Linking Central Valley of California with Mountain Valleys of Nepal: Environmental Implications of Waste Management Practices in Different Social and Cultural Setting
Posted: 23 Jul 2019 Last revised: 25 Jul 2019
Date Written: July 20, 2019
The aim of this paper is to examine solid waste generation and management practices in the mountain regions of Nepal, including Ghandruk, Marpha, and Kathmandu and use the experience interchangeably to examine life cycle assessment (LCA) of green waste in the San Joaquin Valley of California. As a major agricultural hub of the world, San Joaquin Valley adds large quantity of yard waste into its waste stream, similar to what Nepal contributes organic wastes to its municipal solid waste (MSW). About 524 m. tons day-1 or 0.66 kg capita-1 day-1 of MSW is generated in Kathmandu city. Whereas waste generated in Ghandruk and Marpha may not be noticeable, they equally present difficulty to the fragile ecosystem of the Himalayas and can adversely impact ecotourism. Fresno city, financial capital of the Central San Joaquin Valley, generates about 102000 tons of green waste per annum or 279.45 tons day-1. Out of this, 55000 tons is composted and 47000 tons is utilized at an incinerator. Also, use of fossil fuels by heavy machineries (tub grinder, trommel screens, front end loaders, transfer vehicles, and mobile aerators) and unpaved waste processing facilities without leachate treatment seem to intensify environmental and operational budgets. Preliminary results hint that compost produced from green waste in Fresno may be inappropriate for crop production. Use of LCA to understand trade-offs among different processes of green waste in Fresno could be useful to investigate waste management in Kathmandu and other Himalayan towns, muck like the methods derived in Kathmandu have been very handy to study the waste in Fresno.
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