ISLAMABAD-Speakers on Wednesday underlined the urgent need for sustainable waste management practices that became evident as most Pakistani cities struggled to handle the increasing waste volume, with waste collection rates hovering between 60 to 70 percent.
This resulted in haphazard disposal in unscientific landfill sites, leading to greenhouse gas emissions and adverse impacts on soil and groundwater quality.
The solid waste management has long been a pressing concern in Pakistan, with approximately 48.5 million tons of solid waste generated annually and a growth rate of 2.4 percent attributed to population expansion and urbanization.
Organized by the Institute of Urbanism (IoU) in collaboration with Heinrich Böll Stiftung (hbs) and Peer Meher Ali Shah - Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (PMAS-AAUR), the ‘Trash to Treasure’ workshop featured an esteemed lineup of speakers, each offering unique insights into sustainable waste management.
Dr. Ejaz Ahmad, Senior Program Fellow at IoU, extended a warm welcome to attendees, distinguished guests, and participants. Dr. Ahmad highlighted the long-standing concern of solid waste management in Pakistan and stressed the immediate need for sustainable solutions.
Dr. Abdul Saboor, Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences (FoSS) at PMAS-AAUR, emphasized on the critical importance of addressing waste management challenges in Pakistan and the impact of waste-related illnesses on public health.
Dr. Gulnaz, Assistant Professor of FoSS at PMS-AAUR, explored the urban waste management scenario in Pakistan, conducting a landscape analysis of solid waste management in Islamabad, offering a comprehensive overview of existing challenges and opportunities.
Dawar Abbas and Muhammad Jabran, lecturers from the Pakistan Institute of Engineering & Applied Sciences (PIEAS), shed light on responsible waste management practices in Pakistan, drawing on their expertise in chemical engineering to provide practical insights.
Arsalan Ayaz, CEO of Trash Bee, shared exciting potential and opportunities for youth in Pakistan’s recycling industry, showcasing Trash Bee’s journey and inspiring participants with innovative waste management approaches.
During the workshop, Ayesha Majid, Senior Program Coordinator at IoU, provided invaluable insights into current waste management practices in Pakistan and the potential challenges they pose. Her presentation offered a comprehensive analysis of the country’s waste management landscape, shedding light on methods employed and their effectiveness.
Efficiently coordinated by Mohsin Ali of Program Assistant IoU, the workshop ran seamlessly, ensuring participants and speakers were effectively brought together. Tayyaba Pervaiz, Program Assistant IoU and Muhammad Haris, Accounts Officer of IoU, played pivotal roles as facilitators during the Group Ideation Session, guiding participants through case study analysis and helping generate actionable recommendations for Pakistan’s waste management challenges.
The workshop also featured a Group Ideation Session, where case studies were dissected and transformed into actionable recommendations for Pakistan, fostering innovation and aiming to bring positive change to waste management practices.
In closing, the ‘Trash to Treasure’ workshop concluded with a shared commitment to turning waste into valuable resources. The organizers extend heartfelt gratitude to all participants, speakers, and team members for making this event a resounding success.