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CDA needs solid waste treatment plant to address the issue

Islamabad

June 7, 2017

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Islamabad

The disposal of tonnes of garbage in Sector 1-12 along IJ Principal Road has been playing on the nerves of the people living in nearby vicinity and Capital Development Authority and Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad seems clueless to address this issue once and for all.

The dwellers of Westridge, Habib Colony, British Homes, Faiz Valley and other adjoining areas have been exposed to various diseases due to disposal of tonnes of garbage from different sectors of the metropolitan city on daily basis and its subsequent burning as nobody has paid attention to address this problem for years.

Talking to ‘The News’ Sumaria Gul, Programme Manager, Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan Memorial Trust said as in most of the developing countries, there is no proper waste management mechanism, Pakistan also presents the bleak picture of environment issues where solid waste is used as landfill or dumped in the open dumping sites which in turn degrades the environment and becomes a breeding ground for chronic diseases. She said that generally waste is managed by centralised approach. “Dumping of solid waste like the spot in Sector I-12 in Islamabad causes contamination of soil and ground water. Open dumping also increases carbon dioxide and decrease GHG, a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect which impacts climate and is a reason behind natural disasters,” she added.

Sumaira Gul also pointed out that dumping of solid waste in landfill or in the open also leads to spread of dangerous diseases like dengue, malaria, Hepatitis, typhoid etc.

However, she admitted that disposal of solid waste is not an easy task and requires a lots of financial resources to dispose of the solid waste properly. “Unfortunately, the garbage collected from all around Islamabad is dumped in Sector I-12 which has exposed the residents of several nearby localities to various dangerous diseases,” she bemoaned.

Making a handful of suggestions for Capital Development Authority, Sumaira Gul said the solid waste should be segregated and then processed for which Integrated Resource Recovery Centre (IRRC), operated by AHKMT at Jammu and Kashmir Cooperative Housing Society in G-15 sector, Islamabad is a proper platform. “It is a decentralised recycling and composting facility, which is built and operated at low costs by using limited mechanical technology, ensuring low operational costs and minimal equipment breakdowns. If CDA or Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad wants to utilise this facility for proper solid waste management then a waste treatment plant can be developed and handed over to a nongovernmental organisation or other private local company for proper disposal of solid waste,” she added.

AHKMT, she said has developed a model for solid waste management called ‘e-guard model’, which mainly focuses on the primary collection of the waste from selected house hold in a particular area. Their range could be expanded like the way waste is collected from Rawalpindi by Albayarak. The collected waste material is treated at the IRRC, which is a simple and cost effective model of solid waste management. “It only occupies 800 sq. meters of land and daily processes more than 4 tonnes of solid waste material collected from about 1,500 houses of sector G-15. The solid waste material is collected, segregated and processed by using modest technology for processing. It recovers valuable resources by converting organic waste into compost, which is later sold in the market as an end product and used as fertilizer. IRRC and E-Guard Waste Management Company can process waste on Rs500 per tonne, if a plant is developed for this process,” she claimed.

Sumaira Gul said that solid waste can become a resource for income if properly managed. "AHKMT has a slogan which rightly says ‘trash is cash’ and CDA or MCI can consider the proposal and follow AHKMT’s line and at least set up a recycling plant in federal capital to resolve the problems faced by residents of Sector I-12 and nearby localities once and for all besides benefiting from the plant financially by selling the fertilisers to nurseries and agricultural purposes," she added.

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