May 312017

Piles of garbage are scattered everywhere in Karachi. The Sindh government has been unable to resolve the issue. The condition of Karachi is further complicated when this wastes is burnt, increasing the temperature of the city. Pakistan is the seventh most vulnerable country to climate change. In order to resolve the issue, the provincial government needs to learn lessons from Sweden and Singapore. These countries have set up waste-to-energy power plants for the generation of electricity from solid waste and garbage. Singapore generates three percent of the country’s electricity from its four waste-to-energy power plants. The National Environmental Agency of Singapore is planning a fifth waste-to-energy power plant by 2019. Karachi should follow the example set by Singapore.

On the other hand, Sweden imports garbage for generating energy. 950,000 homes are heated by trash across Sweden. Less than one percent garbage now ends up in the dump in Sweden. Waste now constitutes 19 percent of the fuel used by Sweden that makes it the world leader in generating energy from garbage and waste. Although garbage-infused smoke sounds highly poisonous, modern electric filters give the particles a negative electric charge which become nontoxic carbon dioxide before release. The Sindh government should follow the example and set up waste-to-energy power plant to produce electricity from garbage. Developing countries like Pakistan may get access to funding from the UN affiliated Green Climate Fund to invest in waste-to-energy power plant. This is how Karachi will be able to get rid of garbage and solid waste and, at the same time, generate electricity.

Muhammad Ibrahim

Sobra City 

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