Household Solid Waste Generation in Urban Pakistan: A Case Study of Rawalpindi
28 Pages Posted: 2 May 2013
Date Written: April 30, 2013
Nowhere else in Pakistan is the urban rot more pronounced than in the waste-littered streets. Apart from being an eyesore, ill-managed solid waste in Pakistan is one of the primary causes of health and environmental problems, which costs the state and individual households hundreds of millions of rupees in healthcare costs and lost productivity.
This paper focuses on the determinants of household solid waste generation in Rawalpindi Cantonment. Relying on a survey of economically-differentiated 118 households in six urban neighbourhoods, this paper has found substantial differences in household waste generation rates across various income groups. As expected, high-income neighbourhood residents generated more waste than their mid- and low-income counterparts. The total waste generated by household increased with household size. However, the waste per capita declined with the increase in the household size.
The state of solid waste collection was found to be poor across all income strata. The two low-income and one mid-income neighbourhood did not have any municipal waste collection service. Fewer than 50% of the households in the high-income neighbourhood reported access to municipal solid waste collection service. The rest self-disposed household solid waste mostly in empty lots in the neighbourhood. More than 65% of the households sold recyclables to waste collecting street hawkers, while another 25% handed recyclables to domestic workers, who in turn sold recyclables in the market.
Keywords: Solid Waste Management, Household Waste Generation, Urbanization, Pakistan
JEL Classification: O18, O21, R20, R53
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