March 21- 24, 2017, Tokyo and Kitakyushu- The World Bank’s Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC), in collaboration with the Government of Japan, City of Kitakyushu and the World Bank’s community of solid waste management technical experts conducted an intensive four-day Technical Deep Dive (TDD) on efficient Solid Waste Management (SWM) practices in Tokyo and Kitakyushu, Japan.
Policy makers, practitioners and technical experts on SWM 15 countries including Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, China, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Senegal, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania joined this TDD to share SWM challenges, opportunities and practical approaches building on the knowledge and expertise of Japanese entities in SWM.
According to World Bank, over 50% of the world’s population lives in urban areas today and the number of people living in cities will increase by 1.5 times to 6 billion, adding 2 billion more urban residents by 2045. As the world urbanizes at an unprecedented pace, efficient solid waste management is becoming increasingly important and complex. Additionally, solid waste is a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions where if improperly managed leads to a host of negative environmental issues and costs for effected municipalities.
Delegations were empowered to address their complex solid waste challenges through a series of structured learning sessions presenting the lessons learned and institutional frameworks from Japan including waste legal frameworks, Institutional mapping of central government, municipal and private sector actors, financial mechanism including cost allocation, and data collection.
“This has been my most instructive week in my 20-year career in solid waste management.”- Kwabena Amankwah Ayeh, Liberia WB TTL
Although the level of development, technologies utilized, service standards and costs vary from country to country, the following shared challenges were raised by participants: 1) operational challenges such as high prevalence of open dumping and burning of waste and minimal environmental protection measures, 2) institutional challenges such as lack of planning at both national and municipal levels and the challenges of effective inter-agency coordination, 3) citizen engagement challenges such as the difficulty in gaining citizen engagement and commitment particularly in separation at the source activities, and 4) financing challenges such as public resource constraints, lack of private investment, low resource recovery rates, and inadequate cost recovery mechanisms.
Technical visits were conducted to deepen the delegates learning experience at the Chubo landfill in Tokyo, Eco Town Center, compost of organic waste (Tanoshii Co.Ltd), waste collection site, incineration site and recycling center in Kitakyushu. Furthermore, delegations learned about Japan’s financing and cost recovery mechanism of SWM, and observed recycling and incineration technologies as well as were able to observe the critical importance of citizen engagement for efficient source separation and recycling activities.
Throughout this TDD, delegations gained specific insight into Japan’s 3R (Reduce, Recycle and Reuse) practice, active citizen engagement and education, and successful cost recovery of SWM by consignment and outsourcing to private companies as well as to obtaining peer-peer learning. TDD delegations developed practical action plans containing key takeaways, approaches, next steps, and desired support from TDLC, Japanese counterparts and the World Bank to implement practical solid waste solutions in their countries.
“We got inspiration and hope to get support from Liberia to establish knowledge sharing of an environmental awareness program.” Suresh Ponniah, Additional Secretary (Development), Ministry of Megapolis & Western Development, Sri Lanka