Current Solid Waste Management Situation in Urban Areas of Pakistan

Current Solid Waste Management Situation
in Urban Areas of Pakistan

Solid waste management (SWM) is one of the major reasons of environmental degradation in
Pakistan. Inappropriate management of solid waste causes hazards to dwellers. Recent literature on current SWM practices in five major cities of Pakistan has been reviewed, and an effort has been made to provide a comprehensive review on the total amount of municipal solid waste generated, storage, collection, physical composition, transfer, processing and disposal of SW. There is an overall fragmented approach to the SWM in Pakistan. Inadequate waste collection system exists as it is collected only 51-69% of the total waste generated in a few major cities. Municipal collection of household waste is quite irregular and limited to high income areas. Generally, inadequate disposal service and no weighing facilities are installed at most of the disposal sites. There is a poor management of hazardous waste and under the current disposal practice no proper method is being employed. The review of the legal framework indicates that there is a need for detailed and clear regulations dealing specifically with solid waste. In addition, promotion of public awareness, legislation, financial and economic calculations, strengthen institutional capacity and regulations enforcement and establishment of a proper sanitary landfill are considered to be principal remedial measures to ensure sound environmental maintenance.

One of the consequences of the global urbanization is increasing volumes of solid waste. According to estimates about 1.3 billion metric tons of municipal solid waste was generated globally in 1990 (Beede & Bloom, 1995). At present, the yearly generation of solid waste equals to 1.6 billion metric tons approximately. A considerable amount of money goes into managing such huge volumes of solid waste. Asian countries alone spent about US$25 billion on solid waste management per year in the...