Resources Himalaya Foundation organized a talk program on “Solid Waste Management in Urban Cities of Nepal: Policy and Perspectives” on July 04, 2022. The program was moderated by Mr. Haribol Acharya (Environmentalist). The panelists were Mr. Lawa Shrestha (Mayor, Manthali Municipality); Ms. Sarita Rai (Chief, Environment Department, Kathmandu Metropolitan City); and Dr. Dhundi Raj Pathak (Geoenvironmental Engineer and Solid Waste Management Specialist).
Dr. Pathak highlighted the trend of solid waste in Nepal, its emergence, and recommended possible smart, technology driven solutions, and approaches. Ms. Rai talked about the current interventions and gaps in operation, policy, and the initiations taken to tackle the issue by Kathmandu Metropolitan City. Mr. Lawa Shrestha talked about the challenges facing by Manthali Municipality in terms of resources, knowledge, and their further plans based on the local scenario. A discussion on the trend and pattern of solid waste including the change on its composition were highlighted. It cannot be denied that the major problem has emerged due to the failure of segregation of waste at the point of generation. As a result the huge amount of waste generated has created problems in the existing landfill sites and to solve it alternative sites are being explored. But this only means that we are shifting the same problem to another place.
From the government’s standpoint, some steps towards solid waste management is praiseworthy to some extent as solid waste management policy is in the phase of its amendment and some municipality; Bhaktapur, Dhankuta, Dharan are doing good in the management through their own. Limited human resources, access to road to dumping site due to seasonal rain, are the challenges Kathmandu Metropolitan is facing. However creating a systematic approach to waste management; segregation of waste is in the process of implementation. A smart techniques is still required to be incorporated in addition with proper planning. Manthali Municipality is in the plan to coordinate with Ramechhap Municipality for its waste management. Also the municipality is trying to incorporate the concept of waste to money. Proper budget allocation and the community mainstreaming are the challenges, Manthali Municipaly is going through. Thus, as recommendations; proper plannings with a strong inter-municipality coordination alongwith coordination between committee and local level as well as knowledge exchange between government, specialist and private sectors is much needed approach for a better solid waste management in urban cities of Nepal. Also during the creation of waste management plan, whether the waste is to be managed or commercialized need to be taken into consideration. The program ended with closing remarks from Dr. Dinesh Raj Bhuju, General Secretary at Resources Himalaya Foundation.