Kigali, Rwanda from 20-21st April , 2022 the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in partnership with COPED, a leading waste management company operating in Rwanda since 1999, conducted a two days’ workshop on Sustainable Waste Management and greening concept for building managers of hotels, commercial buildings and public office buildings. This workshop part of the waste to resources project: improving municipal solid waste and hazardous waste in Rwanda. A collaboration between the Government of Rwanda and the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to reduce waste being sent to landfill, to create green jobs from the valorization of waste products, and to reduce the impact of waste on the environment. The workshop was designed depending on types of waste generated and existing capacity in terms of knowledge to handle them. Day on was dedicated to Hotels Building Managers and Day 2 was for the Commercial building and public institutions. The participants were composed of building managers from hotels, commercial buildings and public institutions that are said to produce huge quantities of solid wastes.
The Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Environment initiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of The Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development of the Government of the Grand Dutch of Luxembourg to strengthen the cooperation and technology transfer on sustainable waste management between the two countries. With this MoU, the Grand Dutch of Luxembourg financed Waste to Resource Project. The project aims to reduce emissions of Greenhouse gases through sustainable waste management. The project is led by the Ministry of Environment and implemented by GGGI Rwanda. As per project title “waste to resource: improving municipal solid waste and hazardous waste in Rwanda”, its focus is mainly to interventions for municipal solid waste and hazardous waste in this case e-waste. It is a three-year project launched 24 August 2021 and will be implemented to both City of Kigali and Secondary Cities. The sector has still numerous challenges and barriers across the entire value chain from waste generation to collection, transportation, treatment, and disposal. Quantities of waste generated from various entities (households, commercial, public, and private institution) are not well sorted and segregated. Transportation system is rudimentary (non- compliant), there is no proper solid waste treatment technologies and disposal facilities. However, Sustainable waste management requires effective waste separation and sorting at source point, effective collection and transport, proper treatment technologies and disposal facilities.
The barriers for sustainable waste management include:
1) lack of training for integrated solid waste management,
2) lack of qualified solid waste management professionals,
3) lack of adequate infrastructures for solid waste management,
4) limited budget for solid waste management service delivery, and
5) social cultural behavior.
To tackle some of the identified barriers, GGGI through Waste to resource Project in Partnership with Company for Protection of Environment and Development (COPED Group) organized a workshop aiming at raising awareness on sustainable waste management practices including effective waste sorting, collection, transport, and proper disposal The workshop stressed on the waste generators’ (hotels, commercial building and public institutions offices) roles and responsibilities for sustainable waste management and ultimately to embark on circular economy concept which is seen a game changer for waste management. COPED is a leading waste management company operation in Rwanda since 1999, and is specialized in waste education, waste collection, waste transportation, waste treatment, and safe waste disposal. It provides a wide range of services to various clients from Residences to office building, hotels, commercial and businesses, government and non-government organizations, Industries and Medical Facilities.
Recently, COPED started conducting awareness capacity to its clients for proper waste sorting at source. it has developed training materials to train waste generator about sorting waste into five categories:
5. Red/hazardous. COPED operates in Kamonyi District where 98% of the waste received at the COPED-run facility is now sorted. In Kigali, COPED also services non-residential clients, commercial centers, and hotels.
During the workshop, participants were also introduced to the green building minimum compliance.
The Objectives of the training workshop were to :
• Raise awareness about the current legal framework with waste management in Rwanda
• Raise awareness on sustainable waste management practices including sorting wastes from the source of generation, effective waste collection and proper storage, effective transport, and proper disposal of wastes at the landfill,
• Increase knowledge about the management of hazardous waste within public and private premises
• Increase knowledge on circular economy approaches such as reuse, recycle and recovery.
• Increase knowledge about the link between poor waste management and pollution of the environment and health risks
• Increase knowledge on green building minimum compliance.
