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Big plans to make cities squeaky clean

  Various guidelines to manage waste in urban areas in pipeline

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE

KATHMANDU: If plans of the Solid Waste Management Technical Support Centre (SWMTSC) see the light of the day, our cities and towns will surely get a facelift as loads of waste will vanish.

In its frantic bid to help manage waste at the local level, the centre is busy preparing about half-a-dozen guidelines.

“We are formulating different guidelines for proper waste management at the local level,” said Sumitra Amatya, executive director of the centre under the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD). “The drafts of the guidelines are on the final stage,” she added.

According to the centre, the guidelines cover topics such as public-private partnership, health care waste management, landfill site management, tariff collection, waste composting and benchmark standards. The guidelines are based on the Waste Management Act 2011 and the Waste Management Regulation 2012.

The waste management act was formulated under the Ministry of Local Development comprising the centre as its body. However, the latest restructuring of the ministries has kept the centre under the MoUD, which will mainly deal with development issues of municipalities.

Of 58 municipalities and 200-odd town-oriented villages across the country, only about half-a-dozen municipalities have identified their sanitary landfill sites. “The guidelines in the pipeline will help manage municipal waste. The town-oriented areas also can adopt these guidelines in order to manage waste at the local level,” said Amatya.

These guidelines will be implemented to allow the private sector to manage waste at the local level, address health-related issues, manage landfill sites, fix the ceiling for tariff collection from households, to segregate, compost organic garbage and recycle them, and to classify the level and ranking of the municipalities, according to the SWMTSC.

Amatya said a municipality could fix the waste colletion tariff tariff to be collected from each household in the cities. “Each city can fix different tariff rates under the ceiling based on the capacity of the people, development status and geographical as well as demographic condition of the place,” she said. However, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), the country’s only metropolis, has already fixed waste collection tariff rates - Rs 175 to Rs 60,000 per household each month. The tax will be collected from the beginning of current fiscal year, KMC said.

Amatya further said that municipalities, which are charging the tariff more than the proposed rates, should revise them as per the new guidelines. “It will be finalised within 2012.”

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