Look, breath around clear the air and don’t litter around

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Syeda samrah Manal

 

The earth is being polluted as the inhabitants are increasing rather quickly. The countries are unable to manage waste being produced with this rapid growth. Developing countries are mostly the one’s unable to manage waste. Pakistan is one of those developing countries. With population of 24,000 million with waste being produced is 12,000 tons. Among which 14% of waste is dumped on the streets. Wastes sites pollute all segments of environment, including soil, water and air.

As Karachi being densely populatedit is unable to manage waste due to which a lotof waste found on streets,empty plots, place of generation, in drains causing blockages in sewage system or on road sides. Karachi is governed by a city district government and is split into six districts with further divisions into 18 sub-districts or “tehsils”. Every “tehsil” is administratively separated into 178 union councils which manage solid waste.Under City District Government Karachi (CDGK), there are two cantonment boards which include the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) and District Municipal Corporation (DMC), which control the solid waste management system in Karachi.

Today the term waste management covers collecting, sorting, processing, recycling and reusing materials that would otherwise be considered as useless.The ratio of solid waste increasing in urban cities has also increased the need to implement important steps to improve the current situation.Composition of solid waste generally comprises of plastic and rubber, metal, paper and cardboard, textile waste, glass, food waste, animal waste, leaves, grass, straws, fodder, bones, wood and stones.

Different measures are needed to ensure waste management strategies to implement the process of waste collection and disposal. Solid waste management rises a serious threat to the local government because of leftovers. Citizens of Karachi should be educated on how to dump waste. The common practice of people is to dump waste on nearest convenient spot.Throwing of waste products from household, office, and street litter as well as synthetic waste in streets, parks, and railway tracks give rise to diseases and pollutes the environment. Solid waste being burnt opening emits smoke and causes air pollution. Trucks that transport the waste are not properly closed due to which it causes hygiene issues. Sewerages are open which causes problems during monsoon season.

These factors boost waste management problems. Municipalities are obliged to maintain sewerage garbage system to ensure them clean and environmental safety but because of mismanagement the city is facing huge crisis. It poses serious health and environmental hazards.Moreover, a large amount of hospital waste is also produced in the country which is around 250,000 tons, annually produced from all sorts of health care facilities. Few hospitals even burn their waste as a result of which a large amount of highly toxic gases is produced.

Countries all around the globe are building waste to energy plants to rid its urban areas of their growing waste problem, while generating electricity as a byproduct. China once use to produce 5,000 tons of waste each day.With a population of 20 million people, the city produces a lot of waste: about 15,000 tons daily according to Architects waste-to-energy plant, which will be used by the plant to generate electricity. The process captures heat from incinerating unwanted waste materials, which drives a turbine to generate electricity.This capacity has increased annually by 26% over the past five years.

Recycling is among the most effective means through which solid waste can be reduced and natural resources can be conserved by reusing materials and putting them back into productive use. While Pakistan does not have formal recycling facilities, an informal recycling industry continues to thrive. Waste that is not managed properly increases economic cost for residents of the area and is also an environmental hazard. Recyclable material markets are growing rapidly around the globe.

With revenue generation capacity of $160 billion annually, more than 1.5 million people worldwide are employed in this industry. Japan’s waste market stood at $67 billion in 2000 and United States at $47 billion in 2003. Developed countries export solid waste to developing countries where it is used in secondary and recycling industries.

Asia consists mostly of developing countries, which are the potential markets for secondary and recycled material. At present there are more than 800 incineration plants worldwide of which, around 400 are in Europe, and 236 are in Japan alone. Waste-to-energy incineration plants are producing more power than all world’s wind turbines and solar panels projects. Incineration plants in Europe provide 27 million inhabitants with electricity. Japan’s incinerating plants produce energy equivalent to a nuclear power plant.  Waste is handled in various ways; that is: recycling, burning, and burying.

The basic objective around the good with respect to waste is either to generate electricity, produce fertilizers and recycle it. Nowadays Europe is recycling 4% of its municipal waste and US 32%. China is investing US$ 6.3 billion to achieve its target of recycling 30 percent of its waste by 2030.

Many rules have been made to stop illegal dumping like: in 1997, Pakistan Environmental Protection Act was proposed to protect environment from pollution in also dealt with conversion or renewal of resources. This law authorizes to charge penalties for violation of National Environmental Quality Standards.

With the same objective in mind, The National Sanitation Policies were established by the Federal Government in September 2006 (Ministry of Environment, 2006). The goal was to emphasize the three R’s which are; recycling, reduction, and reuse. There are other laws to prevent illegal dumping, but the people don’t follow them, and authorities have failed to im

plement them. DMCs complain that they do implement laws and rules related to solid waste management, but the citizens of Karachi do not follow them. Since there is no strict implementation of rules imposed by the authorities, people are in the habit of not following them.