• Build network and collaboration with stakeholders in the private sector working in the waste management
Daniel Okechukwu Ogbonnaya, Country Representative of GGGI -Rwanda, thanked everyone who attended the workshop. He said that the workshop came at the intersection of two of the work areas of GGGI Rwanda – buildings and waste. GGGI has been working to support the Government of Rwanda to mainstream green growth principles, especially in cities. Globally, cities produce 70% of GHG emissions. Within cities, we also see that high occupancy buildings are producing enormous amounts of unsorted waste that are being sent to landfills. Every workshop is resulting in 2-3 plastic bottles for each participant. Buildings produce food waste as part of food preparation and produce paper waste. These are all types of waste that can potentially be valorized. Now, waste collectors collect unsorted waste, transport to Nduba, with only a few of the resources recovered by the informal sector and by waste pickers. Buildings are producing large amounts of paper, food, plastic, and e-waste, companies are looking for these products as raw materials.
The country representative highlighted that the workshop is an opportunity to connect the gap between waste producers and recyclers. The workshop is part of the implementation of the Waste to Resources project, a collaboration between the Government of Rwanda and the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to reduce waste being sent to landfill, to create green jobs from the valorization of waste products, and to reduce the impact of waste on the environment. He then invited all participants to share their experiences as part of the effort to change the business-as-usual practices that have led us down this path. We all have a role to play as individuals, as businesses, as communities. Furthermore he added that the workshop will be an alert to opportunities to not only play a role in climate action but also how to profit and benefit from waste valorization. All the institutions in Rwanda; hotels, schools, commercial buildings, agricultural markets are capable of sorting waste at source. The more we sort and segregate waste, the more we are all able to benefit through reduced waste, a cleaner, healthier environment, and from the business opportunities that come from waste. He wished the workshop would be a first step to introducing circular economy approaches to how manage your waste not only at the building you manage, but also in your household, and in your community.
In his final closing remarks, He thanked all partners, the Government of Rwanda as well as the support from the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. He said that it was his pleasure to open the workshop this morning, but let’s not end our efforts here. Let usHe emphasized to continue the practices of sorting and separating waste so that we can create value from these resources and change our mindset about what is possible in our treatment of waste.
Presentations carried out during the workshop:
1. Presentation for sanitation policy (with focus on solid waste)
Emmanuel HATEGEKIMANA from Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA) presented on the National Sanitation policy and its related implementation strategy. He presented all the policy objectives of sanitation policy and mentioned two related to solid waste;
o Policy objective: Implement integrated solid waste management in ways that are protective to human health and the environment. Strategic actions include:
• Assisting the private sector and community initiatives in establishing markets for recyclable products.
• Conversion of non-recyclable waste materials into useable heat, electricity.
• As for hygiene education, schools shall be a primary target group for waste education.
• Public and political support both financing waste management and keeping waste minimization as cost-effective as possible.
o Policy objective: Ensure safe management of e-waste, industrial waste, radioactive waste and health care waste.
Strategic action: Establish and reinforce e-waste collection, industrial waste, radioactive waste and health care waste management framework. Emmanuel had the opportunity to present the recent developed national Integrated solid waste management strategy developed by PEGASYS, South African company, under the finance of World Bank. The strategy integrates circular economy and has four pillars namely (1) waste minimization – Prevention and resource value (2) sustainable, equitable, affordable access to primary services (3) Environmental, ecosystem and public health protection and (4) Grow the contribution of the waste sector to the green economy.
2. Regulation for waste collection and transportation
Elisabeth Constance NAHIMANA, Sanitation Regulation Officer from Rwanda Utilities and Regulatory Authority (RURA). She said that RURA regulates the service provision through: Development of regulations and guidelines, Licensing the service providers (operators), Monitoring of quality of service & compliance by operators, Setting the tariff where applicable (e.g. household solid waste collection service fee) and Handling consumers’ complaints and facilitating dispute resolution between service providers and consumers. She mentioned that the current tariff for waste collection and transportation is only applied for City of Kigali and is set based on the social cluster income and distances from waste collection to the disposal site (nduba). Currently RURA has licensed 44 companies for solid waste collection and transportation, 6 recycling companies and 2 hazardous waste management companies. RURA has identified challenges faced in the waste management including low level of waste segregation, limited professional capacity of some service provider, inadequate disposal site, Recycling/resources recovery activities still at low stage and non-compliance with regulations.
