one license for the compost production
facility, and then another license is needed for the product. The next step is
packaging and branding. I think it is very important for
all of us to understand that, if your product is good and
packaging is attractive, it will attract the farmer to
use it in the soil. In our previous slides, we have
seen large scale composting plants which have more than
100 tons per day capacity. But these plants are especially
designed, suitable for small and medium scale towns. We call it box method of composting. This technology is patented by
Waste Concern. We have developed this technology in such a way that
it is affordable and suitable for other parts of the world. After a successful experience in
Bangladesh, we started to partner with United Nations ESCAP
(Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific) to replicate
Waste Concern’s model, which is called Integrated Resource
Recovery Center or IRRC, in different cities and towns in Ocean Pacific. At present, we are working in
Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, Pakistan and Indonesia. Apart from
this partnerships, we established a recycling training center to
offer capacity building training for the municipal staff, officials,
mayors and also all enterpreneurs from private sectors. Out of many lessons, we have compiled
a few lessons, key lessons, which we want to share with you. First, for any recycling project,
there is a question of incentives and subsidies. Compost products cannot
compete with chemical fertilizers. Whereas in most of the country
chemical fertilizer is heavily subsidized, while the compost, as an
organic product, it is not subsidized. So, there should be some thinking on
this aspect with the government. And then, the clear policy guideline
on private-public partnership. We also experience that small
towns and cities cannot afford this kind of recycling projects
with their own source of funds. So if you want to attract private
investment in this kind of projects, we have to give
comfort to the private sector. One of the opportunities for the
recycling project is that we can claim carbon trading, although
the market is low today. But we hope for the future a
better market of carbon trading. Compost standard is very important.
If we want to promote compost from organic waste, the farmer
must have trust, they must have good quality compost which
can be used in the soil. There’s no compromise about
the standards of the compost. And then, quality control
is very important. So, during the process of composting,
we must maintain the quality of the process, and
the product quality. And as we’re dealing with waste, source
separation is very important. In most of the cities and towns
source separation is existing. So, it’s very important
for source separation to make people aware, and there must be
some policy in every city. A compost testing protocol
is very important. Without this testing protocol you
cannot ensure the quality of compost. That must be standardized
by the government. A specialized marketing company
is very important, right now, we are harnessing large fertilizer
company, marketing company, for selling our product. They have a network all over the
country, experienced people and storage facilities in
regional towns and cities. And then inclusion of informal sector. This is very important. Sometimes,
we make policy without thinking about these people. In our Waste
Concern recycling factory, we try to include, train these
informal, poor women and men, we train them and give them better
working conditions and health situation. Hello! Thank you very much for
your patience to listen to us, I’m Maqsood Sinha. Thank you very much for
listening to our presentation. Thank you very much. Goodbye. Goodbye.

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