Menstrual hygiene waste
In traditional Nepali society there remains a lingering social taboo associated with menstruation. In rural areas of western Nepal menstruating women are generally considered impure. They are in some cases banished to outlying sheds during this time, dramatically increasing their vulnerability to illnesses.
In urban areas the social stigma is not as dire however in many cases pubescent girls whose families can't afford sanitary feminine hygiene pads choose to stop attending school rather than suffer the embarrassment of public menstruation.
To counter this behaviour the Government of Nepal now makes sanitary menstrual hygiene pads available free of charge to all school girls. The impact was dramatic – more girls are attending school! However, suddenly girls toilets are clogging up with disposed sanitary pads.
HECAF has introduced procedures to not only control sanitary pad disposal but has remarkably included mechanisms to recycle much of the waste as well.
The 2 minute video below is a quick overview of the project.