Nepal's Own Self- Sustainable Recycling Enterprise

ANNUALLY, 15000 TONS OF WASTE PET BOTTLES ARE PRODUCED IN NEPAL OUT OF WHICH ONLY 12000 TONS OF WASTE PET BOTTLES ARE RECOLLECTED AND 10000 TONS OF THEM ARE EXPORTED ILLEGALLY.

With the issue of plastic pollution taking center stage as a highly sensitive challenge for the environment, even the smallest efforts to refrain plastic from entering the landfill can be huge help for the environment and the community. Amid the challenges, the environmental impact of PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) bottles are favorable in comparison to glass and aluminium. Its phenomenal capacity-to-weight makes it the best quality recyclable plastics with low carbon footprint.​

Recycler Saathi is an initiative to encourage and implement recycling of PET bottles in Nepal itself so that we have a homegrown solution to PET waste management in Nepal. It is a Public Private Partnership (PPP) approach together with The Coca-Cola Foundation​ and Bottlers Nepal Ltd to enhance the recycling mechanism and the overall scenario of waste management as well as the sanitation workers.

  • What led to the start of Recycler Saathi?

    Although there are small recycling factories in Nepal, there lacks a sturdy mechanism to recycle PET bottles. Among the 12000 tons of waste PET bottles recollected annually in Nepal, 10000 tons of them are exported illegally to India. This statistics made us realize that this informal economy can be legalized with higher and fairer revenue generation for the Nepali market itself. Hence, we came up with idea of Recycler Saathi to formalize the waste management sector, provide better livelihood opportunities for sanitation workers as well as reduce environmental impacts.

  • How does Recycler Saathi help the environment?

    Producing 1 Ton of clean recycled PET in place of virgin PET reduces 1.5 tons of carbon emission and saves 48 million BTUs of energy. From its inception in 2019 until now we have recollected 890 tons of PET bottles and sent for recycling. This implies that the process has helped reduce carbon emissions by 1335 tons. This is how Recycler Saathi has become an ally of the environment and helped reduce carbon footprint of the waste PET Bottles.​

  • What is the collection mechanism of the waste PET bottles?

    Waste PET bottles recollected by small and big kabaadis in our network are sent to our recycling unit in Chitwan. Here the waste PET bottles are baled and then sent to Essel Industries for recycling.

  • Are there other activities that Recycler Saathi has ventured into?

    Besides recycling of waste PET bottles, one of our major intervention is advocacy and awareness as well. Our drivers of change are children and youth to whom we have been providing awareness and practical sessions on recycling through various programs and activities. In regards to this we have initiated Waste Smart Schools that attempt to expand the knowledge base of young students about recycling, encourage and influence their actions for the good of the environment.

  • How have waste workers been integrated into the project?

    We recognize waste workers as the primary agents of change for the environment. They are important players in the recycling industry and we acknowledge their hard work and contribution. Through Recycler Saathi, we provide them with health insurance, awareness, medical consultations as well as trainings to enhance their level of skills. Not just sanitation workers but their families are also major beneficiaries of the programs.

  • How do these projects run?

    Most of our projects run in collaboration and partnership with different stakeholders such as the government, corporations, schools, colleges and local communities. We love to connect with new institutions and build ideas for better activities and their impacts.

Our Impacts

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Waste PET bottles

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tons Carbon Emissions

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Waste Workers

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Youth Engaged for

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Children acquainted about

Our Interventions

Recycler Saathi

Livelihood Enhancement Program

WASTE WORKERS LIVELIHOOD ENHANCEMENT

Socio- economic progress of our waste workers and other stakeholders is our top priority

15 +

Informal Waste Workers provided with socio- economic benefits

114+

women benefitted through Leadership and Capacity Building Trainings.

The Challenge

The waste management sector of Nepal is still not in a good structure. The sector has been largely side-lined and the players involved in the field have not received the attention that they require in terms of enhancing their work as their sustaining their livelihoods. This has directly or indirectly taken a toll on the general scenario of the waste management sector and resulted in its slow progress.

The Intervention

Livelihood Enhancement Program has been introduced by Recycler Saathi to cater to the socio- economic needs of the waste workers as well as other stakeholders. It works in close collaboration with multiple stakeholders and ensures they attain a stable livelihood along with the skills required to enhance their work performance. Our Livelihood Enhancement Programs extends from waste collectors to our balers

The Approach

By screening the needs of waste collectors and balers, we carefully plan and customise various activities for them. As part of our intervention to ensure good health of our waste workers, we have organized health camps in the past years along with health awareness sessions. Further, to enhance the working efficiency of our balers, capacity building trainings for them have been organized frequently.

Testimonials

Recycler Saathi

PET RECOVERY : Expansion and Collaboration

PET RECOVERY : Expansion and Collaboration

Recycling can only reap its benefit when the larger part of the community is involved in the process

889.97 TONS

PET Bottles recollected for recycling

18

scrap dealers integrated into fair pricing system

20

balers integrated into fair pricing system

1335

Carbon Emissions Reduced

The Challenge

We have multiple stakeholders in the waste management sector who have been making efforts as per their capacity to enhance the mechanism. However, these scattered efforts have not been much instrumental to develop a proper recycling mechanism within the country. The need of the hour is not just to build a strong network of waste management players who can contribute their part from their side but also streamline it into an organized collective effort to recycle as much waste as we can, reducing our carbon footprint and bring sustainable change in the waste management sector.

The Intervention

Through expansion of our existing network and collaboration with new partners, Recycler Saathi aims to eliminate this loophole of scattered efforts. It believes that it cannot work in isolation to tackle the problem of waste management and achieve the intended recovery numbers of waste PET bottles with individual effort. Hence, Recycler Saathi already has a network of different stakeholders that provide us with waste PET bottles as well as assist us with enhancing the waste management mechanism. The stakeholders involved range from waste collectors to local government.

The Process

Our partners and stakeholders are in different capacities and have different roles. The partnership role is divided on the basis of contribution expected from them. Balers can partner with Recycler Saathi to provide their collection of waste PET bottles. Similarly, waste management organisations are welcome to join the network and collaborate with us to advocate for policy level changes. Educational institutions can join the network and allow space for their young students to learn and internalize the essence of environment conservation and recycling.

Testimonials

Building Back Better

Recycler Saathi

Outreach and Advocacy

Outreach and Advocacy

Recycling can only reap its benefit when the larger part of the community is involved in the process

3000 +

Children Reached

580 +

Youth Reached

The Challenge

The greater goal of Recycler Saathi cannot be achieved in isolation. There is need for awareness among a larger mass of people, which we tend to lack. Especially the engagement of young students and children in actions for environment conservation is minimal and needs to be expanded. Without ground level realization from the community itself, no substantial change can be implemented. Further, policy level support which is imperative to inculcate and institutionalise any change is highly lacking in Nepal is terms of waste management.

The Intervention

The engagement of youth and children through youth clubs and Waste Smart Clubs has been initiated by Recycler Saathi. It believes in harnessing the power and enthusiasm of the young minds to bring change and influence the community that they live in and eventually attract greater momentum to the cause of recycling. Further, other stakeholders through partnerships are also engaged in the process of outreach and advocacy.

The Process

Waste Smart Clubs are mostly focused in government schools and has been engaging young students to understand the environment better. Similarly, youth have been engaged in the process through various voluntary activities. Recycler Saathi has also engaged the various groups of community through both physical and digital mediums. Through physical medium, it organizes and partakes in rallies, talk shows and stakeholders meeting. From digital platforms, it ensures awareness and engagement through PSAs, informative videos and posts.

Awareness Campaigns

Our Contribution to Global Goals

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