Workshop-Training on Organic Waste Composting: Resource Recovery for a Sustainable Solid Waste Management, Bangkok, Thailand, 10-12 March 2009

Event: Kitakyushu Initiative Workshop
Date: March 2009

Urbanization, population growth and economic development are considered the main driving forces of solid waste management (SWM) issues in Asia and the Pacific region. These factors all together influence consumption rates that lead to accelerate waste generation and change waste components. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission in Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) reported that the solid waste in the least developed and low income developing countries of the region is characterized by high organic content ranging from 70 to 80 percent of the total waste generation. This figure shows a bright prospect to introduce recycling methods to minimize municipal solid waste generation. However, many of these local governments remain to practice traditional solid waste management that focuses on end-of-line solutions that are often very costly.

Recognizing the need to adopt innovative strategies for sustainable solid waste management, the Kitakyushu Initiative for a Clean Environment (KI) started to promote innovative composting techniques to assist local governments in Asia and the Pacific region address waste management issues in their locality such as the large volume of organic waste. Through intensive research, several small-scale composting initiatives that target commercial and household organic wastes have been identified and found to achieve success in improving local environmental and socio-economic conditions. Surabaya City in Indonesia as an example, implemented household composting through a simple technique by using baskets commonly referred to as the “Takakura Home Method” (THM). This practice has resulted to a significant decrease in waste generation; the city government recorded a 10% decrease from 2005 until 2007. Partnership and cooperation between local NGOs, private sector, communities and local government was also achieved from this initiative as well as the creation of income and livelihood opportunities from waste recycling.

Understanding the benefits and achievements of THM composting in Indonesia, several cities in the Philippines and Thailand have replicated the method to address organic wastes from household to commercial sources. Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), Thailand, started a community pilot project for household composting in 2006. Shortly after, BMA invested to expand the practice in a number of districts targeting both market and household sources.

The Kitakyushu Initiative Network Secretariat under the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) in partnership with UNESCAP, Kitakyushu City Government, Japan and the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA), is organizing a 3-day workshop- training on “Organic Waste Composting: Resource Recovery for a Sustainable Solid Waste Management”. The main objective of this workshop-training is to introduce composting practice as an important component to improve existing solid waste management systems in the region and an avenue for livelihood development. Specifically it aims to:
Present innovative composting practices of cities in Asia and the Pacific region;
Discuss the environmental and socio-economic impacts of composting;
Discuss policy measures to support organic waste composting;
Provide hands-on training on Takakura composting method,