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Nepal’s Waste Management Alternatives Research Paper


Summary

The people living in the hilly district of Gorkha are full of expectations this year. A challenge sponsored by Engineers without Borders is focusing on the plight of the communities living on these hilltops. The activities of this group are concentrated on Sandikhola village, which was selected as the representative community in the region. As an organisation, Engineers without Borders intends to help the people living in this village to find sustainable solutions for the problems that affect them.

The group acknowledges that waste management is one of the greatest problems affecting the people of Sandikhola. The waste directly impacts on the wellbeing of the communities living in the village, especially with regards to health. The realisation has seen a number of non-governmental organisations initiate projects in the area to empower the community on ways to create a sustainable waste management system. Nepal Water for Health (NEWAH) is one such NGO operating in Sandikhola village. The group realised that in order to have lasting solutions concerning waste management in the area, it is important to involve the people who are to benefit from the project. For this reason, the group embarked on a research and a number of discussions with EWB to come up with the best design to address the problem of waste management in the area. The design to be adopted was meant to meet the criteria formulated.

Following a series of evaluations and calculations, NEWAH came up with the final design that narrowed down to solid waste. The system was viewed as the most suitable for the problem affecting the people of Nepal since it combines four different waste management solutions. That is why it is named the 4S method. It is important to ensure that the system is supported by a well-designed education program for the local people. The success of the design depends on the effectiveness of the education program. The project is aimed at improving the lives of the people of Sandikhola, Gorkha district. It is also aimed at helping the people of Nepal at large. Through better waste management solutions, the residents of Sandikhola will be in a position to change their lifestyle in order to reduce waste.

Introduction

Nepal is one of the developing countries in the world. As such, it is experiencing rapid urbanisation due to increased population growth. Urbanisation in the country has been as a result of increased trading and commercial activities. Increased business activities have, however, led to the generation of enormous amounts of waste (Anderzen & Blees 2014). However, little has been done by municipal councils in the country to deal with the waste menace. For this reason, the municipalities are said to lack the capacity to deal with the rising quantities of waste. Considering that it is a developing nation, Nepal has to allocate its scarce resources to a number of development projects. As a result, little attention is given to the issue of waste management. The country also lacks controlled areas for waste handling. As a result, refused is disposed of in a haphazard way.

People living in the slums are the most affected by the problem of waste disposal. They lack the resources to pay for quality waste disposal services compared to their wealthy counterparts (Dangi, Urynowicz & Belbase 2013). People who live in poor regions, such as Sandikhola village, are also affected by the problem of waste. Persons living in these areas lack knowledge of effective waste disposal mechanisms. In addition, they have to contend with the problem of limited space for the disposal of waste (Anderzen & Blees 2014). As a result, it is important to empower them to develop lasting solutions in relation to the issue of waste management.

Failure to adequately manage waste in the country has raised a number of health and environmental issues (Anderzen & Blees 2014). To begin with, the refuse generated as a result of increased commercial activities in the country are hazardous. Failure to manage it has led to prolonged exposure to toxic gases and chemicals emanating from the waste (Dorsetforyou.com 2013). Failure to manage waste also leads to environmental degradation.

The current report seeks to introduce the reader to the issue of waste management in Nepal, with a special focus on the people living in Sandikhola village. A number of alternative methods of waste management that would be implemented in the country are highlighted. The alternative designs are analysed in terms of feasibility and sustainability to come up with the best solution for the Sandikhola problem. The report concludes by highlighting the implications of the alternative design used in the management of waste in Nepal. Recommendations for future research areas are also made at the end of the report.

Background

As stated earlier, Nepal is facing a waste management problem. Failure to take collective measures has exposed the population to a number of health problems. The waste menace has also resulted in environmental pollution (How can I reduce waste? n.d). A number of measures have been taken by the municipal council to address the problem. Such measures include reuse of household waste through composting, segregation of refuse based on the source at the domestic level, and door-to-door collection. Municipalities have also resorted to charging fees for the disposal of waste. The charges help finance the authorities in handling the refuse.

Revenue generation also helps create sustainability. However, most of the waste management problems are experienced in slums and poor areas. Persons living in these areas lack the knowledge on how to deal with waste. They also lack the income to pay for the services offered at the municipality level. For these reasons, the problem of waste management in the region has continued to worsen. Individuals living in these areas continue to suffer from health complications resulting from the persistence of waste in the environment.

The report seeks to explore a number of alternatives to help the people of Sandikhola. Each of the alternatives is systematically analysed to shed light on its potential to solve the menace. The limitations of these alternatives are also analysed. Following the analysis, the most suitable approach is arrived at. The approach is referred to as the final design. The sustainability of this design is analysed in terms of its environmental effects, as well as social and economic factors affecting it. The analysis is done using two tools. The two are the pairwise comparison and the selected alternative impact criteria. One of the greatest problems encountered in the process was the selection of the most appropriate alternative.

Each of the alternatives has a number of advantages and limitations. As a result, none of them is perfect in solving all waste-related problems (United Nations Environment Programme [UNEP] n.d). However, the final design will help the people of Sandikhola reduce the quantity of waste they generate. It will also help them to manage the waste that has already been produced adequately.

Literature Review

The municipal services are not in a position to regularly collect the waste produced by the ever-increasing population in the country (Waste Online 2006). The new development has led to the accumulation of waste at local dumpsites (March 2011). Garbage also remains in public places for long (WaterAid 2008). It is important to note that garbage results from household wastes (Cornell Waste Management Institute, 2014). Failure to collect garbage regularly results in its decomposition (Benefits of Recycling, 2014). Decomposition leads to the release of harmful gases and toxins to the environment (Turner & Geraldine 2010).

