KARACHI: Construction of four modern and scientific garbage transfer stations (GTS) in the city would be completed by June next year for launching the waste-to-energy project, it emerged on Wednesday.

Official sources said that four of the six already existing GTS being operated by the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board (SSWMB) would be constructed and modernised under the Solid Waste Emergency and Efficiency Project (SWEEP), a joint venture between the provincial government and World Bank (WB) to develop state-of-the-art solid waste infrastructure for the city.

They said that proper scientific studies had been completed on waste generation in the city and other urban parts of the province, adding that currently the WB-sponsored project aimed to develop immediately required infrastructure in the form of garbage transfer stations and sanitary engineering landfill sites.

The sources said that a high-level meeting, presided over by Local Government Minister Saeed Ghani, was informed by the SWEEP Managing Director Zubair Channa that all four proposed GTS would be completed by June next year for the scientific disposal of 10,000 to 12,000 tonnes of trash generated in the city daily and the launch of the waste-to-energy initiative.

They said that a delegation of waste-to-energy generation companies of China had recently visited landfill sites at Jam Chakro and were assured that they would be given all facilities to conduct survey for waste characteristics and other measures by the provincial authorities.

Meanwhile, a statement said that the local government minister directed the officials of the SSWMB to improve their coordination with other municipal and civic agencies to improve sanitation affairs in the city.

It said that Mr Ghani asked SSWMB to conduct a mass awareness campaign to motivate the retailers and shopkeepers in every market in the city to avoid disposing of the waste on the roadside, as trash bins should instead be used for this purpose.

He said the mechanical sweeping of roads should continue throughout the week in the timing of the reduced flow of vehicular traffic.

The LG minister asked the officials of SSWMB to speedily resolve the complaints of the public about unsatisfactory sanitation, waste collection, and disposal affairs in the city.

He said the project to conduct door-to-door collection of municipal waste from residential areas should be implemented in the city at an accelerated pace so that trash shouldn’t be dumped on the roadsides or into the storm water drains.

SSWMB Managing Director Syed Imtiaz Ali Shah briefed the meeting about the functioning of a command and control centre for centralised monitoring of solid waste collection and disposal operations in the city involving the GTS and landfill sites.

He said that certain mafias had been active in the city whose members sorted out precious scrap items from the municipal waste while the rest of the trash was illegally dumped into the drains.

The SSWMB chief requested the LG minister to empower the field officers of the SSWBM under the provincial local government law to impose fines against such illegal and harmful waste collection and disposal practices in the city.

Published in Dawn, March 28th, 2024

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