3. Waste management practices in Kigali City
John MUGABO, Sewerage and Solid waste Management Specialist at the City of Kigali, said that around 400 tons of solid wastes are collected every day in the City of Kigali. The waste fee is designated by the Government and depends on the social economic classes of the resident. Waste collectors do collection of fees. Recycling in the City of Kigali is done on small scale; about 9 companies are involved in recycling of plastics and paper waste (Eco plastic, Agroplast, Jardin Meuble, soft packing, amazi ya huye, isuku super, Soimex in Remera, coped Ltd,) and three companies are involved in recycling of organic waste transforming it into fuel and compost respectively (Coped Ltd, Coocen and Gako farm in Masaka). The City of Kigali do regular inspection to Buildings and estates. Every building and estate must have a wastewater treatment plant and reuse water for gardening. Sanctions are applied to those the waste . The City of Kigali initiated the Smart waste collection and management, big containers were placed to marketplaces and alerting system was installed for emptying full bins and prepare them for refiling again. The CoK invested in cleaning and greening activities such as planting public gardens, planting trees alongside roads and cleaning and sweeping roads. Some of the challenges faced in waste management in CoK includes Insufficient budget, insufficient sanitation infrastructure, unplanned settlement, new infrastructures. John MUGABO mentioned all the projects that are in pipeline related to waste management in Kigali City; Fecal sludge treatment plant, Kigali Centralized Sewerage System and Construction of engineered and sanitary landfill with recycling center. Projects that are under implementation are E. Waste recycling plant in Bugesera and Waste to resource project implemented by GGGI in partnership with the Ministry of Environment.
4. Introduction to waste to Resource project
Michelle DeFreese, Senior Officer and Projector Manager of Waste to Resource at GGGI, introduced to the participants that the Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Environment initiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of The Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development of the Government of the Grand Dutch of Luxembourg to strengthen the cooperation and technology transfer on sustainable waste management between the two countries. With this MoU, the Grand Dutch of Luxembourg financed Waste to Resource Project. The project aims to reduce emissions of Greenhouse gases through sustainable waste management. The project is led by the Ministry of Environment and implemented by GGGI Rwanda. As per project title “waste to resource: improving municipal solid waste and hazardous waste in Rwanda”, its focus is mainly to interventions for municipal solid waste and hazardous waste in this case e-waste. It is a three-year project launched 24 August 2021 and will be implemented to both City of Kigali and Secondary Cities.
The project has 3 outcomes;
A. Separation and valorization of organic and plastic waste landfilled at Nduba landfill
B. Improved collection rate and management of e-waste in Kigali and Secondary Cities
C. Improved policy and regulatory environment and enhanced capacity through skills development and knowledge exchange
5. Best practices in sustainable waste management
Paulin BUREGEYA, the CEO of COPED shared a presentation. He said the history and background of waste management from 1994 to 2021. From 1994 to 2000, there was no system of waste management (collection, transport, disposal), no policy, no regulations. There were transit centers in every district where waste would be disposed of and these centers were not protected. There were no professionals in waste management whether in government institutions or in private sector. No investments done in sector of waste management. In 2012 with the establishment of Rwanda Utility Regulatory Agency, the government of Rwanda put in place regulation related to waste collection and transportation. COPED is a specialized in waste education, waste collection, waste transportation, waste treatment, and safe waste disposal. It provides a wide range of services to various clients from Residences to office building, hotels, commercial and businesses, government and non-government organizations, Industries and Medical Facilities. Recently, COPED started conducting awareness capacity to its clients for proper waste sorting at source. it has developed training materials to train waste generator about sorting waste into five categories:1. Green/organic, 2. Blue/recyclables, 3. Black/disposables, 4. Yellow/medical, 5. Red/hazardous. COPED operates in Kamonyi District where 90% of the waste received at the COPED-run facility is now treated. In Kigali, COPED also services non-residential clients, commercial centers, and hotels.
COPED has ambitious targets to encourage hotels, commercial and Public Office buildings to manage wastes by introducing incentives for its clients in the three dimensions;
- Sort and save where the building can pay half of the price of waste fee,
- Sort and sell where the building can sell the segregated wastes if well separated, cleaned and compacted
- Green award, at this stage the building can be certified by as a green building for waste management and resource use efficiency.
