DCC to monitor waste collection
Saturday, 01 March 2008

Staff Correspondent

The Dhaka City Corporation has taken up an intensified plan to improve collection of solid waste through the monitoring of primary-level waste collection by community-based and non-governmental organisations.

Officials at the corporation said the daily garbage was still not dumped in the right place from where the DCC carried the waste to the landfill sites.

‘We are trying to improve the system of waste collection and dumping through monitoring of the community-based organisations working on solid waste collection,’ said Tariq Bin Yousuf, project director of Clean Dhaka Project. The corporation earlier had no monitoring system or contact with the primary collectors, he said.

To overcome the shortcomings and to further the Clean Dhaka Master Plan (2005-2015) on solid waste management, the DCC with the assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency took up the four-year Clean Dhaka Project in 2007. Enhancing the capacity of solid waste collection and transportation of waste during night and through less crowded areas are also part of the project, said the project director.

The DCC has planned to set up mini transfer stations in all the city wards from where containers with waste would be collected. At present, only 15 wards of the corporation have mini transfer stations facility intended to prevent scattering of the waste and spreading of stench in and around the area, said Tariq.

The DCC has 248 open trucks, 128 containers and four trailer trucks for carrying the waste to the landfills at Matuail and Aminbazar.

The corporation, with assistance from JICA, has modernised the Matuail landfill with facilities like weigh bridge, electrical sub-station building, garage, security house, car-wash pool, surface drains around the facility area and some leachate (liquid that comes out of solid waste) pipes and gas pipes.

Matuail is the first sanitary landfill of the country, which was inaugurated in October 2007. ‘We could not start the development work of Aminbazar landfill for different administrative reasons, but are expecting that it would be possible in the next fiscal year’, he said.

More than half of the solid waste generated every day is still not possible to collect and these are dumped illegally in low lands in different areas of the city, which are the cause of environmental degradation, he pointed out.

According to the JICA study in 2004, around 3,200 tonnes of solid waste is generated every day in the Dhaka city and only 44 per cent was possible to be collected and dumped in landfills.

‘Our project aims to improve the collection rate to about 70 per cent by the year 2015,’ said Tariq, adding, ‘We will get more accurate data in future from the weigh bridge set up at the Matuail landfill site’.

Limited percentage of re-cycling, difficulties in finding land for waste landfill project; limited budget and environmental pollution like ground and surface water contamination are some significant challenges for waste management programme, the expert stated.

He said DCC had employed over 600 staff and about 7,000 street cleaners in more than 250 trucks collect waste from open stations and 440 containers. In 2006-07, the corporation spent about Tk 80 crore to improve the management of the solid waste, he added.

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