DOES THIS NOT DISGUST YOU?A Comprehensive Research on Pakistan’s Issues concerning Garbage Disposal and Government and Social Efforts to Improve Them
COURSE OF RESEARCH A variety of quality print and electronic sources was used to extract the material for the research. Arham Ahmad provided with a very good newspaper article regarding our topic. S.M. Umer Hasan found very good links regarding laws about garbage disposal in Pakistan. M. Areeb Nafey uddin Siddiqui found very good, reliable sites about types of garbage in Pakistan and how they should be handled.
THE PROBLEMThe Pakistani Nation is, sadly, enveloped in a mixture ofpolitical, social and environmental problems. One of thecountry’s major problems, concerning specifically theenvironment, is waste management. This is portrayedvery clearly in the urban, as well as rural areas, by large,unpleasing lots of accumulating, ever-increasing loads ofgarbage, which, due to improper ways of disposal, andlack of scientific lines, become breeding points forvarious disease-causing species.
TYPES OF GARBAGE IN PAKISTAN The garbage produced in Pakistan can roughly be classified into three types: Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Hospital Waste Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE: WHAT IS IT? Municipal Solid Waste is generallydescribed as useless or unwanted materialas a result of human or animal activity.This is most commonly solid, semi-solid orliquid waste.New technology and commercialization inrural areas have increased production thereas well.Alarmingly, the per capita production ofMSW in Pakistan per day is up to 0.612 kg,which increases by 2.4% annually. BACK
ACCUMULATION OF MSW: WHY? 97% of Pakistan’s landfills’ content consists of MSW. This accumulation is due to: No proper waste collection Dumping of waste on streets Unclassified waste: all types of waste dumped together Uncontrolled landfill sanitary sites Unawareness of hazards amongst public
INHOSPITABLE HOSPITAL WASTECaused by careless waste disposal byhospitals and other medical institutions, this isthe second major type of waste in Pakistan.Hospital Waste Management means themanagement of waste produced by hospitalsusing such techniques that will help to checkthe spread of diseases through it.Though medical institutes are not muchresponsible for release of chemicals, chemicalwaste also comes under this category.. BACK
IMPROPER DISPOSAL OF HOSPITAL WASTEIsthis way of disposal, by any means, correct and healthy?Won’t it encourage spread of diseases?
PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTS Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are foundin very little quantities in Pakistan; yet thesemake up 0.1 to 0.5% of all waste produced in thecountry.POPs are toxic synthetic organic chemicals that are used in industry andagriculture, as well as created unintentionally through chlorinecombustion processesIndustrial chemicals and other unwanted byproducts like Dioxins comeunder this category.These tend to accumulate in the fat layers of bodies, which makes theirgrowth a serious environmental issue.POPs are readily spread through air and/or water, therefore, theirproduction anywhere in the world is a serious global threat. BACK
HOW PERSISTENT ORGANIC POLLUTANTS ACTDo we think about the risks before we use the POPs?
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR GARBAGE ACCUMULATION? Neither the Government, nor the public can be held completelyresponsible for garbage accumulation in the country. This isevident especially in Karachi where at the biggest dumpsite ofJam Chakro (500 acres), no environmental checks exist. The siteis, therefore termed by the scientists as ‘a recipe for anenvironmental disaster’. The reason behind this are numerous;only a few are discussed here.Out of 9,000 tonnes of garbage produced everyday, only 5,000 tonnes reaches the government-designated landfills. It is this remaining 3,000 tonnes that forms those unsightly landfills at thecorners of every street.In the metropolis, Karachi, the urban landscape is dotted so frequently with the city’s landscapethat more or less, they merge with the sights of the city.Lack of coordination between the government and town nazims leads to uncontrolled amounts ofgarbage reaching the landfills.Organic, inorganic and non-biodegradable, old building material and hazardous waster, i.e.,chemical or hospital waste, all go unchecked and unclassified into the dumps. This variety of typesof garbage makes it almost impossible to handle the load of accumulated garbage.
SCIENTIFIC & HEALTH HAZARDS The only considered way of disposing off garbage in Pakistan is seen as burning. Pointing out the health hazards it poses, Dr. Nasiruddin Khan, senior faculty member of the University of Karachi (Chemistry Dept.) said that burning of garbage means release of toxic nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides, volatile organic chemicals and polycyclic organic matter. Moreover, he said that burning plastic also releases heavy metals and toxic chemicals such as dioxin. No check exists on this and people exposed to these generally complain of eye and nose irritation, breathing difficulties, coughing and headaches. Improper disposal of hospital waste contributes to spreading of dangerous diseases like Hepatitis A, B and C, chicken pox, AIDS, typhoid, etcetera. Burning of hospital waste can cause cancer, birth defects, decreased psychomotor ability, hearing defects, cognitive defects, etcetera. Persistent Organic Pollutions are not manageable and their disposing is highly contagious to human health.
