Recycling is an eco-friendly way of waste management and in Dhaka, waste management is as challenging as it gets. Team GARBAGEMAN's recent green initiative was an exhibition that planned to showcase the method of recycling food packaging waste from refugee camps into usable resources. The initiative involved the Rohingya residents and empowered them to engage in creating zero waste designs.
GARBAGEMAN is the first tech-based recycling business in Bangladesh, founded in 2018. They started off with the vision to create a cleaner and greener Bangladesh by introducing a modern and scientific approach towards an efficient waste management system. The organisation works on recycling organic and inorganic waste and turns them into reusable products. Their goal is to improve the socioeconomic stance of the system. Their work is divided into 3 segments. Their community turns food waste in Regen Vermicopost, provides consultancy services to businesses and organisations on creating a zero waste policy and offers a recycling platform, "Trash to Cash" which is a subscription based activity. "We intend to spread awareness regarding the recycling process so the waste doesn't end up in the landfills, and create a safer environment for everyone in the process," says Fahim Uddin Shuvo, CEO at GARBAGEMAN.
During the pandemic, their activities on spreading awareness and engaging people in creating a cleaner and greener city did not pan out because of the new normal. After their expedition at rohingya camp, team Garbageman planned an exhibition showcasing the past 3 months of activities along with 45 Rohingya participants.
The exhibition "Empowering Rohingyas: A Zero waste recycled product" took place at Jatra Biroti, Gallery on 26th and 27th December.
On the first day of exhibition, team GARBAGEMAN executed TrashTalk with Shazeeb M Khairul Islam, Founder of YY Ventures, Farah Mahboob, Innovation Facilitator at ICCO Cooperation, and Wahid Hossain, Founder of TigerBow as panelists. They shared their experience on the topic- "How can social enterprises empower communities and artisans?" The panelists spoke about social enterprises' role in empowering communities and artisans at the panel discussion and Q&A session.
During the exhibition, volunteers were assigned in individual, family-wise, and communal segments. They came up with the problems they were facing. Then, they upcycled products from the packaging of the relief materials they received back at the refugee camp. Throughout the exhibition, handcrafted products by the Rohingya participants were showcased.