Waste Management in Peshawar

Peshawar is among the biggest cities in Pakistan with estimated population of 4 million inhabitants. Like most of the cities in Pakistan, solid waste management is a big challenge in Peshawar as the city generate 600-700 tons of municipal waste every day, with per capita generation of about 0.3 to 0.4 kg per day. Major part of the Peshawar population belongs to low and middle income area and based upon this fact, waste generation rate per capita varies in different parts of the city.

Municipal solid waste collection and disposal services in the city are poor as approximately 60 per cent of the solid wastes remain at collection points, or in streets, where it emits a host of pollutants into the air, making it unacceptable for breathing. A significant fraction of the waste is dumped in an old kiln depression around the southern side of the city where scavengers, mainly comprising young children, manually sort out recyclable materials such as iron, paper, plastics, old clothes etc.

Peshawar has 4 towns and 84 union councils (UCs). Solid waste management is one of their functions. Now city government has planned to build a Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), Composting Plant and possibly a Waste to Energy Power Plant which would be a land mark of Peshawar city administration.

The UCs are responsible for door to door collection of domestic waste and a common shifting practice with the help of hand carts to a central pick-up points in the jurisdiction of each UC. Town Council is responsible for collection and transporting the mixed solid waste to the specified dumps which ends up at unspecified depressions, agricultural land and roadside dumps.


Open dumping of municipal wastes is widely practiced in Peshawar

Presently, there are two sites namely Hazar Khwani and Lundi Akhune Ahmed which are being used for the purpose of open dumping. Waste scavenging is a major activity of thousands of people in the city. An alarming and dangerous practice is the burning of the solid waste in open dumps by scavengers to obtain recyclables like plastics, glass and metals.

Almost 50 percent of recyclables are scavenged at transfer stations from the waste reaching at such points. The recyclable ratio that remains in the house varies and cannot be recovered by the authorities unless it is bought directly from the households. Only the part of recyclables reaching a certain bin or secondary transfer station can be exploited.

In some areas of city where waste is transported by private companies from transfer points to the disposal site out study found that scavengers could only get about 35% of the recyclables from the waste at transfer station.

Considering the above fact, it can be inferred that in case municipality introduces efficient waste transfer system in the city, the amount of recyclables reaching the disposal facility may increase by 30% of the current amount. In case house-to-house collection is introduced the municipality will be able to take hold of 90% of the recyclables in the waste stream being generated from a household.

About Mian Maqbool Hussain

Mian Maqbool Hussain is an expert in agricultural and environmental management with core expertise in composting & bioremediation, recycling, biogas & waste to energy. He has rich experience at local as well as at international level. Currently Maqbool is planning, designing a cost effective, environment friendly refuse derive fuel (RDF). He is also involved in mass production of compost in Malaysia. He possesses a diversified 23 years of experience in agriculture, environment and engineering. He can be reached at wastechnologies@yahoo.co.uk
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41 Responses to Waste Management in Peshawar

  1. Dear Main, thank you for this article. My father will be please that his home town is starting to think more about Waste Management and developing solutions to treat waste. I also read the article with much interest, have spent the last 15 years within the waste industry, providing consultancy services throughout the UK.

    I would be interested to hear more about the developments within Peshawar, please keep me informed adnan@globeec.co.uk.

    Best Wishes
    Adnan Zeb-Khan

  2. Mian Maqbool Hussain says:


    • Mian Maqbool Hussain says:

      Adnan Zaib, it was a srvey followed by an environmental impact assessment by me; the Govt had plan to build a composting, recycling, and waste to energy project but then as uusual things went lousy; let’s see if new Govt of KPK restart the same….plz tell me more about yourself or your father

      • Adnan Nisar says:

        @Mian Mabool
        you have mentioned in your post that only two sites are used for dumping purposes but actually they are three. The third one is Regi-Lalma which is used by the cantonment board.
        Secondly can you tell me the location of any Transfer Station in Peshawar.
        waiting for your reply

        • Mian Maqbool Hussain says:

          I am from Punjab not from KPK; city district government Peshawar did not mention Regi as a dump site; transfer station is not necessary as the city is not much big; big size objects could be separable at centralised processing plant at Baghbanan

      • Adnan Nisar says:

        @ Mian Maqbool
        Can you provide the source of population data. I am afraid that you have given wrong numbers..

