Value for Waste (VfW) - Household Solid Waste Management

Bangladesh's economy has developed considerably in the last few years, helping to bring millions of people out of poverty. With an estimated population of about 15 million, Dhaka is not only the capital of Bangladesh but at the same time one of Asia's megacities. Rapid urbanization and increasing incomes have caused waste generation in Dhaka city to soar. At the same time, capacity in the waste collection and disposal authority is limited. This has led to serious pollution, congestion of water bodies and smell due to uncollected waste, especially in poorer areas. As incomes rise further, larger amounts of waste are expected, with ever growing fractions of recyclables. These recyclables present an economic opportunity.
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Project duration
2013 - 2016
Financed by
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC

The Project

In its first phase (2013-2016) the Value for Waste pro­ject of Swiss­con­tact is ad­dress­ing the chal­lenge of solid waste man­age­ment in Bangladesh's cap­i­tal, Dhaka - one of the fastest grow­ing cities in the world. The pro­ject's main focus is on keep­ing the value of re­cy­clables in­tact by en­cour­ag­ing their seg­re­ga­tion at source in house­holds and en­sur­ing that waste and re­cy­clables are col­lected sep­a­rately in an ef­fi­cient and safe man­ner. Re­cy­clables that are kept clean fetch a higher price on the mar­ket, and get re­cy­cled in larger quan­ti­ties. Less waste needs to be land­filled, en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion is re­duced, and the re­cy­cling sec­tor grows.

At neigh­bour­hood level, the key im­ple­ment­ing part­ners are the local res­i­dent's as­so­ci­a­tion and/or the local ser­vice provider in charge of door-to-door waste col­lec­tion. At mu­nic­i­pal level, the pro­ject re­lies on the en­dorse­ment and in­volve­ment of mu­nic­i­pal and gov­ern­ment au­thor­i­ties who al­lo­cate space for waste man­age­ment and op­er­ate waste trans­fer sta­tions. The pro­ject also works with schools and uni­ver­si­ties to en­sure a broad and sus­tain­able im­pact, and pro­motes green busi­nesses pro­duc­ing goods from re­cy­cled do­mes­tic waste.

In in­di­vid­ual neigh­bour­hoods, 200,000 res­i­dents of Dhaka will ben­e­fit from a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment through their in­volve­ment at per­sonal and com­mu­nity level. Along the re­cy­cling value chain, 300 work­ers will ben­e­fit from im­proved work­ing con­di­tions due to in­creased quan­tity and qual­ity of re­cy­clables. 1,200 stu­dents will get sen­si­tized and in­volved in pro­ject ac­tiv­i­ties. Over­all, the pro­ject will con­tribute to urban en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, and more par­tic­u­larly cli­mate change adap­ta­tion and dis­as­ter (flood) risk re­duc­tion.

Results 2015

  • Regularised waste collection service benefitting 2,130 slum dwellers
  • 9,530 beneficiaries practicing improved waste management
  • 2,500 tons of waste handled with improved management
  • 8 compost tumblers running on organic waste