THE SITUATION OF WASTE IN NEPAL
Ever wondered where all of your household waste ends up?
According to the Central Bureau of Statistics of Nepal, 2,232.7 metric tonnes of garbage was collected by municipalities on average in 2019 to 2020 from households, institutions, business / commercial complexes, and restaurants, among others.
With urbanization increasing at an alarming rate, managing the ever-increasing amount of waste produced by households has been a big challenge in Nepal. In fact, most of the wastes generated in municipalities are not adequately managed, creating serious health and environmental hazards, especially in the lower income areas.
The Status of Waste Collection in Nepal
Wastes collected in Nepal are usually categorized into three types – organic waste, inorganic waste, and other waste.
Organic wastes include paper, textile, and agricultural waste whereas inorganic consists of plastics, glass, metal, rubber, and minerals. Any waste that doesn’t come under these categories are considered other wastes.
Based on past research, most wastes collected are organic at 54%, followed by inorganic waste at 33.3%, and the remaining 12.7% categorized as other wastes.
Since there is an extremely low percentage of people who segregate waste, all the waste is collected into the same area. Furthermore, due to lack of manpower, municipalities use unsustainable methods of waste management:
48.6% of municipalities use landfills
32.1% manage waste by burning them
27.4% dump on the riverbanks
The Consequences of Unregulated Waste Management
Due to such haphazard methods of waste management, people living nearby usually suffer from headaches, diarrhea, respiratory problems, skin diseases, and more.
These improper waste management methods also cause a negative impact on the surrounding environment, making agricultural soil infertile, polluting the aquatic ecosystem, and emitting foul odours to name a few.
The Way Forward
The above waste management techniques are not sustainable and pose a major threat to the population of Nepal. Major cities have been creating awareness about the segregation of solid waste at the source, however, the implementation hasn’t been very successful so far.
With governmental support and initiatives sorely lacking, one way forward is the private waste management industry which is where we come in.
Waste Concern not only collects and manages waste correctly, we also focus our efforts towards building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and fostering innovation in our sector. We also actively promote sustainable consumption and production patterns through awareness campaigns in our communities.
By working together with other organizations such as upcyclers, we also seek to create meaningful partnerships that will lead the country to sustainable development.