- Illegal dumping of waste at Scientific Landfill Site contaminants groundwater, environment
LAHORE: Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) has badly failed to dump the city’s waste in a scientific manner as it is being dumped openly, resulting into another ‘mound of waste’ in the provincial capital, Pakistan Today observed on Sunday.
The ‘mound’ has been created near the newly established Scientific Landfill Site at Lakhodair area of the city. Due to the illegal dumping of waste, a large quantity of toxic leachate has been produced which further contaminated the city’s groundwater while posing threats to the environment and ecosystem.
For years, Lahore’s solid waste had been dumped in a non-scientific manner at the Mehmood Booti’s dumping site. After grave concerns of the environmentalists and town planners, the Punjab government established a Scientific Landfill Site at Lakhodair area, aiming to dump the city’s waste according to the appropriate manner. The new site was declared as state-of-the-art and the country’s first ever scientific disposal landfill site. Constructed at the area of 52 hectares, the landfill site was inaugurated on April 18, 2016, while officials at that time claimed that the new site would meet all international standards required for a waste disposal site.
Initially, the landfill site started functioning with two cells, LOT-I & LOT-II with a capacity to dump 2,000 to 2,500 tons of solid waste daily while four others were also proposed to be constructed in future. It was declared that the waste would be managed on daily basis in an environmental-friendly and scientific manner to minimise the environmental hazards of toxic effects of waste and to have no repercussions over the purity of underground water or atmosphere.
According to the LWMC official, a large amount of around 7,000 tons of waste is collected from the city. Out of this, the total collected waste of 1,000 tons of waste is delivered to DG Khan Cement Company and around 500 tons to the LWMC’s compost plant.
Sources revealed that out of remaining waste, only 800 tons of waste is dumped in a scientific manner at its two cells while all the remaining waste (over 4,500 tons) is dumped in an illegal manner.
To probe the situation, this correspondent managed to visit Scientific Landfill Site, where it could be easily witnessed that the dumping process of waste badly exposed the tall claims of the LWMC management. During a stay of over half an hour at the landfill site, not a single dumper reached at LOT-I and LOT-II whereas several dumpers were witnessed unloading the waste openly at the dumping site. Moreover, the waste could be seen burnt at the site, emitting toxic smoke at a large scale.
Despite spending billions of rupees annually, the machinery could be seen outdated which was also spreading the waste in the vast area nearby the site. According to the waste management rules, the waste must be segregated before dumping but all the waste was being dumped without segregation.
Sources revealed that except two scientific cells, LOT-I and LOT-II, no segregation was being done since day one at the new dumping spot.
Spokesman of the LWMC, while talking to Pakistan Today, said that the waste collected from the city was much more than the capacity of Scientific Landfill Site’s two cells. However, he could not explain the situation of the large amount of leachate being produced as a result of the ‘controlled dumping’.