Public Private Partnership for greener environment
September 2009; The garbage collectors are active from 6 o'clock in the morning in Hatkhola Chowk, the residential area of Biratnagar municipality. The collectors work for the Forum for Social Improvement and Environmental Development (FoSIED)' a private sector company working with the municipality to manage the solid waste. The population of Biratnagar is 1,80,138 and 60 metric tonnes of garbage are produced every day. The garbage collectors work for 4 hours daily to collect garbage from market places and residential areas.
This Public Private Partnership initiative employs 157 garbage collectors from FoSIED and 60 from Biratnagar municipality and they provide service to 1500 households. FoSIED has provided a 15 litres bin at a discounted price of Rs. 80 to each house. Each house pays Rs. 50 per month for garbage collection while the restaurants and hotels pay Rs. 1000-2000.
'Contracting out the management of solid waste to the private sector has been a very successful experience for Biratnagar municipality,' says Mr. Poonam Dahal, an official from the municipality. He further added, 'the collection and monitoring were becoming difficult to manage for us. Only 12 wards were receiving this service when the municipality was handling the work, now all 22 wards are receiving this service. '
Public Private Partnership for Urban Environment (PPPUE) was one of the initial donors providing technical and financial support to Biratnagar municipality in particular to conduct the baseline survey and a study on solid waste management in 2006.
As far as the role of the communities is concerned, 422 Tole Lane Organisations (TLOs) in Biratnagar are very actively keeping their wards clean and they are members in all the committees formed by the municipality, hence they have a greater say in all the decisions ! They contribute up to 40% of the cost for the construction or maintenance of roads or any other common cause from their common savings.
TLOs were formed by UNDP Rural Urban Partnership Programme (1997- 2006) in the project municipalities. The TLOs became a part of the municipality when the project completed its tenure. The TLO members say, 'after this system of door to door waste collection, we have had less blockages in the sewage and there are less plastics flying around in the canals. We face less drainage problems these days and are now more environment conscious. We look forward to making our wards greener.'
PPPUE has been playing the role of facilitator and technical advisor to bring the municipalities and private sectors together in Biratnagar and other urban cities like Pokhara.
Since 2002, PPPUE has been helping municipalities to set the standards and procedures for procurement of private operations, bidding process and evaluation criteria. It also provides trainings in household composting, producing business plans and procurement to the focal points of the municipalities, private operators and members of the community .