Garbage piled up in Kathmandu will take a month to clear

The collection of garbage, piled up in the Kathmandu Valley for nearly a month now, has resumed from Wednesday.

A meeting held between the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), Kathmandu District Administration Office and other stakeholders on Tuesday afternoon decided to resume garbage collection in Kathmandu.

However, KMC estimates that it will take about a month to collect the accumulated garbage even if it is picked up at full capacity on a regular basis.

According to Hari Kumar Shrestha, Chief of the Environment Department at KMC, it will take at least four weeks to clear the garbage piled up in the city even if about 150 vehicles regularly transport the waste to the landfill site at Sisdol in Nuwakot.

According to the demand of Sisdol locals, vehicles carrying garbage will be allowed to go to the landfill site only from 4 am to 4 pm.

Currently, 30,000 tons of garbage is piled up in the Kathmandu Valley and only 1,000 tons of garbage can possibly be transported to the landfill site daily.

According to government data, an average of 1,054 tons of garbage reaches Sisdol daily from Kathmandu Metropolitan City and surrounding municipalities under normal circumstances. An average of 517 tonnes of garbage should be collected daily from Kathmandu and 537 tonnes from the surrounding cities including Lalitpur Metropolitan City on a daily basis.

130 tons of garbage is collected from Lalitpur metropolitan area and taken to the landfill site regularly. Similarly, Gokarneshwar municipality produces 60 metric tons of garbage daily. Nagarjuna, Tokha, Tarkeshwar and Budhanilkantha municipality areas each produce 35 metric tons of garbage.

According to KMC officials, transportation of waste to the Sisdol landfill site might be affected if it continues to rain.

Kathmandu Valley streets have been reeking of rotting garbage for a month now as the road leading to Sisdol, the only landfill site for 18 municipalities of the valley, remains in dire condition due to monsoon rains.

Kathmandu Chief District Officer Kali Prasad Parajuli informed that the Department of Roads had committed to repairing the road immediately.

In addition, residents of Sisdole had been stopping the garbage lorries from reaching the dumping site after a 70-year-old woman of Kakani Rural Municipality-1 died on August 22, who allegedly succumbed to cholera. Locals claimed that the woman lost her life due to an ‘outbreak caused by improper management of garbage’.

KMC reached a 14-point agreement with Sisdol residents on Tuesday evening, following which the locals agreed not to obstruct the transportation of garbage trucks.

The locals had been demanding a compensation of Rs 2.5 million to the family of the deceased, repairing the road and immediate implementation of the agreements reached earlier with the Sisdol Victims’ Struggle Committee.

Planting trees in local areas, constructing public toilets, providing sports equipment to local youth groups and schools, stopping garbage trucks from being parked in the Tinpiple-Sisdol section, among other things are the points of agreement reached between KMC and the locals.