The team would like to convey its sincere gratitude to the youth members of Shimultala who participated as interviewers in the survey. Thanks are also extended to the Councilor Mr. A.K. Azad, members of the Local Project Management Committee and the people of Shimultala for their hospitality and support.
Being one of the third world developing countries, Bangladesh is still in the process of development of a sustainable and effective waste management system throughout the country. Though the scale of consumption of food, energy and other resources & products in Bangladesh is much less than any developed countries, waste management here is still poor due to lack of adequate knowledge amongst the people about how negatively this wastes can impact on peoples’ health, environment and aesthetic.
The generation of waste here is increasing parallel with the growth of the country’s economy and infrastructure since waste generation is closely linked to population, urbanization and affluence. Human beings produce a variety of waste, which can be classified into two broad groups: organic and inorganic. Organic waste is biodegradable and generally decomposes fairly rapidly, while inorganic waste decomposes much more slowly.
In Bangladesh like other developing countries with increasing population, prosperity and urbanization, it remains a major challenge for municipalities to collect, recycle, treat and dispose of increasing quantities of both organic and inorganic wastes.
To determine how this report could assist in the management of waste, the team decided to carry out a survey in the Shimultola area to figure out what types of waste are being produced and how they are handled. A survey questionnaire was formulated for this purpose and a survey was carried out by the members of the team along with a small group of young people of Shimultola.
The survey was carried out on a sample size of 159 household in the area out of which only 143 participated in the survey. Some heads of households were reluctant to take part in the survey for the following reasons: disagreement with the involvement of the youth as survey interviewers, refusal to disclose information about how they handle their waste, and the belief that waste management with the project is unnecessary because the people already know what to do but are simply unorganized and irresponsible.
Based on the evaluation of available data, the report recommends establishing a suitable location for every little area, which will serve as the communal dumpsite for non-recyclable inorganic waste. A feasible waste collection and disposal system should be established immediately. Waste separation should be encouraged and each waste type should be disposed of in an appropriate manner. The sale of recyclable material should be organized. Composting of organic waste should be encouraged. Existing waste management regulations and their enforcement should be reviewed and amended. A variety of awareness activities — targeting different age, gender and interest groups within the village — should be carried out to encourage proper and responsible disposal of waste.
The general poor state of cleanliness and the continued use of open areas for dumping wastes are clear indications that the majority of the people are not convinced about the negative health and environmental impacts of improper waste disposal. In addition, although local regulations relating to waste disposal exist, they are simply not being enforced. In order to improve the situation, the people must make an effort to dispose of various types of waste in a responsible manner. The existing regulations should be reviewed and amended to improve monitoring and enforcement. A common dumpsite needs to be established, accompanied by a feasible collection and disposal system.