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The Ruhr: built on energy

RecShow '08

Middle East Recycling, Waste & Environmental
Management Exhibition & Congress

Successfully Concluded on Feb. 19th , 2008


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Solid Waste Management Issues for Northern Sindh (Pakistan) Cities

Eng. Azhar Ali
Aqwadem Consulting,
Email: azharrali[at] , aliazhar[at]
E.fax: +1 248 741 6570


This paper discusses the situation in Northern Sindh (Pakistan) cities where climate is relatively hot and municipalities do not have sufficient resources to handle solid waste.


This study included cities of Sukkur, Larkana, Shikarpur, & Khairpur from the Northern Sindh (Pakistan). Current population of these cities is about 1.2 million which is projected to be doubled in 20 years. Similarly the produced waste is also foreseen to rise from existing 700 tonnes/day to 1500 tonnes/day. All these cities do not have enough human or financial resources to manage the solid waste system efficiently.

There are many models being suggested for improvement of the existing situation. However it should never be forgotten that any solution should be in accordance with local climate, socio-economic and culture constraints. The region is relatively hot with average temperature within 30 degrees Celsius for whole year. People are quite poor and there exists a strong feudal system in the region. Culture is mainly of extreme nature with extreme friendship and extreme enmity.
This hot climate provides various advantages for the solid waste management as compared to areas in cold regions. The high temperatures allow quick evaporation of the water content from the waste and thus reducing the smell problems and leachate flow. Recyclables present no more than 20% of the total waste under existing conditions. Almost 50% of this is sorted and sold at source and remaining is handled by local buyers.

All of these cities have un-even terrain with lot of ponds and shallow lands in the area. A very widespread practice for waste dumping is to dump the waste in shallow lands to get them available for construction. A small colony in Sukkur has been developed above the abandoned waste dump without any remediation or rehabilitation and situation is also similar for other cities of the region. A common belief that waste packed in a plastic bag when dumped becomes more stable than brick makes people to pay to the municipality drivers to dump waste at the selected site. However this practice is also destroying the marsh lands along the river banks.
Municipalities in the area are trying hard to cope with increased waste problem and some have chosen the privatization as an option. However the complex power and responsibility sharing system in the area is hindering the quick solutions. Unfortunately major players in solid waste in the country are not very interested in getting involved mainly due to issues like, less volume of waste produced, less recyclables, poor neighborhood and municipalities unable to pay for services. However there are some advantages also and most important of them is hot climate, allowing the development of dry landfill system which is more economical and easy to rehabilitate than conventional system.

Organized by: Walid Hikmat

RAK, United Arab Emirates

Tel: +971 50 374 0617

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