Better Waste Disposal Offers Better Way of Life in the West Bank


An unregulated dumpsite was turned into a sanitary and safe landfill. © World Bank Group

For Abu Mohamad, living close to the unregulated Dura dumpsite at the edge of his town in the southern West Bank was not a choice. Decades of conflict and political instability had left sizable gaps in key public services, and without proper waste collection, the small piece of land gradually became a place where people left their trash.

But toxic air pollution from the burning and rotting waste made living conditions for Abu Mohamad hard to bear. Stray dogs and rodents infiltrated the surrounding area, impacting agriculture, affecting the community’s health, and lowering land values.

Abu Mohamad is far from alone. The Hebron and Bethlehem Governorates, where the Dura site is located, is home to nearly one million residents who generate about 800 tons of waste daily—20 percent of total solid waste in the Palestinian Territories. Most of it is disposed of in unsanitary dumps like Dura or burned, illegally, creating health and environmental hazards for residents.

Realizing the need for sanitary waste disposal facilities, the Joint Services Council for Hebron and Bethlehem (JSC-H&B) sought support from the World Bank Group to construct a modern, sanitary landfill and two transfer stations. But JSC-H&B still faced a lack of local expertise to effectively operate and maintain waste disposal services and to ensure the environmentally safe management of the new landfill.

In 2011, IFC and DevCo, a multi-donor facility affiliated with the Private Infrastructure Development Group, helped the local municipality solve this pressing problem. Working together with the JSC-H&B, IFC helped structure the first competitively tendered public-private partnership (PPP) in the West Bank.

The new Al Menya landfill has significantly reduced illegal dumping.  It provides improved services to approximately 840,000 citizens in the two governorates, and is expected to cut down greenhouse-gas emissions by 13,400 tons over seven years.

 

Talking Trash, Finding Answers

Although JSC-H&B had long provided primary waste management services for local residents, fiscal and institutional constraints led to inefficient collection, poorly managed transportation, and widespread dumping. JSC-H&B sought support from the World Bank Group to construct a modern, sanitary landfill and two transfer stations. Because of a lack of local expertise, it also needed support to effectively operate and maintain waste disposal services and to ensure the environmentally safe management of the new landfill.

IFC developed a transaction structure that addressed the territories’ unique situation. In partnership with the World Bank, IFC secured an $8.25 million output-based grant from the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA) to help JSC-H&B pay for private sector services through a subsidy arrangement, and worked with GPOBA to outline key performance indicators.

In September 2013, JSC-H&B signed a management contract with a Greek consortium to operate and maintain the new Al Menya landfill and two transfer stations that were built with World Bank funding. The PPP has enabled the closure of existing unsanitary dumpsites, including Dura.

When Al Menya opened in March 2014, it made headlines as the first and only facility for sanitary treatment and solid waste disposal in the West Bank and Gaza.

 

PPPs Offer Performance

The innovative PPP introduced a performance mechanism that provides incentives to achieve efficient collection, transportation, proper use of disposal facilities, and appropriate planning and monitoring. The performance scorecard system will systemically track progress and will help member municipalities learn from one another.

For Abu Mohamad, the project has made a real impact: Al Menya has not only helped reduce serious health and environmental risks but also raised the standard of living.

“Stopping the dumping and burning of garbage has ended the suffering of the people owning the lands and those living nearby,” Abu Mohamad said. “Now it’s been closed and rehabilitated, people have slowly started to get back to their lands. No more odors, no more rodents, and land prices have started to increase again.”

To learn more about IFC’s work in PPPs, visit: www.ifc.org/ppp, and in climate change, visit: www.ifc.org/climatebusiness.

Stay connected: #6DecadesOfExperience

Published in November 2016

 

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