Solid Waste Management in Nepal: Current Status and Policy Recommendations

Publication | August 2013

Eight key policy recommendations for managing municipal solid waste in Nepal. 

Managing solid waste is one of the major challenges in urbanization. A survey conducted in all 58 municipalities of Nepal in 2012 found that the average municipal solid waste generation was 317 grams per capita per day. This translates into 1,435 tons per day or 524,000 tons per year of municipal solid waste generation in Nepal. Many of these technically and financially constrained municipalities are still practicing roadside waste pickup from open piles and open dumping, creating major health risks.

Recommendations

The survey and other assessment undertaken under the technical assistance identified eight key policy recommendations for solid waste management (SWM) in Nepal:

  • an appropriate policy and strategic framework needs to be developed, together with technical guidelines on key issues such as organic composting and landfill operations, to properly guide local bodies in effective SWM;
  • reduce, reuse, and recycle (3R) should be promoted. The survey identified great potential for resource recovery in Nepal, which could be realized with better public awareness and initiatives by local bodies and communities;
  • strengthening the capacity of local bodies is essential, as they are mandated to provide SWM services to the citizens;
  • enhancement of public participation and consultation would be effective in advancing SWM practices;
  • costs for SWM need to be recovered, albeit partially at first, to provide better services. The public is generally willing to pay for services if the level of services is improved;
  • current poor management practices such as open dumping and open burning should be stopped immediately to allow for more integrated SWM;
  • public-private partnership offers opportunities for operational efficiency and cost effectiveness. The role of the private sector will be more important for complex tasks such as the operation of landfill sites, as municipalities are less experienced in these areas; and
  • the management, updating, and dissemination of basic data will play an important role in improving planning by the local bodies and monitoring implementation progress.

Contents 

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Municipal Solid Waste Generation and Composition
  • Existing Solid Waste Management System
  • Managerial Aspects of Solid Waste Management
  • Nepal's Solid Waste Management Status in the Region
  • Key Policy Challenges and Recommendations
  • Conclusions
  • Appendixes