6 December 2021, Beijing: The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Uzbekistan country office, and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) jointly organized an online South-South cities exchange event on waste management. The event brought together government officials from Nukus and Bekobod City of Uzbekistan, Nanjing and Xiamen City of China, Koidu New Sembehun City Council of Sierra Leone and Janjanbureh Area Council of the Gambia.
The event was proposed in 2020 by cities from the Global South in the context of South-South cooperation and the UNOSSC Cities Project framework as a forum to exchange good practices and experiences about municipal solid waste management. The session was moderated by Ms. Francesca Calisesi, Associate Officer of UN-Habitat.
At the opening, Mr. Sulaymon Tangriberdiev, Deputy Director of Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction of the Republic of Uzbekistan, expressed his sincere appreciation to event organizers for supporting Uzbekistan’s request to exchange experience in waste management. In April 2019, the President of Uzbekistan adopted the “Solid Waste Management Strategy for the period 2019-2028”, towards creating an effective system for domestic solid waste management, transportation, storage, disposal, and recycling.
Mr. Utemurad Panaev, Mayor of Nukus City, Uzbekistan, introduced that Nukus City has a waste disposal capacity of 126 tons per day. Currently, 8.4 percent of the waste are recycled and work is underway to launch two sorting equipment. By recycling materials such as paper and glass, the city expects to create new jobs that will contribute to its economic development.
Mr. Zafar Fayzullaev, Mayor of Bekobod City, Uzbekistan, presented that Bekobod City has implemented modern disposal methods of household waste, at a capacity of 110 tons per day. The city has covered 100 percent of its population with sanitary services, with illegal dumps eliminated. At the next stage, the city plans to optimize landfills, build transfer stations and waste processing plants.
Mr. Komba Sam, Mayor of Koidu New Sembehun City Council, Sierra Leone, highlighted Koidu City’s transition from “no waste recycling and landfill management” to current door-to-door household waste collection services and a disposal capacity of 543 tons per month. Koidu’s challenges lie with a lack of machinery for landfill management, inefficient recycling options, and limited financial resources for waste collection operations.
Mr. Haruna Barry, Vice and Acting Chairman of Janjanbureh Area Council (JAC), the Gambia, introduced that like Koidu, JAC is also faced with inadequate and untimely releases of government funds for waste management. At the same time, the Council needs to improve public awareness on proper ways to deal with waste and will need more spatial planning for potential landfills and dumping sites.
Mr. LONG Rui, Representative of Nanjing Municipal Bureau of Urban Management, China, introduced Nanjing City’s practice in waste segregation at source and collection, particularly in implementing waste segregation in all sectors and increasing community awareness to promote public participation.
Mr. WANG Lin, Representative of Bureau of Urban Utilities and Gardening, Xiamen, China, brought in Xiamen City’s unique experience in waste transportation modes and disposal methods as a coastal city. The main and secondary roads in the central island of Xiamen are cleaned mechanically, with waste collected from several main sources, such as household, construction, road, medical agencies and industrial development. Currently, the city is faced with challenges in enhancing treatment technology of food waste and accelerating the achievement of the carbon peak target.
Ms. Xiaojun Grace Wang, Deputy Director of UNOSSC, emphasized the importance of such South-South knowledge and experience sharing: “We all know, in the developing countries, development solutions are abundant. They can be adapted, mutually learned, and scaled up to benefit more countries and singular context, to benefit more communities and more people. That is why at UNOSSC, we consider such knowledge and development solutions as global assets, as global public goods.”
Waste management is one of the thematic areas of “South-South Cities Clusters”. Under UNOSSC Cities Project, the South-South Cities Clusters currently offers interactive thematic spaces on COVID-19 Response and Public Health; Sustainable Tourism Recovery, Heritage Protection and Creative Economy; Sustainable Agriculture Value Chain Development; E-Commerce Development, Digitization and Smart Cities; Disaster Risk Reduction, Mitigation and Resilient Cities; Sustainable Transport, Air Quality, Waste Management, Green Cities as well as Renewable Energy Development.