Waste to Resource Project Training in Luxembourg

11- 18 March , Luxembourg , with a delegation of 2o representatives from Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA); Ministry of ICT and Innovation (MINICTI) ;City of Kigali (CoK) ;Rwanda Development Board (RDB);Ministry of Environment (MoE) ;Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA);Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) ;Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) ;Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC) ;Gender Monitoring Office (GMO) ;National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA); and one environmental officer from each of the six secondary cities that includes Musanze, Rubavu, Nyagatare, Muhanga, Huye, Rusizi

Rwanda is currently undergoing a period of rapid urbanization and economic growth. It aims to become a middle-income country by 2035 and a high-income, net-zero country by 2050. These ambitions will require a concerted effort to reduce emissions from municipal solid waste while keeping pace with accelerated population growth and rising incomes. Currently, Rwanda is facing numerous challenges and barriers to sustain waste management sector including inadequate infrastructure across value chain, limited complying trucks for waste collection and transportation, lack of waste treatment and disposal facilities, limited professionals in the waste sector, and fiscal operational budget.

In the City of Kigali, currently, an estimated 400 to 800 tons of waste are disposed of at Nduba, the main dumping site. There are minimum valorization practices of generated waste in City of Kigali and Secondary Cities. All waste collected and transported to Nduba is purely mixed. The level of sorting at both points of generation and disposal site is inadequate, less quantities of recyclables are collected, and big quantities of recyclables are dumped together with other wastes. To alleviate pressure on the landfill site, the Waste to Resources project was launched to increase the sorting, separation, and valorization of organic and plastic waste, increase collection of e-waste, and build capacity through knowledge sharing and technology transfer activities in both City of Kigali and Secondary Cities.

The training activities incorporated into the project include one to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to learn on the ongoing best practices, meet with key government counterparts and stakeholders, visit waste-to-energy and recycling facilities, and identify technologies suitable for adoption into the Rwandan context. The training and project activities are a result of the cooperation between Rwanda and Luxembourg led by the Ministry of Environment of Rwanda and the Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development of the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The two ministries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2020 to reinforce the cooperation and financial assistance for establishing a sustainable waste management in Rwanda.

As the project implementation partner, GGGI Rwanda organized the Waste-to-Resources Training targeted for the Rwandan government officials and relevant stakeholders from various public institutions to learn from examples in place in Luxembourg of international best practices and new technologies to facilitate sustainable waste management and waste valorization. The Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has developed a strategy to eliminate municipal landfill waste by 2030 through a combination of waste prevention initiatives and circular economy principles. The strategy, “Null Offall Lëtzebuerg” includes the banning of certain types of plastic as well as awareness raising activities and deterrents such as fines for littering. Luxembourg is one of the leading countries when it comes to recycling and working with the private sector to reduce waste such as through the ban on types of packaging for produce. The waste management system in Luxembourg also makes use of recycling collection banks and facilities that increase public participation in waste reuse, reduction, and recycling campaigns and daily habits.

The training  was arranged in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the GGGI European Liaison Office also based in the City of Luxembourg. The training  included the site visits to municipal waste recycling and valorization facilities. The training also included meetings with key Government of Luxembourg counterparts and European agencies facilitating circular economy approaches to sustainable waste management.

The main objective of this training was to:
1. Introduce participants to current international best practices in use in Luxembourg and Belgium,
2. Facilitate knowledge sharing and technology transfer/adoption through a series of site visits,
3. Identify opportunities for awareness creation using different media in use in Luxembourg, and
4. Strengthen the bilateral cooperation between Rwanda and Luxembourg

The training was a success due to the keen interest and collaboration of all the project stakeholders of the Waste to Resource project team in Rwanda, series of meetings and bilaterals were held during the week with representatives from Ministry of Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development (MECSD) ; representatives from the Environment Climate Agency Luxembourg  ; representatives from the Development Cooperation representatives (Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs) ; representatives from Chamber of Commerce (CoC) ; representatives from Inspiring More Sustainability (IMS) and site visits at  Ville de Luxembourg recycling center ; Oeko-Center Hersper ; Digital inclusionLuxembourg  ; visit to Benu Village ; Ecotrel (treatment facility Lamesch) ; SuperDrecksKëscht ; Valorlux (facility operated by Hein Déchets) ; Tour of Beckerich (biogas plant supplying local heating network) ; Center for Ecological Learning Luxembourg