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Managing Hazardous Wastes (Financed by the ADB) | 2010


Asif Iqbal:
1. Regional technical assistance (RETA) on Managing Hazardous Wastes (ADB TA 6361-REG) in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and India, was completed in 2009. The concept was originally developed by the Environmental Working Group of South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation. The program for the RETA was in two stages. Inventories for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal; and revising the regulations for India were carried out in stage 1. The second stage focused on drafting of policy frameworks, rules and guidelines for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal and developing training modules for the revising of inventories for India. The Inception Phase of Stage 1 commenced September 2007. The Midterm Review was in July 2008. The national consultants for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal all presented their final reports in 2009. The inventory reports were printed for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal in 2010. The review of hazardous wastes management regulation and preparation of training module on inventory of hazardous wastes for India was printed in December 2010.

2. In many developing countries, including Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal, the negative impacts of increased economic activity on the environment are associated with industry, agriculture, health services, and other service sectors that generate chemical and hazardous wastes. If left unmanaged these impacts lead to serious environmental problems that threaten public health and economic sustainability.

3. The objectives of the RETA included: (i) assisting the RETA governments conduct inventories of hazardous wastes, (ii) drafting policies, rules, and technical guidelines to manage hazardous wastes, (iii) assisting the Government of India to review the current regulations, (iv) developing a training module for inventory of hazardous wastes, and (v) exploring involvement of private sector in hazardous wastes management. The RETA was also expected assist member countries to harmonize their rules and policies to enable exchange of wastes for treatment or recycling.

4. In Bangladesh, pollution associated with industrial activities has been identified as a major environmental concern. Many rivers are severely polluted. Hazardous and non-hazardous wastes from industrial activities are increasing and are disposed into the environment without controls. During the course of the RETA, Bangladesh has compiled inventories in key sectors and developed draft policy and strategy and rules have been drafted. Practical guidelines for hazardous waste management are in development.

5. In Bhutan, problems associated with hazardous waste are emerging slowly. During the course of the RETA, significant steps (including new laws, a draft policy framework and draft guidelines for two key problem waste streams) have been taken towards better hazardous waste management.

6. In Nepal, the environment is under great stress, especially in and around the growing urban centers. During the course of the RETA, Nepal has compiled and published inventories in key sectors and developed draft policy that covers proposals for hazardous waste registration, segregation, collection, transportation, and disposal. Significant progress has also been made with draft guidelines to avoid significant threats to the environment and public health.

7. India’s comprehensive regulatory and institutional framework required updating to respond to increasing industrial activities. During the course of the RETA, India has revised the Rules with emphasis on recycle, reuse and recovery, conducted awareness workshops, and i drafted a National Hazardous Waste Management Strategy. India also developed a training manual on inventory of hazardous wastes, which will be useful to other countries.

8. The RETA has consolidated the awareness and developed the mechanisms for hazardous waste management in each individual country and provides a solid platform for future work. The RETA has fostered cooperation and knowledge sharing on hazardous wastes and initiated a mechanism for information sharing, including the training manual.

9. The RETA has supported governments in Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal to draft and progress the enactment of policies, rules, and technical guidelines to manage hazardous wastes based on the results of inventories.

10. The RETA has been the catalyst for the member countries to progress towards formulating harmonized rules and policies to enable them in the future to exchange recyclable wastes for treatment in one or other of the member countries.

11. The next steps in hazardous waste management for the region are open for discussion. This may be at a regional, bilateral or national level. Participating countries have expressed keen interests in further workshops and meetings to share future developments and exchange experience.

Find the full report: https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/project-document/62157/38401-01-reg-tacr-02.pdf


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