The Dhaka Tannery Industrial Estate Waste Treatment Plant Company Limited has initiated a plan to turn solid waste from the Savar Industrial Industry into saleable products.
The treatment plant company, formed by the government in 2019 to manage waste from the tannery industry in Savar, has asked interested by-product manufacturers to submit applications to this end by 28 September 2022.
Local-foreign joint ventures and companies with automated machinery will be prioritised in this regard, according to people familiar with the matter.
Mostaque Ahmed, managing director of Dhaka Tannery Industrial Estate Waste Treatment Plant Company, told The Business Standard, "Solid waste is a threat to the environment but it is possible to produce by-products from this waste."
Two types of waste are produced from leather processing in Savar—liquid and solid. The liquid waste ends up in rivers after being treated at the Central Effluent Treatment Plant, while the solid waste is dumped on open grounds.
The industry produces 64000 tonnes of solid waste every year and has reached beyond the authorities' capacity to manage, resulting in unchecked mixing with river water.
This is not the first time such recycling initiatives have been taken to manage the waste from the tanneries in Savar.
"A few companies have shown interest in processing the [solid] waste before, but not much progress was made to that end. Now, we have decided to sell the waste at a lower price," said Mostaque Ahmed.
According to experts, solid waste from raw leather processing can be used to make several by-products, including animal feed, biogas, compost fertiliser, gelatine, glue, leather fibre board, paper, wallets, bricks, and even tiles.