Fails to dispose 2,000 tons waste
Abu Sazzad: Dhaka is producing around 6000 tons of waste every day but 4,000 wastes is collected by the authorities concerned especially from the two city corporations DNCC and DSCC. The remaining 2,000 tons waste is polluting the environment, according to a recent report of the World Bank (WB).
On the other hand, sources said, the total waste collection rate is 37 percent in Dhaka.When waste is not properly collected, it will be illegally disposed of and this will pose serious environmental and health hazards to the city people, said experts.
Bangladesh solid wastes make an incredible environmental hazard and social problem in city lives. A massive volume of solid waste is generated every day in the city areas and unfortunately solid waste management is being deteriorated day by day due to the limited resources in handling the increasing rate of generated waste. Rapid urbanization has made solid waste management a serious problem today. The urban area of Bangladesh generates approximately 16,015 tons of waste per day, which adds up to over 5.84 million tons annually. It is projected that this amount will grow up to 47,000tons/ tons/day and close to 17.16million tons per year by 2025, due to growth both in population and the increase in per capita waste generation. Based on the present total urban population, per capita waste generation rate is found at 0.41 kg/capita/day in urban area of Bangladesh.
Existing infrastructure for waste management showed that waste collection efficiency in different urban areas varies from 37% to 77% with an average of 55%. The overall waste collection situation is not very satisfactory. Huge amount of uncollected waste, a high proportion of which is organic, makes nuisance and pollutes the local environment rapidly. Solid waste disposal poses a greater problem because it leads to land pollution if openly dumped, water pollution if dumped in low lands and air pollution if burnt.
Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh is facing serious environmental degradation and public-health risk due to uncollected disposal of waste on streets and other public areas, clogged drainage system by indiscriminately dumped wastes and by contamination of water resources near uncontrolled dumping sites.
In this perspective, Environmental Management Measure (EMM) model will be a useful approach for sustainable and effective solid waste management in Dhaka city and other urban areas of Bangladesh. Many countries implemented this measure and acquired successful outcome by improving environmentand its effective management.
Due to huge and densely populated city, solid waste problem in Dhaka city is very acute in comparison to many cities of the developing countries. Some 200 Metric Tons of hospital and clinical waste is a mixture of toxic chemicals, radioactive elements and pathological substances. 15 to 20 percent of edical wastes are highly dangerous for human lives. These waste when dumped with other municipal wastes in the open land poses threat to serious health hazard to the city people.
The nature of solid waste is changing over time and with development. Of the solid wastes plastic and polyethylene goods also cause problems towards human health, environment and drainage system.
Talking to Daily Industry, Prof Nazrul Islam said Most of the rivers are badly polluted by different industrial and household wastes. The government hasn’t ensured pure and safe water for city dwellers. Crores of liters of water are being boiled for purification by burning huge amounts of gas every day. Many buildings have been constructed without proper designs which defy the building code. These things are making the city unworthy of living.”
Moreover, the environment expert claimed that Dhaka’s air is highly polluted mainly due to brick kilns, unfit vehicles, the unusual growth of dust from construction work, and rundown roads, which are also taking a heavy toll on the public health.
He lamented that the Environment Ministry has failed miserably to play any effective role in dealing with the alarming incidents of pollution or enforcing the existing laws.
He unanimously believe that proper plans with appropriate implementation and maintenance, strict enforcement of law, decentralization, effective coordination among the government bodies, an active role of the Environment Ministry and the government’s strong commitments are imperative to make Dhaka a livable city.
The World Health Organization termed Dhaka is one of the mostly polluted cities. The municipal solid waste is being generated at a faster pace, posing a serious management threat. It is true that our rapid growth of industries, lack of financial resources, inadequate trained manpower, inappropriate technology and lack of awareness of the community are the major constraints of solid waste management for the fast-growing metropolis of Dhaka. The contributions of different sectors to the total generation of Dhaka city, where nearly 76 per cent of generated waste came from the residential sector, 22 per cent came from the commercial sector, 1 per cent from the institutional sector and rest from other sectors. Approximately 0.5 per cent of all hazardous wastes produced are of biomedical origin.
On the other hand, the Dhaka City Cooperation estimated that, of the total daily generation of 3500 tons of solid waste, among these 1800 tons are collected and dumped by the city corporation, 900 tons go to backyard and land filling, 400 tons go to road side and open space, 300 tons are recycled by the Tokais (mostly the children of slum dwellers), and 100 tons are recycled at the generation point. If we see the past scenario of waste in 2005, the city generated 3,200 tons waste a day. It means waste generation has increased by 90 per cent in the last 10 years. About 86 per cent residents are displeased for mismanagement of waste management system in Dhaka city. 57 per cent residents think that the whole footpath is covered by wastes and there is no place for public. 49 per cent residents demand that waste is the one of the major reasons of traffic jam. As Dhaka turns into a Mega city infested with bustles (slums) and squatters, its environmental problems are becoming complex.
However, average waste generation in hospital and clinics was estimated at 1 kg /bed/ day. Although medical waste constitutes about 5.7 percent of total waste and collected by Dhaka City Corporation every day. When these mixed with other waste, it creates contaminate the entire lot. However, our hospital and clinical wastes are responsible for degradation of our environment in the city corporation and increasing the silent epidemics of infectious diseases e.g. Viral Hepatitis, Typhoid, Pneumonia, Gangrene etc.
Apart from this, around 7,000 industries at Dhaka city are discharged tons of untreated hazardous wastes and polluting the four rivers, canals and low-lying areas. Among four of our rivers Balu and Turag are the most dangerous. Buriganga fed oil, chemicals and river pollution goes unabated. The riverbank near Keraniganj shows the accumulated thick residue of chemicals, engine oil and other waste dumped freely here. The washing plants of readymade garment factory are gurgling effluent into the nearby water bodies
Polythene causes health hazards and affects soil quality and agriculture City dwellers use 6 million to 7.5 million pieces of polyethene every day. Of this, only 20 per cent are collected and recycled. Every year 180 to 200 million poly bags are abandoned.
Due to lack of motivation, awareness, commitment, expertise as well as money a considerable portion of wastes, 40-60 per cent, are not properly stored, collected or disposed in the designated places for ultimate disposal, said experts.