Solid Waste Management in Karachi

Solid waste means any garbage, residue, sludge from a wastewater treatment plant, water supply treatment plant or air pollution control facility and other discarded materials including solid, liquid, semi-solid or contaminated gaseous material, emanating from industrial, commercial, mining and agricultural operations. The types of wastes or garbage generated are: household, commercial, institutional and street sweepings. Sanitary workers sweep streets and provide a primary waste collection service. It is estimated that the city of Karachi generates 6,000 tons of solid waste every day. About 1,400 tons of waste per day is picked by street pickers from the garbage, about 600 tons of recyclable waste per day is separated at source by housewives. Garbage is collected from the five District Municipal Councils (DMCs) of Karachi and transported to the Karachi Municipal Corporation (KMC) landfill site. In future, there will be increasing quantities of plastic, non-disposal waste and toxic waste in our households, which will require new and much more expensive ways of disposal. Waste generation industries that make non-degradable products are a problem of the solid waste management system. Packaging is one of the major sources of waste paper and plastics. Packaging should be minimal. Its production should be environmentally clean and it should be made up of materials that can be reused or recycled repeatedly. In Pakistan solid waste management is a significant problem. In spite of the fact that many policies are being formulated for the protection of the environment from solid waste, these policies are somewhat implemented only in cities. In rural areas of Pakistan, the garbage is dumped in open places. Some of the significant features of solid waste management show that the composition of solid waste in Pakistan that comes from different sources has a high percentage of organic waste. House to house collection of solid waste should be organized. Littering of solid waste should be prohibited in cities, towns and urban areas. Proper segregation would be vital for scientific disposal of waste.