Partnerships for Sustainable IRS Waste Management

PMI AIRS Project Partners with Local Enterprises to Manage Actellic Bottle Recycling as a Best IRS Practice

Through a Public-Private Partnership, approximately 600,000 insecticide bottles have been recycled into 75,000 kilograms of electric cable conduits (2015 – 2017).

The U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) conducts indoor residual spraying (IRS) to reduce the burden of malaria by spraying insecticide on the walls, ceilings, and other indoor resting places of mosquitoes that transmit the disease. An important part of the spraying includes the safe disposal of waste generated from IRS. If not appropriately managed, the waste can pose a risk to the environment and the population. Environmental compliance and safety are critical components of the PMI Africa Indoor Residual Spraying (AIRS) Project.

In Ethiopia, the PMI AIRS Project supports IRS in 44 districts. Since 2015, the project has used the insecticide Actellic 300CS, which comes in high density polyethylene bottles. To manage the waste, the project has partnered with three local companies (Tewodros Fikru Plastic and Plastic Products Works Enterprise, Fitsum International Plastic Factory, and Senbti Rubber and Plastic Products Manufacturing) to recycle the bottles into electric conduits.

To ensure safe and proper handling of the empty insecticide bottles during the recycling process, the project trained company staff on proper use of personal protective equipment and safe disposal of effluent waste. Liquid waste released from the washing process is channeled through a pipe to a soak pit constructed through the guidance of the PMI AIRS Project’s Environmental Compliance Officer. Project staff conduct regular visits to the recycling firms to monitor compliance.

Mr. Tewodros Fikru, Manager for Tewodros Fikru Plastic and Plastic Product Works Enterprise, said, “I am extremely happy with the relationship established between the PMI AIRS Project and my company. This makes it possible to get raw material for the production of quality electric cable conduits while most importantly helping reduce possible pollution burden to our environment. My company is happy to be contributing to this noble initiative, and we look forward to providing greater support in the future.”

The public-private partnership benefits the companies as they receive much needed raw material for free while the project is able to dispose of the waste locally in an environmentally-safe way at no cost.

“The efforts taken by the PMI AIRS Project in ensuring safe disposal of IRS bottles and other wastes provide a tremendous learning opportunity for the Ministry of Health-supported IRS programs, and are worth emulating,” said Mr. Tekola Workineh, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases Officer for the Oromia Regional Health Bureau in Ethiopia.

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