Overview of Solid Waste Management in Pakistan 


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Pakistan, like many other nations, is facing an environmental challenge. The burgeoning population and the absence of effective environmental policy are leading to increasing levels of pollution. The issue of sustainable development has been largely left unaddressed in political discourse. This lack of attention given to sustainable development in policy-making has exacerbated the existing environmental situation. Presently, solid waste collection in Pakistan stands at 50 per cent of the total waste generated. For cities to be classified as sustainable cities, the figure should be at least 75 per cent. The mode of disposal of waste is also primarily dumping along the flood plains, further causing damage to the environment. 

Graana.com brings you an overview of the solid waste management mechanism and policy in Pakistan. 

 

International Practices in Waste Management

Globally countries produce about 4 billion tons of waste of which 1.2 billion tons is municipal waste. Of this 4 billion ton of waste, only 1 billion ton is utilised through various means. 600 million tons of waste is recycled; 5 million tons of plastics, 405 million tons of ferrous scrap, 25 million tons of non-ferrous scrap and 170 million tons of paper. Moreover, 200 million tons of waste is utilised for energy generation.  

The waste produced is also dealt with through multiple means like recycling, dumping and burning. Recycling is the ideal way of dealing with solid waste management as it is the most environmentally friendly option. Presently, Europe recycles 41 per cent of its municipal waste while the United States of America only recycles 32 per cent of its waste. 

Recognising the need to adopt environmentally conducive practices, countries have started investing in technologies that not only manage waste efficiently but are also cost-effective. For example, China is investing US$ 6.3 billion in a move to jump its recycling capacity to 30 per cent by 2030. Similarly, other countries have also started investing in green technologies to reduce waste and provide sustainable solutions for the future. Only through a collective and cohesive strategy, can the environment be protected and preserved for future generations. 

 

Waste Generation Trend in Pakistan

Pakistan produces copious amounts of waste every year and employs mainly three ways of disposing of solid waste: landfill, size reduction and screening. As per various studies, urban areas of Pakistan generate 54,888 tons of solid waste daily of which only 60 per cent is collected by municipal authorities. 30 to 50 per cent of the waste in most cities is not collected at all. 

Similarly, various healthcare facilities alone produce 250,000 tons of medical waste every year. Some facilities resort to burning the medical waste which in turn produces toxic gases. Other facilities dump these waste materials in open grounds which lead to the spread of diseases. 

The Engineering Planning Management and Consultant (EPMC) conducted a study in 1996 titled “Data Collection for Preparation of National Study on Privatization of Solid Waste Management in Eight Selected Cities of Pakistan”. The study revealed the average solid waste produced varied from 0.283 kg/capita/day to 0.613 kg/capita/day or from 1.896 kg/house/day to 4.29 kg/house/day in the given cities. As per estimated projections, Pakistan is to produce 71,018 tons per day or 25.921 m tons per year of solid waste materials. 

 

Solid Waste Composition in Pakistan

Solid waste in Pakistan is primarily composed of metal, paper, plastic, rubber, animal waste, food waste, grass, leaves, textile waste, glass, bones, stones etc. 

According to EPMC estimates of 1996, the typical composition of solid waste in major cities of Pakistan showed that food waste contributed 8.4% to 21% of solid waste, leaves and grass contributed 10.2% to 15.6%, fines contributed 29.7% to 47.5% and recyclables contributed 13.6% to 23.55% of waste materials.  

Composition %
Food Waste 8.4 % – 21 %
Leaves, Grass, Straw, Fodder 10.2 % – 15.6 %
Fines 29.7 % – 47.5 %
Recyclables 13.6 % – 23.55 %

 

The physical composition of the waste (% weight) in major cities is shown below: 

Cities Faisalabad Karachi Hyderabad Peshawar Quetta
Plastic and Rubber 4.8 6.4 3.6 3.7 8.2
Metals 0.2 0.75 0.75 0.3 0.2
Paper 2.1 4.1 2.4 2.1 2.2
Cardboard 1.5 2.4 1.5 1.9 1.3
Rags 5.2 8.4 4.7 4.3 5.1
Glass 1.3 1.5 1.6 1.3 1.5
Bones 2.9 3 2 1.7 2
Food Waste 17.2 21 20 13.8 14.3
Animal Waste 0.8 3 5.8 7.5 1.7
Leaves, Grass, etc. 15.6 14 13.5 13.6 10.2
Wood 0.7 2.25 2.25 0.6 1.5
Fines 43 29.7 38.9 42 44
Stones 4.6 3.5 3 7.3 7.8

 

Solid Waste Management Policy in Pakistan

The Government of Pakistan has enacted the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act in 1997. Section 11 of this act states that “ no person shall discharge or emit or allow the discharge or emission of any effluent or waste or air pollutant or noise in an amount, concentration or level which is more than the National Environmental Quality Standards…”. This act also provides the framework and guidelines to establish Environmental Protection Agencies (EPAs) at the federal and provincial level to address the disposal of solid waste. 

