By Kshitiz Siwakoti, Kathmandu, Apr. 6: If everything goes fine the solid waste collected from Kathmandu will be converted into energy within the next few months.
For that, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) has received a proposal from NepWaste PVT. LTD to convert waste into usable energy. In Kathmandu, more than 1,000 metric tonnes of waste is collected every day.
NepWaste in a joint venture with a Finnish company, Compunication Oy has intended to collect solid waste and convert organic waste into Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and convert plastic waste into Refuse-derived fuel (RDP) and Briquettes.
CNG is often used in vehicles and is environmentally friendly. RDF too can be used to produce electricity and also serves as an alternative to fossil fuel. Briquette is an alternative to coal.
According to KMC, NepWaste PVT. LTD company is in its final stages of receiving approval from the KMC.
This conversion of waste to energy approach will bring much-needed relief to the landfills which pose an environmental and a health hazard. It has been said that landfills are notorious for producing a toxic liquid known as leachate that may seep underground and pollute the underground water. Landfill Leachates can also cause cancer.
According to Sarita Rai, the Environment Administration Division Chief of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) the agreement with NepWaste will be set for a period of 20 years after which the KMC will take over its responsibility.
“NepWaste will use all the waste collection trucks and other infrastructure of the KMC to aid them in their work,” Rai said.
She further added that this agreement will be a source of added revenue for the KMC as the agreement also states that NepWaste is to pay KMC an annual amount of Rs. 50 million.
NepWaste has said that along with the equipment of the KMC it will also need to procure other equipment that will aid in its operation.
“We lack scientific methods of waste disposal in the country. More needs to be done for proper waste disposal. Rai told The TRN Online, "NepWaste could bring a sustainable solution to a massive waste problem in the nation’s capital.”
NepWaste has claimed that it has the vision to improve the living conditions of 4 million people in Kathmandu. It has also claimed that it will engage 4,000 people already working in waste supply and management, provide them with the required safety and also bring them under the definition of formal workers on its Linkedin page.
Unfortunately, this was proposed in 2011 and has not reached a conclusion yet. However, Rai has said that this agreement is in its final stages and may materialise soon.
If NepWaste is able to do what it wishes to do, Kathmandu would have found a much more sustainable alternative to its waste problem as compared to the current landfills that could have severe consequences to the environment as well as to living beings.