Municipal Solid Waste Management in Skardu: Current Status, and Corrective Measures
Keywords:Solid Waste Management, Skardu, GBWMC, Household Waste, Commercial Waste
Solid waste management (SWM) is a marginalized sector in Gilgit Baltistan, causing a frightening situation, especially in the municipal area of district Skardu. The total municipal area of Skardu is about 4260 sq. km with a population of approximately 112996. In line with other government departments, the Gilgit Baltistan waste management company (GBWMC) is responsible for collecting and dumping solid waste. The current study was devised to calculate, characterize, and analyze the past status, and current position of municipal solid waste (MSW) production, so that necessary management practices and corrective measures can be carried out more efficiently in the study area. A series of interviews of concerned persons as well as extensive field surveys were conducted. The method used by GBWMC to collect waste was: door-to-door collection, placement of waste bins, and collection from the arterial roads. Waste was collected manually in polythene bags, handcarts, and baskets. The findings revealed that approximately 45-50 tonnes of waste was generated per day in the winter and in the summer it increases to 50-55 tonnes. The average waste generation was 0.43 kg per capita per day and is increasing at a rate of 2.28% annually. The main sources of waste were commercial and household waste contributing approximately 60 % and 40% of the total waste production respectively. There was no scientific disposal system for the collected waste which is dumped on the dumping sites by utilizing available resources considering Environmental protection agency (EPA) regulations along the Indus River bank. Thus specific steps should be taken to develop a proper scientific disposal system of collected wastes by incorporating the experts' expertise and modern technologies.
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