 

Existing legislation

The current rules and legislation related to solid waste management in Pakistan include: 

  • Section 11 of Pakistan Environmental Protection Act 1997 
  • Draft Hazardous Substances Rules 1999
  • Islamabad Capital Territory By-Laws, 1968 by Capital Development Authority Islamabad 
  • Section 132 of the Cantonment Act 1924  
  • National Environmental Quality Standard 2000 
  • Provisions in Local Government Ordinance 2001 
  • Lahore Solid Waste Management By-Laws 2005 
  • Public-Private Partnership (PPP) policy 2007 
  • Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Act 2010 

 

Required Legislation

The guidelines and rules needed for solid waste management in Pakistan include: 

  • Basic rules related to recycling and repurposing 
  • Waste management rules
  • Development of Environmental Performance Indicators (EPI)
  • Adoption Life Cycle assessment approaches
  • Establishment of eco-labelling guidelines
  • Establishment of guidelines for environmentally sound waste collection and disposal
  • Establishment of eco-friendly landfill sites 



Solid Waste Management at Household Level


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As the cities across the globe are expanding, so is the consumption of resources is reaching an unprecedented level. Developed and developing countries alike face a dilemma that consumption of goods at the micro and macro level is increasing while managing this solid waste is becoming difficult. What we consume eventually becomes a part of our garbage cans, and if managed improperly eventually starts to occupy the space of our environment. It is reported by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) that almost 8 million tons of plastic become a part of oceans every year and the situation can aggravate if necessary measures are not timely devised.

Inclusive development is only possible if every aspect of development is addressed therefore, policies are designed such that unforeseen scenarios and minimal aspects of a problem can be addressed timely. Moreover, at a time when every aspect of development is scanned through sustainable development, solid waste management emerges as a core issue that needs an appropriate redressal. In a study conducted in the Philippines, it was estimated that households generate 3.2kg of waste per day and if we keep on moving up on the ladder the waste disposed of by industries, municipalities and agriculture will be way much more.

Graana.com through this blog highlights the importance of household waste management and how waste from homes can be managed at the household level which can have a positive impact on the overall environment.  

 

Household Waste Management

The term ‘Household Waste Management’ refers to the collection, treatment, and disposal of waste at the household level. Solid waste from households is one of the major contributors to municipal waste. It is estimated by the World Bank that our planet generates 2.01bn of municipal waste per annum. Waste management has a great value attached to the conservation of resources, prevention of nature, and reduction of pollution however, the subject is unable to convert most of the waste into a useful resource due to lack of seriousness, resources, and innovation.  

One thing that is pertinent to mention here is that waste management is not only about reducing the size or incinerating the product rather it is also about managing the waste in a way that has no hazardous impact on the environment and conversion of waste into a useful product i.e. fuel, biomass, or a recycled product. Furthermore, it is being estimated that solid waste will reach 3.02bn tonnes by 2050.

‘Waste-to-Value’ is a concept in waste management that is about converting solid waste into a useful resource. Thus various techniques are employed to convert waste into fuel or recycled materials that help to reduce the burden on our environment.  Some of the important techniques include dry waste recycling, and wet waste composting. Similarly, the usefulness of the waste-to-value can be gauged from the fact that green gas houses are reduced 25 times more than incineration.

Following are the different ways in which solid waste can be reduced and managed at the household level

 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

This strategy has great significance in managing solid waste. As it suggests, solid waste at the household level can be brought down by changing our consumption pattern. For example, only those products should be bought which are necessary and sufficient for use, this can help to reduce the quantity of waste emanating from households. Similarly, instead of throwing away redundant items they should be reused or given to those who can still manage to reuse such things more suitably.  

Plastic bottles, paper, tin cans, and cardboard are the most common waste materials that are thrown away in the garbage. These materials do not belong to waste rather they can be recycled and converted into a useful resource. Municipalities often hire the services of recycling companies that collect recyclable materials from home and convert them into useful products.

 

Composting at Homes

Household kitchens throw away the remains of fruits and vegetables and yard waste in garbage which becomes a headache for different waste management authorities. A simple method of utilising food scraps and yard waste is thorough composting. Composting is a technique that helps to recycle organic waste by combining various organic materials like food scraps, dead leaves, eggshells, vegetable waste, and water. The composted compound acts as a fertiliser and can be used as a nutrient for the growth of plants. Therefore, this technique at the macro level can also convert waste to value.

 

Refuse Pits

Another method that can prove useful for managing waste at the household level is by digging pits for disposing of the waste that cannot be recycled. It is advised that a pit be dug at least 10 meters away from the home and 30-35 meters from the water source. The waste is thrown in the pit and covered with the soil so that it does not attract a site of diseases and infestations. Refuse pits can also be used to bury hazardous waste which can have serious health implications. For burying hazardous waste a base is prepared inside the dig so that the liquid does not seep into the ground. The hazardous waste, in the end, is covered with soil.

