UNESCAP Scheme Turns Waste to Carbon Credits

22 February 2010: The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and Waste Concern, a Bangladesh non-governmental organization, have launched a project aimed at ensuring solid waste development strategies become decentralized, pro-poor, low-carbon and self-financing through the sale of carbon credits.

The new programme was launched during a workshop on Pro-poor and Sustainable Solid Waste Management for Secondary Cities and Small Towns, taking place from 22-24 February 2010, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. It will seek to harness the potential of the informal waste collection sector, which has demonstrated that recycling trash can be extremely profitable.

Waste Concern was one of the world's first organizations to acquire carbon credits for composting under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Since 2005, Waste Concern, ESCAP and local partners have tested and refined the approach in Sri Lanka and Viet Nam. One compost plant serving some 1,000 households and treating two-three tons of waste daily has been built in each country, and both sites are self-financing. [ESCAP Press Release]