Hundreds of thousands of tons of solid waste are generated daily by more than three million people living in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku.
It’s processed at the capital’s recently rehabilitated central Balakhani landfill, which until not long ago was nothing but a vast, open, and unorganized field of burning trash, say those who work here.
“It was terrible before because there was smoke everywhere, and it even invaded nearby homes,” says Firudin Yolchuyev, a local resident who works at the landfill.
“But since the building of this plant, the area is clean,” he says.
The new solid waste management system established in Baku includes an incineration and recycling plant, and is the first of its kind in the entire country.
The World Bank is helping the Azerbaijan government with improved solid waste collection and disposal operations in the Greater Baku area, which for years were unmanaged, and environmentally unsafe.