Waste Concern: Turning a Problem into a Resource
As of September 2005, the co-founders of Waste Concern, an organization dedicated to improving waste recycling in Bangladesh, are considering making a change to their business model in order to get approval from the municipal government for a large-scale composting site. Since its inception in 1995, Waste Concern has followed a decentralized composting model whereby each composting site is a small-scale operation processing three tons of organic waste per day. In this model, they have relied on land and waste supply from the Dhaka City Council (DCC) municipal government. Now, they are working with Dutch-based World Wide Recycling BV (WWR) to set up a 700-ton per day composting plant, which will enable them to earn tradable certificates for US$11 per ton of reduced methane gas, making it the first in the world to garner credits through composting waste under the United Nations Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). To launch the composting site, they face the hurdle of getting DCC's approval. They have three alternatives: (1) follow through with the original plan whereby the municipality would supply both the land and waste, which entails waiting for DCC's approval; (2) purchase the land for the composting site and rely on the municipality for a waste supply; or (3) purchase the land and take on the responsibility of waste collection themselves. In their considerations, they need to weigh the financial and social aspects and determine an appropriate structure for their organization.