The AMUSE project kicked off at the ASEAN level in March this year, in Bali, Indonesia.
A representative from the Yasothon Municipality participated as a delegate from Thailand, to exchange fruitful discussions on best practices for community waste management in Thailand’s tourism sector.
Data collection plays a crucial role in enhancing the efficiency of community-based organic waste management, and it can be undertaken in parallel with tourism promotion efforts.
The ASEAN Municipal Solid Waste Management Enhancement (AMUSE) project was launched at the ASEAN regional level on March 30-31, 2023, in Bali, Indonesia, with project team members from Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand taking part in the event. Participants from other countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Germany were also present, along with the ASEAN Working Group on Environmentally Sustainable Cities.
Dr. Anchalee Chumnum, an awarded International Women’s Day Environmentalist in the government sector, representing Yasothon Town Municipality in Thailand, participated in a panel discussion on effective municipal solid waste management strategies and presented successful examples of waste management in Thailand’s tourism sector. She revealed interesting tourism statistics, saying that prior to COVID-19, Yasothon welcomed more than 600,000 tourists in 2019 alone. This led to the distribution of income within the region of more than 800 million baht. However, the increasing number of tourists prompted Yasothon Town Municipality to plan for upcoming waste management challenges, as the current landfill capacity will only be able accommodate waste for fewer than 20 years. The Municipality thus decided to engage voluntary community participation from local residents in waste separation efforts for efficient waste management. For example, organic waste, including food waste, will be used for composting, and plastic waste, cans, aluminium will be sent for recycling, and every effort will be made to reduce the use of non-biodegradable materials like foam and single-use plastics. These materials will be replaced with alternatives during various festivals, such as using leaves instead of plastic plates and woven baskets instead of plastic bags.
Furthermore, the Yasothon Municipality has received support from external organisations, including academic institutions such as universities and non-governmental development agencies, which provide assistance in data collection. This includes data on waste composition and greenhouse gas emissions among others. As a result, the Yasothon Municipality has comprehensive data that can be used for improved planning, such as during festivals, mobilizing volunteers from the final procession to collect and sweep waste. The Municipality also promotes waste segregation within the community, from the event grounds to the final disposal point. This involves providing various types of bins, ensuring efficient waste collection by using a mini truck to collect waste even in small alleys, and effective disposal of organic waste at waste disposal sites.
Data is one of the key success factors in municipal solid waste management in Yasothon Town Municipality. Having data on waste composition, waste quantities, and waste flow from collection to disposal enables the Municipality to efficiently manage municipal solid waste. The Municipality’s waste management aligns with the waste management hierarchy, which prioritises waste reduction at the source, reuse, recycling, and lastly, disposal. Crucial to success is the active involvement of the community in waste separation at the household level, at various tourist sites, and during volunteer-driven clean-up campaigns. This ensures that all sectors play a role in municipal solid waste management, particularly in the tourism sector, fostering participation and collaboration.
The ASEAN Municipal Solid Waste Management Enhancement project aims to improve environmental quality in small and medium-sized cities in the ASEAN region by optimising waste disposal and recycling. Funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ which is partnering with the ASEAN Secretariat and the ASEAN Working Group on Environmentally Sustainable Cities (AWGESC), the project runs from July 2022 to June 2025.
Project Director of ASEAN Municipal Solid Waste Management Enhancement (AMUSE)
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