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10 Jan 2020 | News

Changing the way we think about and act on waste

Efficient waste management means cleaner, safer, and more conducive neighbourhoods. It is a crucial component of planning and growth. Speaking at the inauguration of National Waste Management National Conference held in Kathmandu on 6–7 December 2019, Hon. Ram Bir Manandhar, State Minister for Urban Development, Nepal, echoed this point: “We cannot proceed towards a prosperous Nepal without proper solid waste management practices in place.” The conference brought academicians, practitioners, and policy makers together to discuss issues and solutions in solid waste management around the theme “Waste architecture: Let it be everyone’s first priority”.

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Hon. Minister Ram Bir Manandhar, State Minister for Urban Development, inaugurating the conference (Photo: Pradeep Shakya)

The conference was organized to identify issues, bottlenecks, and areas requiring immediate attention in solid waste management and to explore collaborations between the stakeholders. It helped promote the 3R mantra of waste management – reduce, reuse, and recycle – and discussed the potential of achieving zero waste by utilizing and converting waste to energy and resources. The feasibility of implementing prospective smart waste management technologies in municipalities was also discussed. The conference also helped improve understanding regarding the importance of private–public partnerships (PPP) to promote investment and financing towards waste management.

Technical sessions around various topics like e-waste and bio-waste, climate adaptation strategies, resource recovery, and emerging issues were hosted to foster discussions and inform participants on the latest research being undertaken in the field. A panel on the topic “Climate adaptation” discussed the findings from SANDEE’s research project “Economic analysis of solid waste management and drainage for climate resilient cities in South Asia” in two South Asian cities: Bharatpur (Nepal) and Sylhet (Bangladesh). Mani Nepal, Programme Coordinator, SANDEE, ICIMOD, presented on understanding city flooding and water logging under different climatic conditions in the two cities.

 

Mani Nepal, Programme Coordinator, SANDEE, ICIMOD, presenting his findings from the SANDEE research on “Cities and climate change” (Photo: Pradeep Shakya)
Mani Nepal, Programme Coordinator, SANDEE, ICIMOD, presenting his findings from the SANDEE research on “Cities and climate change” (Photo: Pradeep Shakya)

 

The presentations also touched upon topics like estimating benefits of cleaner neighbourhoods, examining the feasibility of sustainable financing of plastic waste, and designing solid waste collection strategies for small municipalities in developing countries.

Around 300 representatives participated in the event, which was organized by the SWM Consortium in cooperation with SANDEE–ICIMOD, Nepal Environment Engineers Society, Nepal Development Research InstituteSNV Nepal, Garbage Management Association Nepal, and Nepal Science and Technology Academy.

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