WHAT ABOUT FUTURE?As all sorts of waste reaches the landfills, the dangersare not restricted to just land, but to air and water as well.As solid waste is burnt, and generally does not burn well,smouldering clouds are seen which smell toxic. What leftbehind is dirty smelling waste-a celebration for mosquitoes,rats and flies in near future.Waste is also often thrown into the naalas. This causeshigh-level water pollution. Plus, as garbage is also abreeding site for bacteria, methane gas is produced due towhich water is contaminated and is liable to quicklybecome unsafe for human and animal consumption.Over a period of time, this is expected to ruin theunderground water sources as well.
A VERY DISGUSTING VIEWThese are COCKROACHES on a dustbin with rotting rubbish!
ANOTHER VERY DISGUSTING VIEWA big swarm of mosquitoes and flies partying over a big dump ofuncovered garbage
EFFORTS IN THREE OTHER COUNTRIES TO REDUCEGARBAGE PROBLEMSEngland: Fishing was banned at the Thames River to reduce pollution. Fine wasimposed on those who tried to litter in the river. This was the strategy laterused for roads and parks as well.Germany The country played its role in controlling garbage by excessiverecycling. They also introduced a “Green Dot” system, which helped them cutdown the waste production up to one million tonnes.Singapore Last in the list is Singapore, which has made exemplary attempts tocontrol waste production. Campaigns like “Zero Waste Singapore” had a greatimpact for which is now the cleanest country of the world. Special emphasiswas laid on toxic waste control which preserved the nation’s scenic beauty.New recycling strategies were developed to make garbage sustainable.
PAKISTAN’S EFFORTS TO CONTROL GARBAGEThough laws exist, less of them are being enforced, andacted upon. Even the law-enforcing agencies are seenbreaking those laws. The government is making someefforts to minimize the rate of garbage production in thecountry, as indicated in the National Study forPrivatisation of Solid Waste Management in eight cities ofPakistan, EPMC, 1996. Based on this study, the Government of Pakistanenacted the Pakistan Environmental Protection Act (PEPA)in 1997—the most recent and updated legislation on theenvironment. It provides a framework for establishingfederal and provincial Environmental Protection Agencies(EPAs).
A FEW LAWS CONCERNING GARBAGE Presently, the legal rules and regulations dealing with solid waste management in Pakistan are as follows: Section 11 of Pakistan Environmental Protection Act prohibits discharge that violates National Environmental Quality Standards. Draft Hazardous Substances Rules of 1999. Islamabad Capital Territory Bye Laws, 1968, by Capital Development Authority Islamabad. Section 132 of Cantonment Act 1924 deals with deposits and disposal of rubbish. Provisions contained in Local Government Ordinance, 2001.
A RAY OF HOPE?The environmentalists should be happynow—the growth of awareness amongstyoungsters of the country of all financialclasses has led them to take action againstgarbage.Youngsters of Lahore’s Gulberg Town themselves formed a committeethey called ‘Zimmedar Shehri’ and devoted themselves to clear the townof unwanted waste wherever possible, only on Sundays. Though simple,it aims for a better environment of a country facing political instability.Another thing was seen recently in Islamabad, where the CapitalDevelopment Authority (CDA) actually fined a guy named Ahmed Aliwhen he was spotted throwing a disposable plate out of the window of arunning car in sector F-10 on 14th October 2011.
WHAT CAN I DO? As an individual, firstly try to minimise the amount of garbage you produce. Try to reuse, if possible, any of the refuse. Now for the big step: before dumping, make sure to classify the different types of garbage. Keep paper separate, plastic separate, wood separate, and so on. In this way you facilitate the landfill management to manage the landfill sites, and control the amount of garbage in the landfills.
BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR WRITTEN MATTER DAWN Metro and South, 3rd October 2011 DAWN Images, 8th May 2011 http://www.wwfpak.org/factsheets_mswf.php http://www.wwfpak.org/factsheets_hwf.php http://www.wwfpak.org/factsheets_popf.php http://www.environment.gov.pk/PRO_PDF/Po sitionPaper/Brief-SWM-%20Pak.pdf
A SINCERE ADVICE FROM M. Areeb Abdun Nafey uddin Siddiqui (Leader, Compilation, ICT Management) Syed Muhammad Umer Hasan (Research) Arham Ahmad (Research, Time Management) M. Sarrosh Khan (Spectator) Above mentioned are the group members of Group A3 of class IX-V, Generation’s School (South Campus).