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Solid waste recycling in rajshahi city of bangladesh

Waste Management 32 (2012) 2029–2036

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Waste Management
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/wasman

Solid waste recycling in Rajshahi city of Bangladesh
Q. Hamidul Bari ⇑, K. Mahbub Hassan, M. Ehsanul Haque
Department of Civil Engineering, Khulna University of Engineering and Technology, Khulna 9203, Bangladesh

a r t i c l e

i n f o

Article history:
Received 12 August 2011
Accepted 27 May 2012
Available online 1 July 2012
Keywords:
Recyclable solid waste

Recycling
Waste collectors
Recycling dealers
Recycling factories
Private sector

a b s t r a c t
Efficient recycling of solid wastes is now a global concern for a sustainable and environmentally sound
management. In this study, traditional recycling pattern of solid waste was investigated in Rajshahi
municipality which is the fourth largest city of Bangladesh. A questionnaire survey had been carried
out in various recycle shops during April 2010 to January 2011. There were 140 recycle shops and most
of them were located in the vicinity of Stadium market in Rajshahi. About 1906 people were found to be
involved in recycling activities of the city. The major fraction of recycled wastes were sent to capital city
Dhaka for further manufacture of different new products. Only a small amount of wastes, specially plastics, were processed in local recycle factories to produce small washing pots and bottle caps. Everyday, an
estimated 28.13 tons of recycled solid wastes were handled in Rajshahi city area. This recycled portion
accounted for 8.25% of the daily total generated wastes (341 ton dÀ1), 54.6% of total recyclable wastes
(51.49 ton dÀ1) and 68.29% of readily recyclable wastes (41.19 ton dÀ1). Major recycled materials were
found to be iron, glass, plastic, and papers. Only five factories were involved in preliminary processing
of recyclable wastes. Collecting and processing secondary materials, manufacturing recycled-content
products, and then buying recycled products created a circle or loop that ensured the overall success
of recycling and generated a host of financial, environmental, and social returns.
Ó 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction
In view of the importance of energy saving as well as conservation of resources, efficient recycling of solid wastes is now a global
concern requiring extensive research and development works towards exploring newer applications and maximizing use of existing technologies for a sustainable and environmentally sound
management (Demirbas, 2010). Growth of population, increasing
urbanization, rising standards of living due to technological innovations have contributed to an increase both in the quantity and
variety of solid wastes. Globally, the estimated quantity of solid
wastes expected to be generated annually by the year 2025 is
about 19 billion tons (Yoshizawa et al., 2004). It is now a global
concern, to find a socio, techno-economic, environmental friendly
solution to sustain a cleaner and greener environment. A part of
management can be done by reusing the reusable portion of the
waste following the excellent waste management hierarchy which
emphasizes reduce, reuse, recycle, recover and stable residue.
Recycling and reuse imply separating, collecting, processing, marketing, and ultimately using a material that would otherwise have
been thrown away. This morning’s newspaper can be recycled for
another morning’s news or other paper products. Carpet and clothing can be made from recycled soda bottles. Collecting and
⇑ Corresponding author. Tel.: +880 01714087299; fax: +880 41 774780.


E-mail address: qhbari@yahoo.com (Q. Hamidul Bari).
0956-053X/$ - see front matter Ó 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2012.05.036

processing secondary materials, manufacturing recycled-content
products, and then buying recycled products creates a circle or
loop that ensures the overall success of recycling and generates a
host of financial, environmental, and social returns. Some of these
benefits accrue locally as well as globally. In addition, recycling and
reuse of waste materials can contribute to other state and local
policy goals, such as job creation, economic development, and
reducing land and marine pollution (Cascadia Consulting Group,
2009).
Bangladesh is generally faced with the rapid deterioration of
environmental and sanitation conditions due to the conventional
system of collection, transportation and the crude dumping of municipal solid wastes. Therefore, urban solid waste management has
become a major concern for cities and towns in the country. With
regards to achieving proper solid waste management in municipalities, efforts were made particularly to improve the waste collection process and disposal facilities. Nevertheless, a traditional
solid waste recycling and reuse scheme has been established in different cities of Bangladesh under private initiatives whose sustainability was confirmed over the years without any official or formal
funds (Bari et al., 2009). The private sector is characterized by a
small scale, labor-intensive, unregulated and disorganized system
for services. The private sector generally cannot get any special
support from the government for their activities. The traditional
recycling of solid waste has been carried out not designating recyclables as wastes but as resources which provided positive impacts.


