Dhaka's Waste Management Challenges and Initiatives

Dhaka's struggle in waste management

Dhaka's struggle in waste management

Proper waste management remains a significant challenge for Dhaka's city officials, necessitating both infrastructural development and public awareness. Recent initiatives by the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) highlight ongoing efforts to address these issues. This report explores the current state of waste management in Dhaka, public response, and future plans for improvement.

Exhibition Highlights the Waste Issue

A recent waste exhibition organized by DNCC showcased a variety of items disposed of in the city's canals, ranging from show-pieces and rickshaws to sofas and mattresses. This event aimed to raise public awareness about the consequences of improper waste disposal. Residents like Azim Bakhsh, from Gulshan, expressed that such exhibitions are crucial for misleading citizens about their role in waste management. However, he emphasized that systemic issues, such as the disposal of liquid waste into Gulshan Lake, also need to be addressed.

Public Awareness and Citizen Responsibility

The DNCC and DSCC have both taken steps to enhance waste management infrastructure and public awareness. The DNCC has conducted a special campaign with the voluntary organization BD Clean, removing over 258,000 tons of floating waste from 29 canals up to May this year. DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam emphasized the need for citizens to avoid throwing waste into water bodies to prevent waterlogging during rains.

Infrastructure Developments

To improve waste management, both city corporations have shifted to a door-to-door waste collection system, eliminating small neighborhood dustbins. Instead, waste is collected directly from residences and transported to Secondary Transfer Stations (STS). DNCC has established 27 STSs across its 54 wards, while DSCC has 61 STSs in its 75 wards. These stations consolidate waste before it is transferred to larger landfills at Matuail and Aminbazar.

Legal Framework and Penalties

The Solid Waste Management Rules (2021) include provisions for penalties against improper waste disposal, with fines up to two lakh taka and potential imprisonment. Syed Mahbubul Alam Tahin, editor of the Save the Environment Movement (PABA), advocates for strict enforcement of these laws to ensure compliance and maintain cleanliness in the city. He suggests that empowering local governments to impose fines could enhance waste management at the grassroots level.

Future Initiatives: Waste-to-Energy

The government is exploring waste-to-energy projects as a sustainable solution to Dhaka's waste problem. Local Government Minister Tajul Islam announced plans for generating electricity from waste at the Amin Bazar landfill, financed by China Machinery Engineering Corporation. Similar proposals are under review for DSCC. Deputy Chief Waste Management Officer Mohammad Shahab Uddin confirmed that while these initiatives are promising, their implementation will require more time.

Challenges and Expansion of Landfills

City officials acknowledge that the capacities of Dhaka's two main landfills—Matuail and Aminbazar—are nearing their limits. Expansion and modernization projects are underway to extend their operational life and incorporate recycling programs. These improvements aim to reduce the volume of waste requiring landfill space, ultimately making waste management more efficient.

Dhaka's waste management system is undergoing significant changes aimed at improving efficiency and sustainability. The combined efforts of DNCC and DSCC, along with increased public awareness and stricter law enforcement, are crucial for addressing the city's waste challenges. Future initiatives, such as waste-to-energy projects, offer promising solutions but require careful planning and implementation. Public cooperation and responsible waste disposal remain essential for the success of these efforts, ensuring a cleaner and healthier environment for all Dhaka residents.


পাঠকের মন্তব্য