8 December 2021, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR – The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) Lao PDR successfully organized the annual workshop of Waste Recycling Bank project in collaboration with Vientiane City Office for Management and Services (VCOMS) in Vientiane Capital. The workshop was attended by schoolteachers, district authorities, a waste collection company, and international NGOs.
With financial support from Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), this pilot project was launched in 2020 aiming at increasing the waste recycling rate of Vientiane Capital by setting up recyclable waste collection points at schools. The students are encouraged to bring recyclable materials to the waste recycling banks at their schools and their contributions are recorded on their bank books, while the collected materials are sold to waste collection companies. This approach was proved to be highly successful thanks to the active participation of the teachers and students, as well as support from relevant stakeholders.
With active participation of each stakeholder, the workshop turned out to be highly productive. Key progress of the project and plan for the next step were shared with the participants. Also, the participants, especially the schoolteachers, presented the practices of their schools within the project framework and provided feedbacks, through which GGGI could identify obstacles that need to be addressed and make the project sustainable.
Since the beginning of the project, 14 waste recycling banks were established and 16.3 recyclable materials have been collected, among which 9 tons were collected in 2021 only, which is a larger volume compared to 2020. This is remarkable progress given that the waste recycling banks at the schools had to remain closed for months due to COVID-19 pandemic. Encouraged by this progress, GGGI is planning to expand the project to more schools in Vientiane Capital through collaboration with NGO partners.
“This is a great achievement that schools can help turn those recyclable waste to resources and also earn some income that can be used to the students. I would like to highlight that many students have been participating in this project to separate recyclable waste at source, instead of transferring them directly to the landfill. More importantly, I am glad to see that this project successfully raised awareness of students regarding recyclable materials” said Mr. Bounchanh Keosithamma, Director General of VCOMS.
GGGI’s circular economy initiative has been supporting Vientiane Capital to transition to a waste-to-resource management model and make replicable best practices for Lao PDR.