During the Sixth Asia Pacific Urban Forum Conference, on 19 October a parallel session was organized by UN ESCAP, Waste Concern and ISWA. The session brought together delegates and representatives form various sectors to discuss the topic ‘Valuing Waste, Transforming Cities: Promoting waste-to-resource initiatives in Asia-Pacific’.

In the cities of developing countries across Asia and the Pacific, waste generation is growing rapidly. There is an urgent shift towards waste –to-resource approaches required, in order to address this growth.

The twin objectives of the session were to reflect on the experience and lessons learnt in promoting waste-to-resource initiatives in Asia-Pacific and to develop concrete recommendations for the advancement of waste-to-resource initiatives in the region.

The session started with the introduction of topic by Waste Concern representative Mr. Abu Hasnat Md. Maqsood Sinha and Mr. Lorenzo Santucci, Economic Affairs’ officer, ESCAP.

• The concept of Integrated Recycling Centers (IRC) was explained tby Mr. Abu Hasnat Md. Maqsood Sinha, Co Founder & Executive Director, Waste Concern. He further explained that recycling is a complex method of environment protection which aims to limit the consumption of resources and to decrease the waste quantity.

The concept of IRC presents a considerable and largely untapped opportunity for source recovery.

• Mr. Lorenzo Santucci, Economic Affairs’ officer, ESCAP shared his experiences in initiatives towards waste-to-resource by introducing Recycling Centers which are being supported by ESCAP in various South-East Asian Countries. This has resulted in new facilities being constructed across the region, as well as a range of community based initiative and government sponsored programs.

• Ms. Tuti Hendrawati Mintarih, Director – General of Hazardous Materials Waste, and Municipal Solid waste Management, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Government of Indonesia shared Indonesian experiences and practices of Municipal and Hazardous Waste.

• Mr. Iftekhar Enayetullah, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Waste Concern explained whole concept of IRC and its benefits towards sustainability. He also shared about its replicability and impact on waste management scenario.

• Mr. Ho De Leong, ISWA Board member- Regional Development Network Representative and Chairman of Waste Management Association of Malaysia presented the solid waste management model of Malaysia. The city is being divided into 5 zones, signing 5 separate contracts resulting in formation of Public-Private Partnership based on tipping fees. Success lies in transparency in public private relationship.

• Mr. K.H. Muthukudaarachchi, Director-general, Central Environmental Authority, Sri Lanka where he explained about his working in the concerned field through public-private partnerships and involving stakeholders.

• Mr. Ngo Hoang Nam, Chairman, Quy Nhon Municipal People’s Committee, Vietnam explained how IRC are functioning in Vietnam with ESCAP support. They have become hub for managing solid waste in a scientific manner with involvement of stakeholders.

• Following him, Dr. Vivek Agrawal, Chair, WGCTT, ISWA, and Advisor to Kanak Resources Management Ltd. stressed upon the importance of Micro enterprises (informal sector) for better efficiency in separation of Municipal Solid Waste. He further emphasised upon behaviour change communication through waste collectors to engage community for separation of waste at source. Social security and occupational health safety for the people engaged in the collection and transportation of waste is of high importance.

• Session Chair Mr. Donovan Storey, Chief, Sustainable Urban Development Section, ESCAP summed up discussion highlighting importance of IRC and informal sector.

The following Panel discussion made this parallel session very interactive.


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