Waste management in Nepal is a huge issue. The garbage disposal system can’t keep up with rapid population growth in the Kathmandu Valley and so piles of plastic and household rubbish are strewn among the streets, either waiting for collection or being burned, which has serious health risks for locals. On top of this, there is a general lack of environmental education, so many families don’t know the dangers of burning plastic, or how and why we should recycle.
We’ve made the environment and waste management one of our main areas of focus in Nepal, through the volunteers that travel on our Sustainability Challenge. Over the summer our volunteers worked on introducing the concept of waste management to the teachers and students at our partner schools. They taught the negative impacts of burning plastic on our health and the environment, what happens to rubbish when we litter and how to separate different types of waste so they can be disposed of properly!
A few months on and our team in Nepal has been speaking with the school principal to see what the longer team results have been. We're so happy to report that the school was been using its new waste segregation system properly, the students have become aware of the importance of keeping the school clean and there is no longer litter everywhere!
We’ve also been working to start an eco club at the school. The club has been working to raise awareness at their school and in the community about recycling and the environment, and they have even started a micro-enterprise - selling some of their school’s waste to raise money for improving waste management systems in their community.
At a recent team meeting, the president of the eco club said “We are more aware of waste and it's management now. We feel a sense of responsibility and can see now how much the program has been helping us clean our school and it surroundings. Our team is doing our best to make the waste management and segregation program successful, we just need more supportive hands.”