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Q. Hamidul Bari et al. / Waste Management 32 (2012) 2029–2036

With some exceptions, recycling activities take place in a polluting
and unhealthy environment. This study aims at revealing the traditional solid waste recycling pattern in Rajshahi city of Bangladesh
as an example. In this context, the major focus was encompassed
with the participation of different levels of waste collectors; an
assortment of hierarchical recycle shops, and local factories.
2. Methodology
In developing countries waste reuse scheme is managed by
informal sector, specially the urban poor, as means of employment.
Generally, this is a decentralized waste management system
with self sufficient (autonomous) management. The system is
characterized by having separate small-scaled flows and flexible
management systems with high involvement of end users. Such
decentralized systems include small scale private waste collection
systems and informal recycling projects. Decentralized system
manages flow of materials close to production areas hence are being
considered to have low cost of management. The decentralized system seems to work better in provisions of urban infrastructures,
especially in situations where centralized system is not yet in place
and in situations where the end users of these systems strive to
function independent from higher level institutions and authorities.

working hours, wages, collection process, etc. In this study, a total
34 shops were surveyed in details.
2.2.3. Waste recycling factories
The waste recycling factories were located in Bangladesh small
and cottage industries Corporation (BSCIC) area of Sapura. A detailed questionnaire survey was conducted in these factories which
included: factory activity, raw material, number of workers, wages,
amount of waste collected and products, etc.
2.3. Rate of waste generation
Different studies suggested a waste generation rate around
0.38–0.78 kg per capita per day in Rajshahi city (Table 2) with an
average of 0.44 kg per capita per day. The total population in this
city was considered 775,500 (BBS, 2009) and hence the average solid waste generation rate was estimated 341 tons dÀ1. The physical
composition of solid wastes of Rajshahi, Khulna and Dhaka city
were represented in Table 3 where only food and vegetable wastes
accounted for 70% of the total generated wastes (Hai and Ali, 2005;
Yousuf and Rahman, 2007).
3. Results and discussion

2.1. Selection of study ares

3.1. Primary waste collectors

Rajshahi is the 4th largest city of Bangladesh. The area of Rajshahi city corporation is 96.72 square kilometers and divided into
30 wards. According to the census in 2009, the population in Rajshahi was around 775,500 (BBS 2009). A structured questionnaires
survey on solid waste recycling in Rajshahi city was conducted
during April 2010 to January 2011 (Haque, 2011). A total of eight
locations in 30 wards were surveyed and almost all the waste recycling shops (WRS) of Rajshahi city were situated in the selected
area (Table 1).

Waste pickers and feriwala (buyer of recyclable wastes from
house) normally work as the primary waste collectors. In Rajshahi
city, the waste pickers were found collecting wastes from wastebins or road sides. The detail information on primary waste collectors and their activities have been documented in Table 4. People
of different ages were involved in picking wastes but most of them
fall within 10–30 years old. There was a tendency among the poor
people, who did not get job, to be involved in waste picking;
because there was no financial investment in this work and the
money they received by selling the waste was totally their income.
Most of the primary waste collectors were found to be the inhabitants in a slum of 92 families and situated behind the Padma residential area at Vodra. The waste pickers usually went out for work
in the morning and returned back in the afternoon. During this period they used to collect an estimated 11–20 kg dÀ1 of wastes from
different parts of the city. Most of the waste pickers were found
illiterate. Recently, the city authority arranged a temporary class
for about 70–80 students behind the ‘‘Shahid Captain Monsur Ali
park’’.
In comparison to waste pickers, the number of feriwala was
less, almost one third of total primary waste collectors; because
in this case financial investment was needed. Moniruzzaman et
al. (2011) found 658 number feriwala and 1349 number waste
pickers involved in waste recycling in Khulna city with ratio of
1:2. Usually, feriwala used to collect an estimated 30–40 kg dÀ1
of wastes and had better financial condition than waste pickers.
Moreover, feriwala were of two categories: (i) walked door to door
with container made of bamboo and a balance (Fig. 1a), (ii) used
rickshaw van to carry the waste materials. Finally, the waste pickers and feriwala sold the collected recyclable wastes to various recycle shops (Fig. 1b). A waste picker usually earns Tk 90–150 per
day while a feriwala earns Tk 150–200 per day. The estimated
amount of waste collected by waste picker and feriwala were
found to be 17.5 kg dÀ1 and 34.63 kg dÀ1, respectively (Table 4).

