Posted on September 4, 2023
With Nepal’s increasing population and urban growth, it is imperative for the country to actively embrace and leverage the benefits of the circular economy approach to shift towards responsible consumption and production. The circular economy shifts from the linear “take-make-dispose” model to a circular framework, emphasizing an economic model that focuses on reducing waste and optimizing resource utilization by extending the lifespan of products and materials.
At the grassroots level, waste workers, both formal and informal, play a pivotal role in facilitating a more equitable transition to a circular economy. However, they encounter persistent challenges within the waste management sector. These challenges include discrimination based on caste and occupation, as well as instances of verbal abuse directed at drivers and workers when waste collection vehicles are missed. Some individuals opt to dump their waste on the roadside rather than wait for a waste collection vehicle. Unfortunately, waste workers and the waste management industry as a whole often face negative stereotypes, discrimination, and stigmas associated with pollution, uncleanliness, and marginalization. While people desire clean and healthy communities, they often resist and express reluctance when it comes to having waste management facilities nearby.
Furthermore, there is a shortage of training opportunities for waste segregation and collection processes for waste workers. There are also discrepancies in payment scales between male and female workers, as well as a lack of proper tools for waste collection.
Figure 1 Community people throwing mixed waste in the truck; children seem to engage in the transfer of household waste to the collection vehicle
Figure 2 Unloading of municipal waste in the transfer station