Improving the informal recycling sector through segregation of waste in the household: the case of Dhaka Bangladesh. Habitat International (2012).
Matter, A., et al.
The city corporation of Dhaka (DCC), Bangladesh, currently only collects less than half of the solid waste produced in the municipality, an area of 360 km2 with a population of 7 million. Uncollected waste is dumped indiscriminately by inhabitants into water bodies or ﬂoodplains or else burnt, thus contaminating water, land and air of the city area and beyond. Rather than searching for solutions to improve collection and disposal services, this paper presents research which focuses on the production of waste at household level, and explores how household waste segregation can preserve the value of recyclable materials, enhance their accessibility to informal workers of the recycling sector and reduce the overall waste ﬂows.
The analysis of the informal recycling industry and its stakeholders as well as waste generation and composition shows that there is still a large untapped potential. However any initiative aiming to increase source segregation and access to more recyclables needs to carefully consider all “integrated” aspects of the waste management system which inﬂuence and determine sustainability and success of the envisaged improvement. Practicality of segregation at the household level as well as regularity of collection or purchase of recyclables by the informal sector need to be addressed as priority.