2.2. Questionnaire survey
A structured questionnaire survey on the existing recycling process was conducted among those people who are related with the
recycling process such as waste collectors, owner and workers of
shops and recycling factories. The survey is conducted in three different categories which include: primary waste collectors, wastes
recycle shops, and wastes recycle factories.
2.2.1. Primary waste collectors
Primary waste collectors were those people who collected recyclable waste materials from houses or dustbins and finally sold to
various waste recycle shops. Two types of primary waste collectors
were involved in this process: waste pickers and house to house
waste collectors locally named feriwala. The waste pickers used
to collect wastes from streets, municipal bins and other places.
2.2.2. Waste recycling shops
The wastes recycle shops were found to be developed in cluster
form. The shops were categorized according to the type of wastes
they deal with, the size of shops, and the number of workers in
each shop. Based on this preliminary survey, some shops were selected for detailed survey. Most of the SFRM proprietors were not
willing to provide the real data because they worried to increasing
taxes. They used to maintain informal records. However, it was
interesting to recover a number of sensible information from
the traditional reuses pattern. The questionnaire survey in recycle
shops documented information regarding the quantity of waste
material they dealt with, type of wastes, number of workers,

3.2. Waste recycling shops
A total of 140 waste recycling shops were identified in Rajshahi
city area. Mainly four categories of wastes were recycled as


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Q. Hamidul Bari et al. / Waste Management 32 (2012) 2029–2036
Table 1
Location of shops and characteristics of the places Source: Rajshahi city corporation web site.
Ward number/location
names

Characteristics of the ward

No. of house-holds in ward (area
in acre)

Population of the ward
(literacy %)

No. of
dealersa

2 Court station
7 Laxmiipur Vatapara
12 Shaheb bazar Rani
Bazar
15 Stadium market Shal
Bagan
16 Sapura industrial area
19 Old station
27 Vodra, Tikapara

Mixed income households and some agricultural land
Middle class and educated professionals live here
Markets and residential area

3119 (1125b)
1874 (782)
1748 (485)

15190 (56.7)
12700 (69.3)
9840 (82.5)

3
3
14

Recyclable waste market area and residential area

2104 (602)

10500 (84.8)

68

Industrial area and residential area
Residential and market area
Residential area. High to middle income people live in
this area
Residential area, Middle income people live here

2549 (936)
1945 (781)
2198 (282)

12000 (72.3)
8870 (62.9)
10870 (72.4)

6
2
20

2469 (596)

12009 (59.75)

7
17

3 Dingadoba, Tultulipara
Others
a
b

Finding of this work.
1 acre = 0.4047 hectare.

described in Tables 5–7. Major recycled materials were paper or
bags, plastic, glass, and metals. A total 34 shops (24% of 140 shops)
were surveyed in details. The number of workers in recycle shops
were found to be varied according to the nature of job like only
separation, only compaction or both. On the basis of the amount
of waste handled, the shops were classified into four categories
namely Large, Medium, small type A (STA) and small type B
(STB) for further analysis. The large shops usually handled more
than 2000 kg dÀ1, the medium shops handled 1000–2000 kg dÀ1,
the STA handled 500–1000 kg dÀ1 and the STB handled less than
500 kg dÀ1.
There were three large recycle shops in the study area, however,
only one agreed to provide data (Table 5). This shop was located at
Vodra and used to handle 9250 kg dÀ1 recyclable wastes. Generally, all large shops used to buy recycled wastes from medium
and small shops. Only one medium shop was identified in the city
area which had an average waste handling capacity of 1500 kg dÀ1.
A total of seven STA shops were identified and each had a capacity
of handling 500–875 kg dÀ1 recyclable wastes (Table 6). Two STA
shops were located in Vodra area, three in Stadium area and one
in Sapura area. Primarily, the STA shops were found to dealing with
metal items. However, glass items were also handled in these
shops. Working hour of the owner/staffs were found around
8–9 h a day with income/salary Tk 1800–4500 per month. Out of
a total 129 STB shops in the city area, data from 26 shops were
collected and documented as shown in Table 7. Most of those were
found to dealing with mixed items and handled around
50–450 kg dÀ1 of recycled wastes. Working time of the owner/
staffs were about 7–9 h a day. Most of them did not provide information regarding their income or salary. The range of income or
salary of the respondent owner or worker was Tk 1800–4500 per

