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A Review on Waste Management Practice in Bangladesh


Wastes are substances that are usually unwanted, useless, or discarded materials. It may be solid, semi-solid, or liquid substances. Waste generation is increasing rapidly due to the unplanned urban population growth, industrialization, removal of garbage, haphazardly disposal, etc. However, wastes are not properly managed in developing countries like Bangladesh. But due to its severe impacts upon humans and the environment, waste management practice is a prime concerned issue.  The community leaders, municipalities, city corporations, government authorities, political leaders, NGOs, university researchers, media partners, and voluntary organizations are equally responsible for to waste management system. The management of waste is being a great challenge at all. At present Bangladesh, government authority has been more concerned about waste management practices. Recently, they have been taking more steps for management practice in many districts. 

Waste management systems

In Bangladesh, the practice of managing different types of wastes is moderate. There are three major systems of waste management. Among these first ones is a formal system that is based on the conventional system for collecting wastes carried by local authorities. In this system, recycling concepts are absent only municipalities or city corporations are responsible for solid waste management indeed. The second system is a community initiative based on primary solid waste collection by CBOs and NGOs. The third system is an informal system where a large informal labor force is involved in the management of waste materials. All the system is needed for the promoted effective waste management system.

Waste management practices in Bangladesh at the public-private level

City corporations

There are 11 city corporations in Bangladesh all of these are responsible for solid waste management. Every city corporation collects wastes from residential areas, commercial areas, educational institutions,  markets,  hospitals, clinical diagnostic centers, etc. But most of them can’t perform the management program of different waste properly due to manpower, finance, and transportation systems.

Waste concern

Waste Concern, a local NGO based initiative which has created a new dimension for changing solid wastes into valuable and profitable materials. It is mainly working by using a clean development mechanism for waste collection and treatment process. The main aim of the waste concern is to improve abrupt environmental situations by accelerating the management practice everywhere in Bangladesh. It is funded by the Netherland government for better treatment of waste in Bangladesh.

Dustha Shasthya Kendra (DSK)

It works for providing health and hygiene training on waste management in Dhaka and Chittagong cities. It gives more than 100 slums people training about their health, cleanliness, and waste disposal properly.

Prism for Waste Management

It has started its journey in Khulna city in 1989. It is a well organized and community-based urban waste treatment initiative in which public awareness, building workshops, meetings, seminars, rallies are being used to accelerate the regulation of waste. It is considered the first initial step in Bangladesh for managing the practice of waste.


It started its works mainly for the regulation of domestic waste materials in Khulna city in 1997. Swiss development cooperation financially supported its overall activities during its journey. At present, Prodipan involves in medical waste treatment.


It is a newly created project for the slum areas of waste treatment. Tongi, Dinajpur, Mymensingh, and Jessore districts are included through the Shahor project which was funded by USAID in 2000.

Methods in Waste Management practice

We can mention some methods for the management systems of waste materials such as:

Source reduction

It is most commonly used by local people and government authorities. Segregation and reduction of solid wastes are done from its sources. The source of wastes is being reduced by expanding and creating more recycling networks.  Besides, the waste treatment system in the source of waste generation is also applied properly.

Waste collection

Wastes are being collected mainly by community dustbin, demountable containers, designated open spaces, and house to the house collection system. Besides, some special waste collection vehicles of City Corporation are engaged to collect wastes from a particular place.


Wastes are transported from source to a particular place by conventional trucks, demountable containers, trailers, etc. Multiple waste handling systems exist. There is no provision for transferring wastes from smaller collections to larger waste transport.


In Bangladesh recycling waste materials are mainly performed through the informal sector to the formal sector. Many localized markets are more concerned about waste recycling. They are used to converting waste trash into new fresh products. However, we can see the following of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) by which 700 tons/day wastes are being composted in Dhaka city.

Incineration for Waste Management

It is not a casual method of the management system in every city of Bangladesh. It is a high operational costly method. Due to the presence of high moisture content, the low calorific value of wastes the viability of incineration techniques are hampered. At present some initiatives are being taken to accelerate the incineration processes by using thermal treatment methods.  

Self disposal & Landfilling for Waste Management

It is a very common method in Bangladesh. In this method, trash materials are being buried. Though it is mostly unhygienic it is more convenient to general people. People generally adopt open crude dumping techniques. 


Due to the absence of integration among the appropriate waste management methods the country people have to face severe impacts upon themselves and their surrounding environment. Those problems are highly increasing day by day. So, it is time to build a better approach to the waste management system. The government should take necessary steps for accelerating the management practice of waste materials in Bangladesh with policy including formulation and implementation from the local level to the national level including proper regulation, monitoring, and law enforcement. Besides, it is important to create coordination among government policymakers, City corporations, civil society, stakeholders, NGOs, WASA, voluntary organizations, and media to implement the practice.


1. Ali M, 2004.Sustainable Composting.Water Engineering and Development Center (WEDC), Loughborough University, UK.

2. Department of Environment (DOE), 2004. Country paper: Bangladesh, presented in the SAARC Workshop on SWM, held at Dhaka during 10-12 October, 20

3. Nasrin F, 2006. WM in Bangladesh: current situations and suggestions for action.

Md Omar Faruk
Department of Coastal Studies & Disaster Management,
University Of Barishal, Bangladesh

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