KMC is largest waste generatorKathmandu Metropolitan City alone accounts for around 70 percent of the total solid waste generated per day from the existing 58 municipalities in the country, a government data states.
The data, however, does not include the quantity of solid waste generated by an
additional 72 municipalities which were declared in May this year.
According to the findings of the Environment Statistics of Nepal 2013 published by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) recently, KMC alone generated 457 metric tons of solid waste per day in the fiscal year 2012-2013, while the total amount of wastes generated by the 58 municipalities was around 670 metric tons per day. After Kathmandu, the top five solid waste generators among the 58 municipalities are: Pokhara, Lalitpur, Kalaiya, Dharan and Butwal, which generate 83, 65, 52.1, 50.2 and 47 metric tons of solid waste per day. The municipalities generating lowest quantities of solid waste on a daily basis in the fiscal year 2012-2013 were Waling, Dipayal, Triyuga, Ramgram and Baglung.
Interestingly, the total solid waste generation from Kathmandu City was only 29.9 metric tons per day in the year 2006-2007, which drastically increased to 318.4 tons per day in the year 2009-2010. Since then, the solid waste generation started increasing at a significant rate. Of the total solid waste generated on a daily basis inside KMC, 63.2 percent is organic while plastic, paper, and glass constitute 10.8, 9 and 5.4 percent of the solid waste respectively as per the CBS statistics.
According to Sumitra Amatya, chief at the Solid Waste Management Technical Support Center, the exponential rise in population in various municipalities due to internal migration from across the country since 2006, the year which also saw restoration of peace from a decade-long armed conflict, and change in living standard including food habits of the people who started opting for fast foods, increased use of materials like plastics.
“Not only did we fail to minimise the waste generation, but instead increased the
volume of waste, particularly from the household level,” she said.
The significant rise in solid wastes inside KMC has not only contributed to environmental and social challenges such as river pollution, lack of landfill site and deplorable local environment, but has also caused huge economic loss to the government authorities due to their inability to properly manage
Amatya said there are municipalities like Ghorahi, Pokhara, Hetauda and
Ilam, which have been successful in minimising the generation of wastes by applying measures like reuse, recycle and reduction of wastes with the active involvement of locals.
“In the case of Kathmandu, the majority of public seem ignorant about proper management of solid waste that could have helped the city to mitigate the challenging solid waste problem,” she said.