Table 2
Waste generation of Rajshahi city according to different studies.
Reference of
study

Reference of study total waste
generation (ton dÀ1)

Calculated waste
generation
(kg capita dÀ1)

Ali (2010)
Clemett et al.
(2006)
Waste Safe
(2005)
Ahmed and
Rahman
(2000)

350
200

0.78
0.44

170

0.38

387a

0.50

341a

0.44b

Average
a
b

Calculation based on the population 775,500.
Average of last three references.

month. Mostly, these shops were located in Vodra and Stadium
area.
3.3. Estimation of recycled waste
The average recycled wastes handled by the small type B shop
was estimated from Table 7. Recycled wastes = 4519/26 =
173.8 kg dÀ1. Similarly, small type A shop 601 kg dÀ1 (Table 6).
Thus, the total recyclable wastes handled by 129 numbers small
type B shops, 7 numbers small type A shops and a Medium shop
would be aggregated to 28.13 ton dÀ1. The wastes from small and
medium shops finally reached to large recycle shops. The three
large shops handled almost similar amount of wastes as estimated
from the field survey as mentioned in Section 3.2. Thus, a conservative estimate on the amount of waste handled by the large shops
was = 9.25 Â 3 = 29.75 ton dÀ1. This value was very close to the
amount handled by the small and medium shops. Therefore, the
total estimated amount of recyclable wastes handled in Rajshahi
was taken 28.13 ton dÀ1. The Percentage of recycled solid waste
of total solid waste generation per day in Rajshahi city was estimated 8.25% (28.13 Â 100/341). The data 8.25% of recycled wastes
in Rajshahi was found analogous with Dhaka and Khulna cities as
9.10% (Memon, 2002) and 8.87% (Bari et al., 2009) of total daily
solid waste generation, respectively.
3.4. Estimation of recyclable solid waste
Potential recyclable solid waste in Rajshahi city was 15.1% as
calculated from Table 3, which includes the recyclable composition
such as paper and paper products, polythene and plastic, metal
components, glass and ceramics. This data was important with regards to recycling. The other major part 84.9% was not recyclable
and could be used for composting or fermentation. Therefore, the
quantity of recyclable solid waste (RSW) was estimated from total
waste generation (341 ton dÀ1) as 0.151 Â 341 = 51.49 ton dÀ1.
3.5. Estimation of readily recyclable solid waste
A term readily recyclable solid waste could be introduced to
estimate the percentage of recycling as it was not possible for
waste collectors to collect all of the RSW found in the waste bin,
dustbin and disposal site. They can collect only those recyclable
solid wastes, which were clean and have some selling value. In
absence of proper separation at the source some slowly biodegradable components such as paper and bone tend to decompose and
some other were spoiled with the mixed decomposable organic
waste. Finally, they lost their selling value as well as opportunity


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Q. Hamidul Bari et al. / Waste Management 32 (2012) 2029–2036

Table 3
Physical composition (%) of solid waste generated from Rajshahi and Dhaka with typical values of Bangladesh.

a

City
Source
Composition

Rajshahi city
Waste Safe (2005)
%

Dhaka city
Waste Safe (2005)
%

Dhaka city
Memon (2002)
%

Typical values for Bangladesh
Huda (2008)
%

Food and vegetable waste
Paper and paper products
Polythene and plastic
Textile and woods
Metal component
Glass and ceramics
Rubber and leathers
Brick, concrete and stone
Green waste and Straw
Dust, ashes
Others

71.1
8.9a
4.0a
1.9
1.1a
1.1a
1.1
2.9

6.5
1.4

68.3
10.7
4.3
2.2
2.0
0.7
1.4
1.8

6.7
1.9

70.12
4.16
4.17

0.13
0.25
0.70
4.29
10.76

5.42

70.0
4.0
5.0

0.13
0.25


11

9.62

Summation of these values is 15.1%, which is the Potential recyclable solid waste in Rajshahi city.

