II. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS OF UNSUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
B. Major brown or ambient environmental problems
3. Solid wastes
Municipal solid waste collection and disposal services in NWFP are poor. Much of the waste remains on the streets and at the roadside. Peshawar Municipal Corporation (PMC) is responsible for municipal solid waste operations in Peshawar, with masonry dustbins and depots providing on-site storage. About 40 per cent of the waste is collected by ordinary trucks for disposal at the Mithra open dump. Low-temperature burning of these wastes is a common practice.
In Peshawar, between 300 and 450 tons of garbage is generated daily, which is 0.35 kg per capita compared with Karachi where the per capita generation of solid wastes is 0.4-0.7 kg daily. Some 30 per cent of that waste is disposed of in suburban agricultural fields as a manure, a practice which is potentially very dangerous for human health. The remaining waste is dumped in an old kiln depression around the southern side of the city. Afghan scavengers, locally known as kabarhi walla and mainly comprising young children, play a very important role in the collection of recyclable materials such as iron, paper, plastics, old clothes etc., not only in Peshawar but also in other urban areas of the province. Hayatabad township, where the Peshawar Development Authority (PDA) is responsible for the collection and management of solid waste, generates 35 to 40 tons of commercial and domestic waste daily. PDA only manages to collect about 27 tons of and the remaining waste lies in open plots (Lawal, 1996).
The Environmental Protection and Resource Conservation Project, which is funded by the World Bank, has a waste management component. Until now the project has mainly been limited to studies of the existing system of solid waste management and the composition of waste. The study on the composition of waste in Peshawar revealed that 65 per cent of the samples were compostable (organic) and the remaining 35 per cent was non-compostable (non-organic) waste. The Federal Republic of Germany and the provincial government of NWFP are implementing a project which is aimed at improving the urban environment in Peshawar, with technical assistance from GTZ. The project period is from 1996 to 1998 and comprises four major components including: a vehicle emissions testing station, which will be installed in the near future; solid waste disposal; tanneries; and brick kilns. A scheme for the disposal of hospital waste has already been reflected in the ADP for 1995/96 at a total cost of PRs 25 million (Planning, Environment and Development Department, 1995/96).