- Integrated Resource Recovery Center (IRRC) is a decentralized community-based recycling and composting facility which can be built and operated at low costs by using limited mechanical technology, ensuring low operational costs and with minimal equipment breakdowns, while creating job opportunities.
IRRC in Islamabad
- The first pilot IRRC in Pakistan was established in Sector G-15, Islamabad, in 2014 by UN Habitat in collaboration with Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan Memorial Trust (AHKMT), and support of UNESCAP, following the model’s success elsewhere in Asia.
Role of UN Habitat
- United Nation has been promoting decentralized and Integrated Resource Recovery Centers (IRRCs) in secondary cities and small towns in Asia-Pacific including Pakistan with the objective to recover value from waste and provide livelihood opportunities to the urban poor. UN Habitat provides technical assistance for establishment of IRRC.
Role of Government
- Open burning of waste is estimated to account for a quarter of the Pakistan’s reported carbon emissions, according to recent estimates. Dumped waste is also a major cause of diarrheal diseases. A community-based approach to waste management addresses these problems while also creating jobs
- Federal and Provincial Government regulate waste management facilities under federal and provincial jurisdiction. The Government of Pakistan is signatory to Paris agreement and conventions on environment to reduce GHG emissions and environmental improvement throughout the country.
- The IRRC pilot in Islamabad demonstrates the potential for community-based waste management to improve public health, mitigate climate change and create safe jobs.
- For every dollar invested, the IRRC model offers USD 10 in benefits.
- The IRRC diverts 90 per cent of waste from centralized disposal and is a factor of ten cheaper than providing centralized disposal facilities.
- The analysis suggests that community-based waste management approaches offer a ‘best solution for cleaner Pakistan and value for money solution for donors and governments. They would also help address multiple targets under the Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being), SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 12 (Sustainable Consumption and Production), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 14 (Marine Life, in the case of settlements on the coast or major rivers) and SDG 15 (Life on Land). In the specific case of Islamabad, there is an urgent need for replication and up-scaling of this successful model to other areas. The IRRC appears to offer a highly cost-effective way of improving waste management in the fast-growing cities of Pakistan.