Table 4
Amount of waste collected by primary waste collectors.
Type of waste collectors (age)

Male/female

Waste
Waste
Waste
Waste
Waste
Waste

Male
Male
Male
Male
Female
Female

picker
picker
picker
picker
picker
picker

(55)
(10)
(13)
(30)
(30)
(35)

Average collection (kg dÀ1)
Selling price (Tk/kg)
Income (Tk)
Feriwala
Feriwala
Feriwala
Feriwala

(28)
(48)
(46)
(28)

Male
Male
Male
Male

Average collection (kg dÀ1)
Profit (Tk/kg)
Income (Tk)
a

Amount of waste collected (kg dÀ1)
Glass

Paper

Plastic

Metal

Total

3
2
2
5
5
3

14–15
7–8
7–8
20
8
10

1.5
2–3
6
2
0.5
1

0.5
1–0.5
1–0.5
1
0.5
0.5

19.5
13.0
16.0
28.0
14.0
14.5

3.33
3.0
10.0

11.25
6.0
67.5

2.25
25.0
56.3

0.67
25.0
16.8

17.50

5
1
5–6
4–5

15
10
20–25
18–20

15
10
2–3
2–3

5–6
15
2.5
3

40.5
36.0
33.0
29

4
2.0
8.0

16.63
3.0
50.0

7.5
7.0
52.5

6.5
8.0
52.0

34.63

150.0a

162.0a

Taka (Tk); 1Euro = 106 Taka, August 5, 2011.

for recycling. The portion of recyclable solid waste, which were
clean and had selling values, could be designated as readily
recyclable solid wastes. The readily recyclable solid waste was
estimated as 80% of RSW = 0.80 Â 51.49 ton dÀ1 equaled to
41.19 ton dÀ1.
The total amount of recycled wastes in Rajshahi city was found
28.13 ton dÀ1 which accounted for 8.25% of daily total generated
wastes (341 ton dÀ1). Furthermore, this 28.13 ton dÀ1 recycled
wastes was found to be 54.6% of total recyclable solid wastes
(RSW) 51.49 ton dÀ1 and 68.29% of readily RSW of 41.19 ton dÀ1.
3.6. Plastic recycling factory
Most of the wastes collected by the large and medium shops
were sent to Dhaka for the production of different new materials.
Only a small amount of wastes were processed in local factories.
Therefore, details information of these local factories were vital
with regards to have a complete scenario on waste recycling in Rajshahi city. Only five recycling factories were found in Rajshahi.
These factories were located at the BSCIC area of Sapura. The factories handled 75–800 ton dÀ1 and had workers from 2 to 23 persons
with a total 47 staffs as shown in Table 8. These were small type
factories which dealt with plastics (Fig. 3a). These factories collected the plastic wastes from recycle shops and cut the sorted
plastics into small pieces and sent to Dhaka for the manufacture

of new products. Wastes like PET bottles were only washed and
sold in the market directly. Two of the local factories used to manufacture plastic products such as small containers, water pots
(Bodna), and bottle caps.
3.6.1. Processing of wastes in local factories
Four out of five local factories were associated with preliminary
processing of waste materials which included: sorting, separation,
cutting, washing, and drying the products. The process flow diagram was shown in the first five units of Fig. 2.
 Sorting: The plastic wastes were sorted according to their physical properties such as hardness, color, and thickness, because
different types of processed wastes were sent to different production factories.
 Separation: Separation included removal of unwanted objects
such as dusts or other wastes particles.
 Cutting: Cutting was done to reduce the size of the plastic waste
materials in the range of 6 mm to 12 mm (Fig. 3b).
 Washing: After cutting, the plastic wastes were washed with
water using detergent.
 Drying: The wet waste chips were then dried in the sun (Fig. 3c).
Sometimes, the waste chips were mixed with colors and finally
the dried plastic chips were packed and sent to Dhaka or local
factory for the manufacture of new products.


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Q. Hamidul Bari et al. / Waste Management 32 (2012) 2029–2036

Fig. 1. (a) A feriwala carries a balance like container made of bamboo and rope and moves from door to door on foot; (b) a small waste recycling shop in Rajshahi city.
Table 5
Amount collected by large and medium recycling waste shops.

a

Sl. no.

