Waste management: new challenge after the recent earthquake in Nepal

Type Journal Article - Current Science
Title Waste management: new challenge after the recent earthquake in Nepal
Volume 110
Issue 3
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
URL http://www.currentscience.ac.in/Volumes/110/03/0285.pdf
Solid waste management (SWM) is one
of the major challenges in the capital
city, Kathmandu in Nepal, where more
than 1.46 million people reside in an area
of 97 sq. km (ref. 1). Kathmandu valley
produces about 620 tonnes/day solid
waste from its five municipalities. The
existing mechanism has already been
struggling to manage the solid waste2
The solid waste generated from three
municipalities – Kathmandu, Lalitpur and
Bhaktapur – is being disposed at Sisdol
landfill in Nuwakot district (about 25 km
north of Kathmandu valley) since 2005
with a capacity of handling 275,000 tonnes
of waste. Similarly, lack of proper management
and mixing of the sewage system
directly into the Bagmati River and
its tributaries has turned the river water
black, leaving no possibility for aquatic
life. The recent earthquake in Nepal (25
April 2015, magnitude 7.8) has added to
the challenge of managing waste in the
Kathmandu valley, as an estimated
3.9 million tonnes of additional solid
waste has been generated from 73,624
destroyed houses in the valley3
. Finding
a place to dispose this extra waste material
is proving to be a challenge. Municipal
solid waste, earthquake rubble and
deteriorated quality of the river system
have collectively become a public health
hazard in Kathmandu.

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