Waste Management in Nepal: characterization and challenges to promote a circular economy
4 August 2023
A study led by Dr Alejandro Gallego and Nicolás Labra provides critical insights into integrating Nepal's informal waste sector to enable a circular economy transition.
In Nepal, the informal sector handles 15% of household waste, representing the primary recycling alternative to landfills.
Through in-depth interviews and co-creation workshops with waste workers, the study identified key challenges in promoting a circular economy from the informal sector, like volatile recycled material prices and lack of infrastructure. Formal recognition and integration of these informal workers is thus essential for empowering marginalized groups, improving livelihoods, and unlocking Nepal's circular economy potential.
The study outlines tailored policy reforms around taxation, bans, and producer responsibility schemes to support integration. Considering the stakeholders' perspectives, this paper makes a compelling case for cooperating with informal workers to achieve both environmental and social goals.
In the Global South, recognizing the informal and marginalized groups working on waste management is critical for a just transition to the circular economy.