Waste management

Published January 20, 2022

THIS is with reference to the letter ‘Cost of development’ (Nov 30) on the subject of Dhamtour waste management plant in Abbottabad which raised concerns about the environment of the area and the city at large.

However, there is more than what has been stated. Unlike the waste dumping ground at Salhad, the waste treatment plant at Dhamtour is a state-of-the-art integrated waste treatment system. The proposed facility will be treating waste in four stages.

To start with, the waste segregation plant will recover all the inorganic recyclables from the waste (paper, card, metal, glass, and even bones and hair), sending these back to the market. Non-recyclable inorganic waste will be used as refuse derived fuel (RDF), which is used as coal replacement in the cement industry.

In the second stage, the organic waste will be treated in anaerobic digesters, producing bio-CNG that can be used as fuel in domestic use or in vehicles. In the third stage, the organic residue will be converted into compost that is a land-enriching organic material to promote horticultural and agricultural produce.

Only the leftover inert and other material, less than 10 per cent of the total, will be dumped in a professionally designed landfill site. The landfill site has been designed by a team to ensure that all precautions to safeguard the groundwater and environment are taken.

This includes multiple layers of protection on the base, as well as regular coverings and monitoring wells for any gas emissions or groundwater pollution. All this is at the same level as any landfill site in the developed world.

Last but not least, the entire complex will be surrounded by an adequate green belt, monitored round-the-clock and secured with CCTV coverage. This modern facility is entirely different than traditional dumping and is a big leap towards scientific waste management, circular economy, and achieving the targets of the Paris Agreement.

Dr Nasir Javed

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2022


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