CDA urged to use waste for energy generation

ISLAMABAD - Funds can be generated by using solid waste for electricity and gas generation to overcome energy crisis and the Capital Development Authority (CDA) may take it as a pilot project to act as a role model for other cities.

Federal Secretary for Science and Technology Ikhlaq Ahmad Tarar expressed these views while addressing the inaugural ceremony of ‘International Symposium on Solid Waste Management’, organized by Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) here Friday.

The PSF organized the symposium to take up urban, hospital and industrial waste issues that need to be addressed urgently as inefficient disposal of waste is the main source of pest attack on economic crops and poor practices adopted for waste disposal have become one of the leading causes of health problems and environmental deterioration.

The federal secretary said, “It is very unfortunate that we are unable to handle the issue of solid waste management and, as a result, citizens are facing its hazardous effects.” He was of the view that certain governance issues and mafia involved in business of solid waste are the main reasons for inappropriate solid waste management.

He appreciated the PSF for providing a platform to different organisations to sensitise them on this very important issue. He called upon the stakeholders to sit together and chalk out strategies for appropriate management of solid waste.

Dr Giulia Costa, an international expert on waste management from University of Rome, Italy, delivered a presentation on waste management. She elaborated types and composition of solid waste in different countries and methods being used for its management. She also spoke on hazardous and non-hazardous solid waste. 

Dr Costa said landfill sites, biological and thermal treatments were main methods to manage the solid waste. The expert said after treatment only residues should be disposed of at landfill sites. She said waste treatment plants failed in many countries as they made a lot of mistakes due to poor designing and lake of skills. She said biological and thermal treatment methods can be used in Pakistan for solid waste management.

He said avoiding generation of solid waste is most preferable and its disposal is least preferable. She said best management is first to avoid solid waste generation “and if not possible, we should reduce it, recycle and treat it.”

PSF Chairman Prof Dr Manzoor H Soomro said that the foundation, besides it functions to promote and popularize science and technology in the country through its programmes, is also playing the role of a catalyst to take up an initiative for resolving different issues of national importance by establishing linkages between academia, R&D organisations and industry. He said this symposium will lead them to formulation of different projects on solid waste management.

Dr Soomro said the European Union is willing to work with on different joint projects. He also made a mention to plan of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with University of Rome regarding collaboration in solid waste treatment projects. Dr Azeem Khalid from PMAS-AAUR gave a presentation on industrial waste management, Faiz Muhammad from Capital Development Authority delivered a presentation on urban waste management, Dr Misbah Hasan from Holy Family Hospital spoke on hospital waste management and Dr Rasool Bux Mahar from MUET gave presentation on agriculture waste management.

The stake-holders, involved in waste management, from different organisations like engineering universities, the city development authorities (CDA, LDA RDA,) representatives from the Ministry of Climate Change, PCSIR, COMSATS, NUST, members from donor agencies such as UNIDO, UNDP, UNEP and UNESCO and principal investigators of NSLP’s (Natural Sciences Linkages Programme) ongoing projects on environment participated in the Symposium to share their experiences.