Bangladesh (“The country of Bengal”), officially the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia between India and Myanmar. It is the world’s eighth most populous country with 170 million people on a land area of 148,000 km2. Its capital and largest city is Dhaka with 19 million people in the Greater Dhaka Area, followed by Chittagong, which has the country’s largest port. Most of Bangladesh is covered by the Bengal Delta, the largest delta on Earth. The country has 700 rivers and over 8,000 km of inland waterways. Highlands with evergreen forests are found in the northeastern and southeastern regions of the country. Bangladesh has many islands and a coral reef. The second longest unbroken sea beach of the world, Cox’s Bazar Beach, is located in the southeast. It is also home to the Sundarbans, the largest mangrove forest in the world.
Stone Age tools found in Bangladesh indicate human habitation for over 20,000 years, and remnants of Copper Age settlements date back 4,000 years. Greek and Roman records of the ancient Gangaridai Kingdom, which (according to legend) deterred the invasion of Alexander the Great. Early Muslim explorers and missionaries arrived in Bengal late in the first millennium and the Islamic conquest of Bengal began in 1204. Bengal was the first region of the Indian subcontinent conquered by the British East India Company in 1757 and their administration continued until 1858, when it was moved under British rule. The Partition of British India made East Bengal a part of the Dominion of Pakistan; and renamed it as East Pakistan. After a brief independence war against Pakistan, Bangladesh declared independence in 1072.
The urban population accounts for one third of the total population in Bangladesh generating roughly 30,000 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) daily, with the rural population adding another 20,000 tons per day. The inorganic waste (such as plastics, metals, glass, etc.) is partially recycled mainly by the informal sector, while NGOs take the lead in composting of organic portion in limited scale. Nevertheless, much of the organic portion as well as other, low-value waste remains a major problem. This often constitutes more than half by weight of the total MSW generated and requires costly removal and disposal.
There is also something good in the high organic content in the waste streams. With rising concerns about the condition of soil fertility in Bangladesh, various stakeholders are trying to promote organic fertilizer to restore soil health and reduce the adverse effects of intensive cropping and high use of chemical fertilizers. Several NGOs are undertaking actions to reverse declining soil fertility and promote sustainable agricultural practices by increasing the use of organic fertilizers, i.e. compost – from both commercial and household sources. The process of making compost involves converting kitchen waste and municipal waste, farm yard manure, crop residues, and other organic materials from their raw state to a form of fertilizer that can be safely used in food production, and adding value to it in the process.
Approximately 70% of waste produced in the country is organic, offering plenty of raw material for the fertilizer producers. Another option for the organic waste is biogas generation through anaerobic digestion to be used as cooking gas or transport fuel. The residual organic matter will also act as fertilizer. Furthermore, composting and biogas generation will prevent the formation of methane, which is a significant greenhouse gas accounting for some 10% of all CO2 equivalent emissions globally. The remaining inorganic waste material can then be incinerated for energy, and its residual ash material used in brick manufacturing or cement production thus saving virgin raw materials like sand.
WOIMA has the perfect solution to help Bangladesh and its major cities to reduce the waste-induced challenges. We have developed a decentralized waste management and power generation solution named “WOIMA Ecosystem” that helps countries and cities to cope with the increasing waste challenges that they are facing. WOIMA Ecosystem recycles the waste into raw materials and energy in the most efficient manner reducing the waste quantity by over 95%. The small-to-medium size WOIMA Ecosystems are distributed close to where the waste is generated, thus offering significant waste logistics and power distribution savings in addition to solving the waste problem.
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