  3. Jalal Uddin says:

    Dear Sir,
    What sort of machinery is used in transporting the waste to dumping site. What is the total strength of MCP, such as manpower, budget and vehicles.

  4. Azhar Ali says:

    Good article but after working for more than 12 years purely in waste management sector and knowing Pakistan’s situation very well, all I can say is good luck but all three options are not feasible for Peshawar as per my experience. We need to have ‘waste culture’ developed first and then other options. If Frankfurt is doing so we should not forget that Peshawar is 100 years behind Frankfurt w.r.t municipal services. So their solution is not our solution.

  5. Asim Khan says:

    Dear Sir, I have spend some time in Abu Dhabi with Waste Management Company. Sir we have to allocate an area as a disposal site between two cities like Peshawar and Nowshehra. Peshawar and Kohat, so in this way both cities will get benefit. and also its a source of income for that WM company…..

    • Mian Maqbool Hussain says:

      Transportation cost and disposal points between Peshawar, Snowshoer and Kohat is a considerable amount however we are not going to dispose off the waste but processing

  6. Mian Maqbool Hussain says:

    Thanks all gentlemen, The said waste processing system is a zero waste technology which make this tech outstanding from about 50 proposals already submitted so far

  7. Mohammad Ishaq says:

    Hello All.

    We are ready to invest in the waste management field if we are invited by the KPK government for such services. We are having 27 years of experience in East Europe.

  8. Azhar Ali says:

    Please provide some information about your company

  9. Azhar Ali says:

    Had 14 experts from Urban Unit Punjab and Gujranwala Waste Management Company Pakistan, in Turkey last month for 5 days trainings and technical visits.

    • Mian Maqbool Hussain says:

      So what ?

      • Azhar Ali says:

        That may help them to solve problems with methods used by a country not ahead of them by cosmic distances but one who had similar problems only few years ago.

        • Mian Maqbool Hussain says:

          sorry could not understand you view point

          • Mian Maqbool Hussain says:

            Authorities must not misuse public funds; we have sufficient expertise available in our own country but they would attempt foreign tours and training mere for visits and tourism nothing special they learn from Turkey ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Jalal Uddin says:

    Aren’t this an old article, published again?

  11. Pingback: Solid Waste Management in Pakistan

  12. Saadat says:

    Dear Mian sb,
    we are a group of entrepreneurs and planning to initiate a WM company in Peshawar, does it have potential in the private sector or the prerogative of the local govt to do the task.

  13. Mian Maqbool Hussain says:

    Mr Saadat, yes it is a most profitable business but with a complete vision to plan; design; install and sell process. i can help you completely with proposal; presentation; negotiation; designing; installation; operate; sell and even loaning/ funding from local/ international dooners. you may talk to me at 03006363724

  14. Abbas khan says:

    sir i wanted to ask that is there any sites in peshawar that can be used for landfill?

  15. Imran says:

    Good to read this article and comments .But i guess not easy to work on recycling and zero waste to landfills in KPK . In a place like UAE ,there are many still are unaware ,uneducated and even aware but not practicing recycling and zero waste to landfills even govt has spent and spending billions of dollars on WM campaign and penalties for not practicing the same .

    There are allocated areas for different categories of waste ,different bins are installed for different waste ,solid waste ,municipal waste ,wood waste etc but people there still throws and dumps all in general waste .not all people but many .

    Starting waste management company or recycling company needs full study ,survey ,research as the waste management policies in other countries cant be implemented in KP.

  16. Muhammad Ijaz says:

    Sorry to say, but your research is without facts and ground reality. You simply copy and paste your research from net and paste it here… your research is 20 years behind the current status of Peshawar.

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