Waste segregation plan of KMC gathers dust

Kathmandu, October 22

Kathmandu Metropolitan City had introduced a new rule to make it mandatory for each household to segregate biodegradable and non-degradable waste at the source itself, in the last week of August, but the rule has not been implemented even after months.

KMC had claimed that it had started collecting segregated waste in Wards 12, 18 and 21 as a pilot project. It had also said it would collect biodegradable waste for fours days (Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) and non-biodegradable waste on remaining two days of the week.

But, people residing in the area around Nardevi and Basantapur said the waste collecting vehicle hardly came to their locality, once in a week. Officials of KMC have admitted that they had not been able to send waste collecting vehicles to the core areas of the city six days in a week due to some technical issues.

Bisesh Ranjit, a local of Makkhan in Basantapur, told THT that although he had heard about KMC’s new rule of collecting household waste, he had not seen any vehicles in his locality that were meant for collecting biodegradable or non-degradable waste. Ranjit added that it was a good initiative to segregate the waste at the source itself, but the government should be serious about implementing rules and plans.

While announcing the pilot project, KMC had said that vehicles with two different colours would be used to collect biodegradable and non-degradable waste, green vehicle for bio-degradable waste and red for non-degradable waste. However, KMC has done nothing in this regard so far.

A high-level source at KMC said that normally it would require a special vehicle to collect and transport bio-degradable waste, but KMC had proposed to collect the waste in old trucks and tractors by painting them green.

Chief of Environment Management Department at KMC Hari Kumar Shrestha said they were not able to implement the new rule due to the festive season.

“Lots of people, including KMC staffers left Kathmandu during Dashain which affected our plans. We will implement the new rule after Tihar,” he said.

KMC officials may have thousands of excuses for not implementing the rule, but it is very much clear that KMC has not made any preparations to implement the rule. KMC was supposed to build a new infrastructure at Teku for composting bio-degradable waste. But, no such infrastructure is in sight till date. This clearly shows how serious KMC is in implementing its new rule and gives enough room to doubt Shrestha’s promise.

Solid Waste Management Rules-2013 have made it mandatory for the waste producers to manage bio-degradable and non-degradable waste on their own. But, due to lack of systematic collection of such waste from the government side, people are reluctant to segregate the waste at the source.