This is the best prospect industry for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Pakistan generates about 48 million tons of solid waste a year, which has been increasing by more than 2 percent annually. Like other developing countries, Pakistan lacks waste management infrastructure, creating serious environmental problems. Most municipal waste is either burned, dumped or buried on vacant lots, threatening the health and welfare of the general population. The Government of Pakistan (GOP) estimates that 77,000 tons of solid waste is generated per day, mostly from major metropolitan areas. Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, generates more than 13,000 tons of municipal waste daily. All major cities face enormous challenges on how to manage urban waste. Bureaucratic hurdles, lack of urban planning, inadequate waste management equipment, and low public awareness contribute to the problem.

Existing Solid Waste Management System in Pakistan
Local and municipal governments are responsible for collecting waste throughout most of Pakistan’s major cities. About 60-70 percent of solid waste in the cities is collected. The waste collection fleet typically consists of handcarts and donkey pull-carts for primary collection; then open trucks, tractor/trolley systems, and arm roll containers/trucks for secondary collection and transport. Some municipalities hire street sweepers and sanitary workers to augment other collection methods. They use wheelbarrows and brooms to collect solid waste from small heaps and dustbins, then store it in formal and informal depots.

Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, utilizes three sanitary landfill sites, while Lahore, the country’s second-largest city, has two. Other major cities plan to build proper landfill sites. In many areas, solid waste is simply dumped outside the city limits. Solid waste management capabilities and systems vary by province. In Punjab, Lahore is the only city with a proper solid waste management, treatment, and disposal system, which was outsourced to Turkish companies Albayrak and OzPak. Similar systems are planned for other big Punjab cities. In Sindh, the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Infrastructure and Service Delivery Reform Program has provided $400 million to the Sindh Cities Improvement Investment Program (SCIP), which aims to improve solid waste management services in 20 secondary cities, and has issued tenders for a wide range of waste management projects (Source: Government of Sindh, In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Water and Sanitation Services Peshawar (WSSP) is planning to build a sanitary landfill. Balochistan, with a population of 6.9 million, has no significant infrastructure for the waste management system.

Much of Pakistan’s solid waste does not reach final disposal sites. In developed countries, most solid wastes generated winds up in landfills, incinerators, or other recycling centers. In Pakistan, much of the waste generated is recovered for recycling, mostly by scavengers, before it ever reaches disposal points.
Solid Waste Generation in Major Cities

 City  Population in million  Solid waste generation/day
 in tons
 Karachi  20,500,000  9,440
 Lahore  10,000,000  6,510
 Faisalabad  7,500,000  4,883
 Rawalpindi  5,900,000  3,841
 Hyderabad  5,500,000  3,581
 Multan  5,200,000  3,385
 Gujranwala  4,800,000  3,125
 Sargodha  4,500,000  2,930
 Peshawar  2,900,000  1,888
 Quetta  600,000  326
Source: Mr. Saadat Ali, USCS Pakistan contact from Project Procurement International, Pakistan, (website;


A composition of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) in Pakistan
Physical Composition of MSW by Percent

 Ash, Bricks, and Dirt  18%
 Glass  6%
 Textile  2%
 Cardboard  7%
 Food Wastes  30%
 Leather  1%
 Paper  6%
 Plastic  9%
 Rubber  1%
 Metal  4%
 Wood  2%
 Yard Wastes  14%
Source: United Nations Environment Programme, report on waste management in Pakistan (website:, June 2016)

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • Equipment: Waste collection and transportation
  • Chemicals: To remove waste odor from open landfill sites all over the country
  • Instrumentation
  • Waste to energy plants and equipment
  • Waste recycling plants
  • Biohazard waste equipment
  • Industrial and municipal wastewater treatment machinery

The local market has shown moderate growth in terms of its volume and FDI contribution over the past few years. Both the public and private sectors have or will initiate small- to large-scale projects, small-to-large scale waste collection, and waste treatment projects. According to industry experts, the local market will continue to offer sizeable business opportunities to local and foreign companies for the foreseeable future.

The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has announced a Competitive Upfront Tariff of U.S. $.10007/kWh for waste-to-energy projects based on a 25-year operational period, with the overall capacity cap of 250MW where the share to each province and Federal Territory has been kept at 50 MW each. The construction period for these power plants is limited to 24 months. Source: