Tackling waste with Doh Eain

Tackling waste with Doh Eain Wet waste is mixed with soil to get compost later. Photos: Supplied

31 AUG 2020 - Source: Myanmar Times

At the same time the Doh Eain believes that by managing wet waste for composting, residents will take better care and not throw kitchen waste out on the street. The added benefit is that the streets will also have a place to grow and nurture their own green produce – right outside of their house.

Doh Eain launched phase 2 of their project last Thursday 20 August. Now that the recycling and composting facilities have been prepared, the composting can begin.

It's a solution to two problems of inner city living in Yangon – the need to maintain a tidier living environment, and residents' desire for greener community spaces. By separating wet and dry waste, the project will also make it easier for Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) waste disposal workers to do their jobs more efficiently.

According to the Myanmar Country Environmental Analysis report conducted in 2019, only 53 percent of Yangon's waste is actually collected, and in Mandalay it's 84 pc. For a cleaner, greener city, the city needs to aim at collecting 100 pc of solid waste.

Because of the COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing protocols, Doh Eain did not hold a press event. Instead, Moh Moh Ne Win, House of Clean Waste's project manager said online:"This project started on March and April in 2019, and it's already been one year. We're happy to announce phase 2 of the project.

"In July of 2019 installed the House of Clean Waste in two alleyways. People have now been collecting wet waste for compost. Those working on the project include a street rubbish collector and a retired fisherman. We chose them because we wanted to give them proper jobs, and encourage a sense of community pride in their work," Moh Moh Ne Win explained.

During the COVID-19 restrictions most of the back alleyways were closed, so work on the project was halted. "Some of the waste became smelly, and the rainy season made things worse. So, because we have been able to restart the project now, residents are able to start their composting efforts. And also, we promoted our clean house guardians as backalley gardeners," he added.

Moh Moh said, ''We cannot carry out the work without support of the residents. Our staff explained to people how to discard of waste properly, and residents then registered their names for particular tasks. We worked with them from the beginning, and discussed the House of Clean Waste design."

The project will be installed in a number of select streets in the city.

"Organic waste from the compost can be used for growing the plants. As it has been treated, the waste is perfectly safe. We will install a new waste house in the back alley between 29th and 30th streets, and provide staff to help monitor and look after it," Moh Moh said.

Naing Lin Oo, one of the back alley gardeners said, "I've been working on this project for 1 year, and it's very enjoyable. When people come to throw their waste, we explain and help them how to do it. I feel happy to work here, and I would love to continue." 

Aung Naing Tun, a teashop owner in Kyaukdada, gave his opinion about the project: "I discard my wet green tea leaves at the Clean Waste House every day. It helps to reduce my wet waste, and I don't have to travel to the large dust bins on the street corners. We should install one of these in every back alley throughout the city.''

To find out more about the project, the alley guardians and the benefits for the residents, you can visit Doh Eain's social media page: https://www.facebook.com/DohEainYGN

San Lin Tun is a freelance writer of essays, poetry, short story and novels in Myanmar and English. 

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