Dhaka’s waste management system has seen no remarkable improvement over the past years. One does not need to be an expert to understand Dhaka’s poor waste management system that has been deteriorating the environment of this teeming capital over the years. Haphazard waste dumping under open sky is a contemptible image of Dhaka’s filthiness, and efficient waste management has been a challenging task for Dhaka City Corporation authorities. With increasing rate of population the waste generation rate of the capital is also increasing at a startling rate.
In order to deal with the increasing waste generation rate, a strategic, holistic and sustainable waste management practice should be reinforced in no time.
Experts are of the opinion that lack of awareness among people, lack of financial resources, rapid growth of industries, inadequate trained manpower, lack of technical support are the major constraints of waste management of the metropolis. What is more worrying is that Water Supply and Sewerage Authority and Dhaka South City Corporation are jointly dumping millions of tonnes of trash and garbage without treatment into the river Buriganga.
There is the need for creating consciousness amongst city dwellers
to develop a well-organized practice of waste disposal through media
demonstrations and campaigning programme
It is shocking to learn that there are allegations against WASA and City Corporation for taking a fixed amount of money from dwellers every year in the name of setting up liquid waste treatment plant though no measures related to waste treatment plants are visible till now.
Every day Dhaka generates seven thousand metric tonnes of waste, of which around 50-60 per cent is gathered in selected waste disposal sites. Roughly, 20 per cent is collected and recycled and the rest remains uncollected and scattered on the roads or heaped in the drains hindering the total drainage system.
Such a poor waste management system is putting public health in jeopardy while causing air pollution, water pollution and environmental degradation.
It is high time to reform the entire waste disposal, waste treatment and waste management system of Dhaka. In this regard, the government has to develop a legal and strategic framework based on a new and reinvigorated perception of the present environmental situation of Dhaka. We must find alternatives to open dumping with environment-friendly options and waste recycling should be considered as a treatment option prior to disposal.
In this regard, we have to develop new and efficient scientific ways for recycling of waste. Also, there is the need for creating consciousness amongst city dwellers to develop a well-organized practice of waste disposal through media demonstrations and campaigning programme.