Community-Based Waste Management programs are collaborations between NGO’s, government agencies and impacted communities, providing equipment and training to equip communities with the resources needed to not only establish a program, but to also run the program independently.
TARGET USERS: Individuals, Businesses, Industry, Government
KEY CONSIDERATIONS: Community-Based Waste Management programs often require initial support, guidance and resources as provided from local authorities and/or NGOs.
Regular waste collection is taken for granted in wealthier parts of the world, but there are still two billion people living mostly in lower and middle income countries without this basic service.
When there is no municipal waste collection people dump or burn their waste close to where they live. These practices are harmful to public health, local economies and the environment.
A common example is plastic packaging waste. When dumped it can block drains leading to flooding and stagnant water, allowing insects to breed, and often end up in the oceans where it is a major source of marine plastic, itself a global crisis. If burned, plastic is harmful to lungs, eyes and skin, and is a major contributor to urban air pollution.
Community-based waste management are services provided by community based organizations, in provincial towns, villages, remote rural areas, small island communities or parts of cities in low and middle income countries where there is no, or inadequate, municipal waste management service. Community-based waste management establishes a low-cost system in which solid waste can be segregated at the household level, valuable items can be utilized on-site, organic waste can be composted and trash can be collected and transported to a treatment site by a public collection service. The community-based approach adopts techniques that are low-cost and do not require specialist knowledge or skills.
In Phu Quoc, a Vietnamese island off the coast of Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand an agreement was reached between the local authorities and the community members of Da Chong, leading to the launch of the first community-based waste management program in the region, in September 2019. The project provided equipment, waste separation training, and technical support to the residents, equipping them with the resources to not only establish the program, but to also run the program independently.
The community selected a member of the community, in this case a low income waste picker, to be their community waste collector. The community lead collects inorganic waste door to door twice a week, and advocates for waste separation and onsite organic waste treatment. Since the pilot started, she has gained stable income from waste collection fees and from recyclables collected from participating households, and has also hired another community member to monitor and audit the local waste stream.
Public awareness about the dangers of plastic pollution to the ocean environment is now at an all time high in the community, with residents even participating in beach cleanup events. The old habit of throwing trash into the ocean is quickly fading.
For further guidance, see “Making Waste Work: A toolkit, community waste management in low and middle income countries” - https://wasteaid.org/toolkit/making-waste-work/
Door-to-door waste collection services and dedicated waste collection points can be managed by local governments, municipal unions, or private industry.
An agreement was reached between local authorities and the community members of Da Chong, leading to the launch of the first community-based waste management program in the region, in September 2019. See case study example:
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