Waste Segregation

Waste segregation is the method employed by every state across the world for better waste management and recycling. This method involves classifying waste into different categories and dedicating a special garbage can or waste bin for the disposal of waste. Most of the time the waste is classified into two categories, dry and wet. The dry category includes waste material like plastic, metals, and wood-related products whereas the wet category is related to organic leftovers of food. Moreover, this technique can increase the accessibility of recyclable waste material to the workers of the recycling sector. The success of this method is dependent on public participation.

 

 

 




Solid Waste Management at Household Level


Post Views:
0

As the cities across the globe are expanding, so is the consumption of resources is reaching an unprecedented level. Developed and developing countries alike face a dilemma that consumption of goods at the micro and macro level is increasing while managing this solid waste is becoming difficult. What we consume eventually becomes a part of our garbage cans, and if managed improperly eventually starts to occupy the space of our environment. It is reported by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) that almost 8 million tons of plastic become a part of oceans every year and the situation can aggravate if necessary measures are not timely devised.

Inclusive development is only possible if every aspect of development is addressed therefore, policies are designed such that unforeseen scenarios and minimal aspects of a problem can be addressed timely. Moreover, at a time when every aspect of development is scanned through sustainable development, solid waste management emerges as a core issue that needs an appropriate redressal. In a study conducted in the Philippines, it was estimated that households generate 3.2kg of waste per day and if we keep on moving up on the ladder the waste disposed of by industries, municipalities and agriculture will be way much more.

Graana.com highlights the importance of household waste management and how managing waste at the household level have a positive impact on the overall environment.  

 

Household Waste Management

The term ‘Household Waste Management’ refers to the collection, treatment, and disposal of waste at the household level. Solid waste from households is one of the major contributors to municipal waste. It is estimated by the World Bank that our planet generates 2.01bn of municipal waste per annum. Waste management has a great value attached to the conservation of resources, prevention of nature, and reduction of pollution however, the subject is unable to convert most of the waste into a useful resource due to lack of seriousness, resources, and innovation.  

One thing that is pertinent to mention here is that waste management is not only about reducing the size or incinerating the product rather it is also about managing the waste in a way that has no hazardous impact on the environment and conversion of waste into a useful product i.e. fuel, biomass, or a recycled product. Furthermore, it is being estimated that solid waste will reach 3.02bn tonnes by 2050.

‘Waste-to-Value’ is a concept in waste management that is about converting solid waste into a useful resource. Thus various techniques are employed to convert waste into fuel or recycled materials that help to reduce the burden on our environment.  Some of the important techniques include dry waste recycling, and wet waste composting. Similarly, the usefulness of the waste-to-value can be gauged from the fact that green gas houses are reduced 25 times more than incineration.

Following are the different ways in which solid waste can be reduced and managed at the household level

 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

This strategy has great significance in managing solid waste. As it suggests, solid waste at the household level can be brought down by changing our consumption pattern. For example, only those products should be bought which are necessary and sufficient for use, this can help to reduce the quantity of waste emanating from households. Similarly, instead of throwing away redundant items they should be reused or given to those who can still manage to reuse such things more suitably.  

Plastic bottles, paper, tin cans, and cardboard are the most common waste materials that are thrown away in the garbage. These materials do not belong to waste rather they can be recycled and converted into a useful resource. Municipalities often hire the services of recycling companies that collect recyclable materials from home and convert them into useful products.

 

Composting at Homes

Household kitchens throw away the remains of fruits and vegetables and yard waste in garbage which becomes a headache for different waste management authorities. A simple method of utilising food scraps and yard waste is thorough composting. Composting is a technique that helps to recycle organic waste by combining various organic materials like food scraps, dead leaves, eggshells, vegetable waste, and water. The composted compound acts as a fertiliser and can be used as a nutrient for the growth of plants. Therefore, this technique at the macro level can also convert waste to value.

 

Refuse Pits

Another method that can prove useful for managing waste at the household level is by digging pits for disposing of the waste that cannot be recycled. It is advised that a pit be dug at least 10 meters away from the home and 30-35 meters from the water source. The waste is thrown in the pit and covered with the soil so that it does not attract a site of diseases and infestations. Refuse pits can also be used to bury hazardous waste which can have serious health implications. For burying hazardous waste a base is prepared inside the dig so that the liquid does not seep into the ground. The hazardous waste, in the end, is covered with soil.

 

Waste Segregation

Waste segregation is the method employed by every state across the world for better waste management and recycling. This method involves classifying waste into different categories and dedicating a special garbage can or waste bin for the disposal of waste. Most of the time the waste is classified into two categories, dry and wet. The dry category includes waste material like plastic, metals, and wood-related products whereas the wet category is related to organic leftovers of food. Moreover, this technique can increase the accessibility of recyclable waste material to the workers of the recycling sector. The success of this method is dependent on public participation.