Place

No. of worker

01
02

Vodra (L)
Vodra (M)

18
3

Paper bags

Plastic

Glass

Metal

Total (kg dÀ1)

Working hours

Salarya/income

2250

2000

5000
1500

9250
1500

9
9

3.0–5.0
3.9–5.1

Working hours

Salarya/income

8
8
8
9
9
8

2.0–3.0
2.5

4.5
1.8–3.6


Thousand Taka average income or salary per owner or worker per months (1Euro = 106 Taka, August 5, 2011).

Table 6
Collected data on small type A recycling waste shops.
Sl. no.

Place

01
02
03
04
05
06

Vodra
Vodra
Stadium
Stadium
Stadium
Sapura

Total
a

No. of worker
4
4

5
5
3
21

Total (kg dÀ1)

Paper bags

Plastic

Glass

Metal



225
20

40–50



100
40

80



200
100
500–600
50

500
500

500

700

500
500
525
660
550
875



3610









Thousand Taka average income or salary per owner or worker per months.

Table 7
Collected data on small type B recycling waste shops.
Sl. no.

Place

No. of worker

Paper bags

Plastic

Glass

Metal

01
02
03
04
05
06
07
08
09
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26

Vodra
Vodra
Vodra
Vodra
Stadium
Stadium
Stadium
Stadium
Stadium
Stadium
Stadium
Stadium
Stadium
Rani Bazar
Rani Bazar
Rani Bazar
Sapura
Sapura
S. Bazar
S. Bazar
S. Bazar
D. Doba
RO Station
S. Bagan
S. Bagan
S. Vodra

2
1
2
1
11b
7
1
10b
2
1
3
1
1
1
2
2
1
1
35b
10b
5
4
3
1
1
4













60



20
20
400–500
200
60
50
150



70–80


50


50–60

40





15
10–12



10
100
10
30
50

200

70–80

200
80

400


30
100




40
20




50
10
60–70
50


100
100–150
50

30
300

200
70
30–35


50
60
80
10
30–40



25
150
50
30
50

Total
a
b

50–100
200

113

Thousand Taka average income or salary per owner or worker per months.
Include worker involved for waste processing activities.

Total (kg dÀ1)
200
100
286
50
200
160
300
400
255
70
102
100
60
50
60
80
85
86
450
210
60
85
450
70
200
350
4519

Working hours

Salarya/income

8
9
8
8
8
8
9
8
8
9
9
8
8
7
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
8
9
9
9

2.5–4.0

3.0

2.0
1.5

1.7–4.0
2.0

3.5

















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Table 8
Particular of solid waste recycling factories in Rajshahi city.
Sl. no.

No. of worker

Type of waste

Amount (kg)

Processes or product

Working hour

Monthly salary

1
2
3
4
5

2
4
13
5
23

Plastic
Plastic
Plastic Bottle
Plastic
Plastic

200
75
500
75
800

Cutting, washing
Pots, covers
Cutting, washing export to Dhaka
Cutting, Bodna
Cutting, washing, washed water bottles send to Dhaka

10
7
8
10
10

1500
2000
2000–5000
1800–3800
2000–8000

Total

47

Fig. 2. Process flow diagram of a plastic recycling factory in Rajshahi.

Fig. 3. Photographic flow chart of a plastic recycling factory in Rajshahi. This factory processes recycled plastics to produce Bodna (washing pot).


