Washington, June 27, 2013 - The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$47.1 million loan to Azerbaijan as additional financing for the Integrated Solid Waste Management Project. The additional financing will support full rehabilitation of Baku (Azerbaijan’s capital) main waste disposal site in order to extend its lifetime by up to 20 years, and help prepare a national waste management strategy.
“The original project has achieved impressive results by closing 80 percent of the informal dump sites in Baku, and increasing the percentage of the population served by formal waste management system by 15 percent,” said Henry Kerali, Regional Director for the South Caucasus. “This additional financing will make the Balakhani landfill a modern waste recycling, recovery and management center.”
With a population of almost three million, Greater Baku produces 1.8 million tons of solid waste annually. This amount will likely double in the next 20 years due to rapid demographic growth and higher incomes of Baku’s population. The city had inherited a poorly managed solid waste disposal system, causing serious environmental and health risks.
Over the past few years, efforts supported by the World Bank have visibly improved waste management in Baku by developing a comprehensive vision for the waste management system, setting up institutions responsible for waste management and improving operations of the solid waste landfill.
The additional financing will help fully remediate and close old waste disposal areas, develop new waste cells, and introduce methane gas capture systems. It will also help to prepare investments for waste management improvements across the country.
The current World Bank investment portfolio in Azerbaijan includes 17 projects. Since joining the World Bank, commitments to the country have totaled over US $3 billion for 54 projects.