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Olmo Giovanni gravatar image

Hi Michelle,

In case you were referring to solid waste rather than wastewater, there have been a number of initiatives of recycling in humanitarian settings, although they remain sporadic. Is there any more detail you could share about the project in Zaatari?

In Haiti, for instance, IOM and some INGOs provided composting training in several IDP settlement, with alternating results: most successful cases were linked to IDP coming from farming communities (rather than urban ones) and in settlements where there was enough space for small orchards. Always related to Haiti and organic waste, SOIL is currently managing two co-composting plants in the country, with good results; however, from the economic point of view it seems co-composting is not yet self-sustaining from composting sales, but it is the most cost effective sludge treatment method. Waste banks, or cash back (Ramasse Lajan) also contributed to dramatically expand PET and HDPE recycling, although plastic is actually exported rather than recycled in-country due to a weak industrial base.

Regarding lessons learned and avoiding pitfalls, they are usually very context specific, so that would pretty much depend on Jordan market for recyclables, logistics and, above all, the waste characterization and the collection system in place in Zaatari camp. Other issues encountered in similar recycling projects are legal (e.g. national waste legislation, refugee permission to work/own businesses within the host country) and cultural (stigma associated working with waste).

The first step would be, in any case, conducting a waste assessment to characterize waste and generation rates while mapping already existing informal valorization chains. followed by a market assessment and a cost benefit analysis. If I'm not mistaken, Acted should have already conducted a waste assessment: any chance the document is available?

In any case, here at DWR we specialize in disaster and humanitarian waste, so please, do not hesitate to contact us for more information or further help.