Municipal – Solid Waste Management

Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSW) includes the collection and disposal of garbage created by human activity. In Pakistan, MSW is not properly regulated which results in a spread of diseases and degrades the environment. Research in MSW management in Pakistani cities has shown that not even half of the population has proper MSW management coverage. Mostly the trash is collected in open spaces, where it is periodically burned by locals or washed away in waterways and canals during rains. The relevant authorities responsible for MSW collection and its disposal create landfills next to rivers and canals, where the seasonal water flow changes wash away the rubbish while polluting the water and filling rivers and dams with rubbish that need to be dredged every year. Research has also shown that more than 35% of the MSW produced contains biological waste, like kitchen waste, fruit/vegetable cutting, bones, animal waste, food waste etc. Such rubbish can easily be converted into fertilizer, but the process involved produces foul smelling gas which hampers its use across Pakistan. Nowadays equipment is available that can accomplish this task with no gas leakage, and the municipal organizations across Pakistan should use such equipment to help reduce MSW production and increase fertilizer production. The remaining garbage should either be buried under leak proof landfills that ensure water in rivers and even underground water quality is not affected or the garbage should be burned in a Waste to Energy plant. Therefore I would like to request the Government of Pakistan to review and update the laws governing MSW management in Pakistan. A regulatory authority that should also act as planning and educating authority for MSW management should be created.