Jashore town now dealing with waste in a smarter way

10 December, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Jashore town in the country’s southwestern region is wearing a smarter look these days with a modern, state-of-the-art waste management system to go with other facilities making it a cleaner one for its dwellers.

Jashore municipality has completed the “Regional Integrated Landfill and Resource Recovery Facility”, a pilot project under the City Region Development Project (CRDP) of the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

A recent visit to the town revealed a biogas unit, compost plant, a fecal sludge treatment plant, and its very own waste-water treatment facility are all part of the integrated landfill project.  

The main project site is at Munshi Meherullah road under Hamidpur of the municipality spread over an area of nearly 14 acres. The facility was constructed at a cost of Tk 23 crore.

The work under the CRDP’s main scheme at the municipality done with support from the ADB, German development agency Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and Swedish International Development Agency, alongside the government of Bangladesh.

According to ADB, $200-million CRDP improved urban infrastructure and planning in Dhaka and Khulna city areas to boost economic growth potential and ensure environmental sustainability.

The project improved a variety of urban infrastructure. It rehabilitated and expanded 145 kilometres of water supply systems, provided 107,000 households with improved sanitation facilities, and built or rehabilitated 216 kilometres of drainage.

It also introduced solid waste management collection, energy-efficient water pumps and solar-powered streetlights; improved key roads, and bus and truck terminals, as well as traffic signals and pavements, the sources said.

Describing the benefits of the integrated landfill project, Project Director (PD) and additional chief engineer of LGED Md Ahsan Habib said they are following the ‘3Rs’ principle of waste management—Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

The facility has a Waste Sorting Unit with a capacity of processing half tonne of waste per hour. “We can produce 720 cubic metres of biogas (Now 400 cm3 is being produced). Also, 432kwh of electricity can be produced but now 250kwh is being produced. Besides, 4 tonnes of organic fertiliser can be produced every year from the landfill,” he added.

Ahsan Habib added that the project has the potential to save spending on electricity by Tk 15.5 lakh per year by generating 432kwh electricity from the waste.

“Around Tk 79 lakh will be spent to run the plant’s activities every year but we can earn Tk 1.35 crore by selling organic fertiliser, biogas and electricity,” he said.

Speaking to the municipality’s officials at a meeting on November 30, ADB Country Director Manmohan Parkash said he expects Jashore to be a smart city in a short time.

“Make a good plan and give us a modern design to build further cleaner and a liveable city. There’s no problem for financing. You need more campaigns for waste management so that people are much more conscious,” he added.

Manmohan Parkash said there is now very necessary integrated urbanisation in Bangladesh as its economy growth is increasing with population. Like many Asian cities, Bangladesh has got urbanised very rapidly but its infrastructures have failed to keep pace with the growing needs.

“Private sector of the country must contribute to waste management. Otherwise, Bangladesh won’t be able to control waste because people are consuming huge products due to their increased income. Besides, population is increasing too but it has no land. So, take immediate initiatives for waste management,” he added.

Replying to a question, Manmohan Parkash told the agency that the landfill project of Jashore is successful and he is also happy to see it.

“Such projects can be profitable. So, private sector and other financing institutions should come forward to support waste management. Best technology and good plan are needed to solve the problems. ADB is a project developer and financier, too. Money is not a problem. After completing such works in several districts, gradually we’ll go to other districts of the country,” he added.

The ADB country director urged the government to encourage building green factories as existing industrial factories’ waste is polluting rivers and environment vastly.

By 2035, Bangladesh’s urban population is expected to double to 74 million. The capital, Dhaka, at present has a population of around 18.90 million - more than the four biggest German cities of Berlin, Bonn, Frankfurt and Munich put together.

Jashore municipality has an area of 14.72 sq km and a population of 201,796. Major industries include jute goods, bricks, cement and tobacco.

According to a study of the Department of Environment (DoE), 39 tonnes of waste used to be generated in Jashore municipality in 2012. It is expected to reach 54 tonnes per day in 2021 and 74 tonnes per day in 2031.

Talking to the agency, Jashore municipality Mayor Jahirul Islam Chaklader Rantu said the final project approval date was November 10, 2010 while the closing date May 29, 2019.

“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the integrated landfill’s construction work on December 31, 2017 and completed its work last year. We want to keep the city clean. We already completed our municipality park beautification under CRDP. Gradually, we’ll make a smart city,” he said.

Rantu said their employees go to houses after receiving information and collect waste, including sludge, from septic tanks.

“At the first time, a customer has to pay Tk 2,300 to clean a septic tank but later Tk 1,300. Afterwards, the waste and sludge are dumped into the landfill. Later, these are turned into biogas, electricity and water through a process,” he added.