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Solid waste recycling in Rajshahi city of Bangladesh

Hamidul Bari, Q., Mahbub Hassan, K., Ehsanul Haque, M.
Waste management 2012 v.32 no.11 pp. 2029-2036
factories, glass, iron, manufacturing, new products, plastics, purchasing, questionnaires, recycled materials, recycling, solid wastes, surveys, Bangladesh
Efficient recycling of solid wastes is now a global concern for a sustainable and environmentally sound management. In this study, traditional recycling pattern of solid waste was investigated in Rajshahi municipality which is the fourth largest city of Bangladesh. A questionnaire survey had been carried out in various recycle shops during April 2010 to January 2011. There were 140 recycle shops and most of them were located in the vicinity of Stadium market in Rajshahi. About 1906 people were found to be involved in recycling activities of the city. The major fraction of recycled wastes were sent to capital city Dhaka for further manufacture of different new products. Only a small amount of wastes, specially plastics, were processed in local recycle factories to produce small washing pots and bottle caps. Everyday, an estimated 28.13tons of recycled solid wastes were handled in Rajshahi city area. This recycled portion accounted for 8.25% of the daily total generated wastes (341tond⁻¹), 54.6% of total recyclable wastes (51.49tond⁻¹) and 68.29% of readily recyclable wastes (41.19tond⁻¹). Major recycled materials were found to be iron, glass, plastic, and papers. Only five factories were involved in preliminary processing of recyclable wastes. Collecting and processing secondary materials, manufacturing recycled-content products, and then buying recycled products created a circle or loop that ensured the overall success of recycling and generated a host of financial, environmental, and social returns.