May 15th, 2012
09:57 AM GMT
(CNN) – Every day Dhaka’s 15 million residents produce 5,000 tons of waste. Almost half that waste is uncollected, and adds to problems with pollution, disease and carbon emissions.
Landfill sites such as Amin Bazar are dumping grounds for mountains of waste. More than one third of the uncollected rubbish finds its way into different water bodies, open spaces and drains, causing environmental damage.
In 1995 two urban planners decided that Bangladesh needed better waste management.
Around 70% of the city’s waste is organic and, in their business model, this can be converted into opportunity.
Trucks roll across the city collecting organic waste, from households and markets, taking it on to a large composting site. The compost is then used as fertiliser.
Bangladesh’s government has replicated the model in 14 other cities and towns since 2002. Other countries have also followed suit, including Vietnam, Pakistan and Nepal.
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