Introduction to Circular Economy approaches
Juvenal MUKURARINDA, the Senior Officer Sustainable Waste Management, explained that waste generators must shift their current waste management process by practicing waste sorting at source and put them into dedicated plastic bags or bins. He mentioned that this way a lot of waste will be valorized downstream hence minimizing pressure to the disposal site. He further noted that by so doing we will instill circular economy approaches in our generated waste into respective facilities. The circular economy needs to be well contextualized in our current policies and strategies in order to shift from linear economy. He mentioned some definitions given by experts. Ellen MacArthur Foundation defines the CE as an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design and aims to gradually decouple growth from the consumption of finite . WRAP defines CE as an economy that keeps resources in use for as long as possible, extracts the maximum value from them whilst in use, then recover and regenerate products and materials at the end of each service life. He mentioned all the benefits of circular economy; minimize pollution, reduce emissions, preservation of natural resources, increase competitiveness, new markets, green job creations and social benefits. Participants were encouraged to embrace that concept of Circular Economy.
Green building minimum compliance.
Dheeraj Arrabothu, Senior Officer Green building presented on the rapid building assessment conducted for 4 buildings, RDB, Nyarugenge Pension Plaza, Administrative Office Complex and the building of MINAFET. Performance criteria was based on Energy Performance Index (PEI) based on monthly utility electricity consumption, Water Efficiency Index (WEI) based on monthly utility water consumption and waste management measures. Buildings are required to comply with minimum greening standards including energy use efficiency and water use efficiency by adopting following recommendations; installing LED lighting, occupancy sensors, lighting controls, efficient plumbing fixtures and wastewater treatment just to name a few.
Influential factors affecting solid waste management in Rwanda and Circular Economy approaches as solution
IRUTINGABO Ange, Intern-Sustainable Waste Management, presented on her study conducted to 80 workers from 14 waste collection companies operating in the City of Kigali in 2020. The study shows some challenges that hinder effective solid waste management in Kigali City, including social behavior, financial, technical, low technology, and lack of support and subsidies that affect solid waste management. Data were collected from staff working in wastes collection companies in the City of Kigali. Eighty workers responded to the questionnaire. The interviewed people were divided into two groups; owners or managers and field workers. Workers were selected from 14 wastes companies operating in the City of Kigali. The study shows that the solid wastes collection encounters many problems: no proper sorting of wastes, low willingness to pay, lack of training and lack of awareness-raising on solid wastes management, insufficient budget, low technology in recycling; recycling is done at 2%, low income to the staff working in wastes companies. The government needs to support the sector of waste and motivate the private sector to invest in recycling. Nduba landfill also needs to be rehabilitated and make a modern landfill that can accommodate all segregated wastes.
Study tour to Mille Collines waste corner to see their best practices in managing wastes
Participants were given a chance to see the waste corner at the Hotel de Milles Collines where the Hotel has a vision to ensure that all waste generated at sorted and separated in the right bins which in the end will be sold to companies willing to valorize them. Frederic Manager of Mille Collines, highlighted that waste are being sorted and separated into five bins as follows:
- Green/organic, 2. Blue/recyclables, 3. Black/disposables, 4. Yellow/medical, 5. Red/hazardous.
Conclusion and Recommendations
- To facilitate a smooth transition from linear economy to circular economy in waste management, capacity building is very important and should be extended to all stakeholders involved in the entire value chain of waste management including; waste producers such as households, hotels, commercial buildings, public office buildings, health facilities and those work in waste sector such as waste collectors and recyclers.
- Participants went with an assignment to be change agents in sustainable waste management and resource efficiency.
- Buildings were recommended to comply with minimum greening standards including energy use efficiency and water use efficiency by adopting following recommendations; installing LED lighting, occupancy sensors, lighting controls, efficient plumbing fixtures and wastewater treatment.
- Buildings were recommended to do sorting of generated waste in five categories; Green bin for organic wastes, Blue bin for recyclables waste, Black bin for disposables, Yellow bin for medical waste, and Red bin for hazardous waste.
- Participants thanked GGGI for organizing such a workshop and recommended that the workshop would be often and extended to other building managers. A vast number of people trained could bring more impact.