Q. Hamidul Bari et al. / Waste Management 32 (2012) 2029–2036

3.6.2. Factories deal with production of new products
Two wastes recycle factories among the five produced new
products from waste materials. One factory produced bottle caps
and small pots and other factory produced washing pots ‘locally
named Bodna’. The process flow diagram was shown in Fig. 2
which included both the preliminary and final processing. The final
processing units namely helical stick preparation, cutting helical
stick, heating, manufacture of final products, and maintaining
shape were shown in Fig. 2. Photographic flow chart of a plastic
recycling factory in Rajshahi was shown in Fig. 3.
3.6.2.1. Helical plastic sticks (Dana). The waste pieces were melt to
form a plastic stick called Dana. It was an intermediate condition
of the plastic during the production process of the washing pots
looked like a thick irregular shape helical spring. These sticks were
normally 30 cm to 50 cm long and had a diameter varying from
2 cm to 5 cm.
 Cutting of stick: The helical sticks were then cut into small chips
of 2 to 3 cm sizes by a cutting machine.
 Heating: The small plastic chips produced from stick were then
heated in a machine. The raw chips were not melted at this
stage. This was a kind of preheating of raw chips.
 Making product: In this phase the primary shape of the desired
product was performed. The preheated plastic waste chips were
fed into the final production machine subjected to further heating and became soft, however, not liquid.
 Final polishing: The final polishing of the products was done
through manual and mechanical means (Fig. 3d). Then polished
pots were then packed for marketing.
3.7. Estimation of number of people involved in recycling process
The people involved in primary collection were waste pickers
and feriwala. The number of feriwala was found one third of the total primary collectors. The capacity of waste collection by feriwala
was found to be approximately double than a waste picker
(Moniruzzaman et al., 2011). The average amount of waste collected by a waste picker was 17.5 kg dÀ1 and a feriwala
34.63 kg dÀ1 (Table 4). Thus, the total 28.13 ton dÀ1 of recycled
wastes could be collected together by 404 number of feriwala
and 808 number of waste pickers. Therefore, the total number of
feriwala plus waste pickers is 1212.
The total number of people involved in recycling shops and factories were consisted of proprietors and appointed workers. Usually for small shops the owner worked alone. For the estimation
of number of people involved in recycling activities, the average
number of workers in each type shop was determined and then
multiplied with total number of identified shops. The total number
owner plus worker for all types of shops was estimated:
= Worker of (STA + STB + Medium shop + Large Shop)
= (113 Â 129)/26 + (21 Â 7)/5 + 3 Â 1 + 18 Â 3 person (identified
shop number is in italic font)
= 647 persons.
The total numbers of people involved in recycling factories were
47 persons (Table 8).
Therefore, the total number of people involved in recycling in
Rajshahi was estimated:
= Number of people involved in (primary collection + shops +
factories)
= (1212 + 647 + 47) persons
= 1906 persons.

2035

Thus, a total 1906 persons were working daily in Rajshahi city
for waste recycling processes.
4. Significance
The recycling of solid waste was not included in the waste management policy of local authority, yet it had become a main source
of income for several groups of the private sector. The waste collectors should be formally incorporated in waste management systems, both at local level systems, as well as in the larger urban
framework. For this, training would be required on personal hygiene as most waste collectors were found to be unaware of the
consequences of garbage sorting without adopting safety guidelines. Moreover, attention should be paid to improve the living
conditions of the waste collectors.
The amount of final processing of recyclable waste materials in
Rajshahi city was found to be very small, about 5.87% of the collected wastes undergone preliminary processing and only 0.53%
were recycled into new products such as washing pots and jars.
The manufacture of new products from most recycled wastes was
done in Dhaka. The major portion (100 – 5.87 – 0.53 = 93.6% of
28.13 ton dÀ1) about 26.48 ton dÀ1 of waste materials were transported to Dhaka city over a distance of 230 km daily. Thus, a huge
amount of money was wasted for transportation in both directions:
to export raw waste materials and to import recycled products for
local consumption. Therefore, it is imperative to establish large
recycling factories in Rajshahi city which would save a large
amount of money and help in reducing unemployment.
5. Conclusions
The major conclusions drawn from this study was outlined as
below:
 There were 140 recyclable shops and most of them situated at
Stadium market in Rajshahi. About 1906 people were involved
in the recycling chain of the city.
 The total amount of recyclable waste handled in Rajshahi was
28.13 ton dÀ1. This recycled portion accounted for 8.25% of the
daily total generated wastes (341 ton dÀ1), 54.6% of total recyclable wastes (51.49 ton dÀ1) and 68.29% of readily recyclable
wastes (41.19 ton dÀ1).
 There were five recycling factories with clear preliminary and
final processing sequences. These factories had been using
locally available machineries and consumed only 6.4% of RSW.
The major fraction, around 93.6%, of recycled wastes were sent
to capital city Dhaka for further manufacture of different new
products. Only a small amount of wastes, specially plastics,
were processed in local recycle factories to produce small washing pots and bottle caps.
 Training on personal hygiene as well as improving living conditions of waste collectors would definitely ensure the long term
sustainability of this traditional pattern of solid wastes recycling.

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