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The Role of Civil Society in Improving Waste Management in Kathmandu
Neelam Pradhananga, Sneha Bajracharya

Last modified: 2017-09-26


The increase in the types and complexity of household waste has led to growing challenges in its management by local governments in Nepal. A ‘collect and dump’ low-tech model is the main approach being used for waste management and very few small-scale initiatives are currently in operation for treatment of waste. There is growing awareness, however, for the need to shift attention away from the current focus on collection to waste treatment, resource extraction and safe disposal. The agreement with the Nepal government for the Finnish Joint Venture, Nepwaste to manage waste in Kathmandu is an indication of proposed improvements through efficient transportation, a technology-intensive approach in treatment of waste, and safe disposal as well as collection of segregated waste at households.

Some of the challenges in household waste segregation, however, include insufficient education and capacity building projects to support households to segregate waste, limited civil society engagement in the sector, and the complexity of approximately 80 private waste collection agencies of varying sizes changing their operational models to collect segregated waste. This paper explores some of the ongoing education and capacity building projects undertaken by government and not-for-profits. It then outlines some of the challenges faced by not-for-profits, and raises questions about the role not-for-profits will play when the new waste management system is operationalized. Finally, the paper provides recommendations on how to increase collaboration between government, civil society and the private sector.

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