Adoption of comprehensive integrated solid waste management for protecting environment

Director Sanitation, Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), Sardar Khan Zimri said that in a bit to achieve the vision of clean and green Pakistan, MCI has considered and finalized the land site for first-ever proper engineered sanitary landfill facility for the capital which will help resolve the issue of solid waste disposal and a report has been submitted to the government for further necessary actions.

Adoption of comprehensive integrated solid waste management for protecting environmentHe said this during a special seminar titled “Clean and Green Pakistan: Reforming the Waste Management Sector” organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) at Islamabad.

Sardar Khan Zimri said that to meet the financial challenges, MCI has decided to impose sanitation charges against collection of garbage at the door steps and suggestions from citizens of capital are welcome in this regard.

He expresses dissatisfaction over the behavior of the citizen and urged the citizen to be responsible in order to keep their surroundings clean. Everyday, around 550-600 tons waste produced in the capital and MCI collect all the waste on daily basis.

Dr. Imran S. Khalid, Research Fellow & Head Climate Change Unit, SDPI stated that a proper waste management system is virtually non-existent in Pakistani cities. This leads to open dumping of solid and hazardous waste which are a threat to human health.  Moreover, open burning of waste contributes to the growing menace of air pollution.

He emphasized the need for municipalities to work with civil society and private sector to develop effective and sustainable mechanisms for properly dealing with our growing waste problem.

Mohammad Hussnain, Operational Head, Rawalpindi Waste Management Company (RWMC) said that Rawalpindi city produce around 830 tons of waste every day, which RWMC, with obsolete resource equipment and limited workforce, is very efficiently (94%) collecting and disposing. He said that RWMC is working on the vision of zero landfill waste and for that RWMC is working on materializing a proper engineered sanitary landfill facility for Rawalpindi city. 

Jamil Asghar Bhatti, President, Solid Waste Association of Pakistan (SWAP) said that when the capital city was being planned, a proper waste landfill site for the city was ignored which led to current chaotic situation.

He said that a comprehensive and integrated solid waste management cycle has 6 steps including primary collection, transportation, recycling, disposal, motivation and organization.

He urged the government to adopt this comprehensive waste management cycle, where here stressed more on motivation and involvement of all stakeholders. He also called upon the government to strengthen the local government system for better solid waste management system.

Sumaira Gul, CEO, Akhtar Hameed Khan Memorial Trust while stressing on economic benefits associated with waste management system said that trash is cash and not a waste. She said that if private sector, particularly, social entrepreneurs engaged and facilitated, 22 industries, which are associated with solid waste, can help thrive and create employment opportunities.

Zoone Hasan Sultan, Environment Program Lead, Pak Mission Society emphasized the need for rehabilitation of environment for better healthy life through improved solid waste management practices.

Hassaan Sipra, Climate and Environmental Researcher COMSATS University stressed upon MCI and CDA to engage with schools and universities to help raise awareness and change societal behavior.