We are using a sustainable model to improve the lives of millions affected by the devastating conditions of landfill environments. By providing waste-pickers with a more efficient method for waste collection, em[POWER] will give waste-pickers the necessary resources to lift themselves out of poverty. In addition, a community of 2,000 waste-pickers living in Matuail Landfill, Bangladesh need better health care, education, opportunities for economic development, and access to electricity.
The Matuail Landfill in Dhaka, Bangladesh is the largest dumping site for Dhaka. Out of the 3200-3500 tons of garbage in Dhaka, 1200 of these tons make their way to Matuail each day. Similar to other waste-scavenging communities around the world, 2000 of Matuail's inhabitants generate income by scavenging in the mountains of garbage. The challenges they include: public health problems, living below the poverty line, lacking education, and lacking access to water and electricity.
The first step toward collecting the lost wealth in Matuail is to work with local NGO's as we teach the community how to separate the organic waste and turn it into compost that can be sold or used for local agriculture. The process will be continuously scaled-up until we can install a small-scale bio-digester to produce methane fuel, thus powering a generator and electrical infrastructure for the community.
The biodigester will be prepared by a sorting plant, where workers will separate organic waste from recyclables in a sorting facility. Included are composting production units for the community. The end product of this process will be electricity, recyclables, and compost, all of which will serve as revenue streams. These business units will function under the umbrella of a co-op. They will employ 2000 workers from the landfill community, who will be compensated. Co-op will be community owned.
"My mother and I work from morning till evening. My father left us when I was little. Some days I find something good, and make a bit of money. Other days I make nothing at all." - Shahab, Young Waste Picker
Total Funding Received to Date: $5,896
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $19,104
Total Funding Goal: $25,000
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).