skip to main content

Title: Impacts of policy and market incentives for solid waste recycling in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Highlights: • Bangladesh’s industry and population are growing rapidly, producing more urban waste. • Recycling reduces the solid waste management burden of Municipalities. • A wide array of informal and formal actors is involved in collection and recycling. • Demand for recycled materials and renewable energy creates market incentives. • Policy incentives exist, but they only reach the formal industry. - Abstract: Solid waste mismanagement in Dhaka, Bangladesh, illustrates a well-known market failure which can be summarized as: waste is a resource in the wrong place. Inorganic materials such as plastic or paper can be used to feed the demand for recycled materials in the industrial sector. Organic materials can be converted and used in the nutrient-starved agricultural sector which is currently heavily depending on chemical fertilizers. They are also a feedstock to generate renewable energy in the form of biogas for this energy-starved country relying on diminishing natural gas reserves and increasing import of coal. Reality however does not capitalize on this potential; instead the waste is a burden for municipal authorities who spend large portions of their budgets attempting to transport it out of the city for discharge into landfills. The major part of these materials still remainsmore » uncollected in the residential areas and is discarded indiscriminately in open spaces, polluting the residents’ living environment including water, soil and air resources, in the city and beyond. Bangladeshi authorities have, to some extent, recognized this market failure and have developed policies to encourage the development of waste recycling activities. It is also important to note that this market failure is only partial: a large, mostly informal recycling sector has developed in Bangladesh, focusing on inorganic recyclables of market value. The fact that this sector remains largely informal means that these actors perceive significant barriers to formalization. Comparatively, the organic waste recycling sector is less driven by market mechanisms. Competition from chemical fertilizers and fossil fuels is fierce and hinders the development of market opportunities for compost and renewable energy. Nevertheless commercial production of compost and biogas from organic municipal waste is formalized and benefiting from policy incentives.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [1]
  1. Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Department of Water and Sanitation in Developing Countries (Sandec), Überlandstrasse 133, P.O. Box 611, 8600 Dübendorf (Switzerland)
  2. (Bangladesh)
  3. KfW: Development Bank for Germany, Bangladesh Office, House 10/C, Road 90, Gulshan 2, Dhaka 1212 (Bangladesh)
  4. NADEL: Center for Development and Cooperation, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Clausiusstrasse 37, 8092 Zürich (Switzerland)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22470246
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Waste Management; Journal Volume: 39; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2015 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; AIR POLLUTION; BANGLADESH; COAL; COMPOST; ENERGY POLICY; ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY; FINANCIAL INCENTIVES; INDUSTRY; LAND POLLUTION; MARKET; METHANE; MUNICIPAL WASTES; NATURAL GAS; ORGANIC MATTER; PLASTICS; RECYCLING; RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES; SANITARY LANDFILLS; SOLID WASTES