The garbage also serves as a medium for the growth of pathogens. Since most of these dumping sites are located near community-dwelling places, they lead to contamination of water and the environment with disease-causing microorganisms (Dorsetforyou.com 2013). Failure by the authorities to adequately manage waste has prompted the people of Nepal to seek unorthodox means of disposing of it (UNEP n.d). Such means of disposal include dumping garbage near natural resources, such as river banks and other water bodies. Such approaches expose people to more health risks.

Through education, community members are enlightened on matters surrounding the pollution effects of solid waste (Thompson 2012). After people have understood how solid waste exposes them to health problems indirectly through air pollution, they will look for measures to reduce the release of toxins into their surroundings (Anderzen & Blees 2014). Through education, members of the community can also be taught on how to reduce exposure to health risks when dealing with solid waste (Shrestha & Singh 2012). Locals are taught on the importance of using protective clothing when handling solid waste. Community members are also informed on how to recycle solid waste (Cash the trash: plastic waste management in Nepal n.d).

It is important to involve the local people in development projects taking place in their locality (Visvanathan & Norbu 2006). Involving these individuals helps them to embrace the project and identify with it (Dangi et al. 2013). Through participation, members of the community are in a position to gain the leadership skills needed in the running of the projects, even after the exit of the donors and facilitators (Robbins & Dustin 2011). Participation helps bring about sustainability. Since members of the community are the targeted beneficiaries, their participation will help them acquire the skills required to run the projects (Neupane & Neupane 2013). They also get the chance to believe in their abilities, having participated in successful demonstrations during the introduction of the plan. The locals also understand the major issues affecting them. Their participation in the projects, as a result, ensures that the matters that are of great importance to them are given priority (Gurung & Oh 2012).

The efforts made by the municipalities have failed to eradicate the problem of waste management in Nepal. As a result, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private investors have moved in to help deal with the problem (Cornell Waste Management Institute 2014). One such NGO is the Nepal Water for Health (NEWAH). The organisation is working closely with EWB and the people of Sandikhola to help create a sustainable system of waste management (Asian Development Bank 2013). The NGO is also engaging in other projects throughout the country aimed at improving sanitation, promoting hygiene, as well as working towards the provision of clean drinking water to the people of Nepal (How can I reduce waste? n.d).

Selected Alternatives

Overview

A number of alternative designs to address the problem of waste management in Sandikhola village have been identified. The alternatives have been identified following keen deliberations with the people of Sandikhola with the assistance of NEWAH officials. They include composting, landfill disposal, incineration of waste, solid-waste, bioremediation, and onsite burial (How can I reduce waste? n.d).

In this section, the alternatives are assessed in terms of feasibility and sustainability. Nepal, a developing country, has limited resources to support many projects. As such, the waste management alternatives selected must reflect the efforts made to conserve the available resources (Asian Development Bank 2013). To this end, the projects must be of reasonable cost. Feasibility studies must reflect the affordability and cost of maintenance as far as the alternative is concerned (Dangi et al. 2013). As one of the criteria used to assess the proposed approaches, sustainability checks on the ability of the people to keep the project operational even after the NEWAH and EWB has withdrawn.

Selected Alternative 1: Solid Waste

Introduction to solid waste

Solid waste emanates from human activities. The amount of garbage generated increases with improvements in living conditions, urbanisation, and a shift in consumption patterns. For this reason, the management of waste is one of the major challenges facing communities today (Waste Online, 2006). The problem is more persistent in developing countries. Such nations have limited resources. As a result, the issue of solid waste is not treated with the seriousness it deserves despite the major health issues it poses to the population. Over the past years, accumulation of garbage has negatively impacted on the quality of life in Nepal. With increased population growth and urbanisation, solid waste is becoming a major environmental and health issue in the country. However, it is possible for a country to deal with this problem, especially through combined efforts between communities, the private sector, NGOs, and the authorities (Dangi et al. 2013).

Solid waste is associated with a number of hazards. For example, it affects the quality of soil, air, and water (Dorsetforyou.com, 2013). It also has the ability to affect human health through a number of diseases. Infections caused by waste can be spread through a number of vectors, such as rodents and insects. As such, garbage should be handled in a manner that makes it degradable. Failure to degrade turns the heaps of waste into a haven for the multiplication of rodents and insects. Garbage can also lead to health problems among humans through pollution (WaterAid, 2008). When released into the atmosphere, chemical pollutants emanating from the waste have short and long-term effects on the population. A good example of short-term effects is acid rain. The rain affects the quality of water available for consumption. Long term effects include chronic illnesses resulting from prolonged exposure to chemicals and gasses emanating from the solid waste.

Educating persons about the various harmful effects posed by this form of waste is one of the most effective measures of dealing with health problems (Thompson 2012). Community members should be educated on the most effective ways of waste disposal. It is also important to teach people how to recycle solid garbage emanating from households, offices, and such other sources. Reusing waste products not only helps clean up the environment but also empower the local communities by providing them with cheap resources. Reducing the quantity of solid waste within a certain locality helps to fight rodents by destroying their habitat and discouraging their multiplication. As a result, diseases that were previously transmitted by the vectors no longer affect the population.

When dealing with the problem of waste management in Sandikhola, it is important to engage the local people (Engineers without Borders 2014). Participation is the best way to reduce wastage of resources. By involving the locals in the waste management project, few resources will be spent in terms of hiring employees. Members of the community will act as the source of labour in their own schemes.

The community members will also learn the virtue of working together towards the success of local development projects (WaterAid 2008). For example, ideas generated through education can be easily passed from the literate to the illiterate people through the use of native languages. Local dialects act as an important tool for passing ideas and educating members of the society. For this reason, through participation, even the illiterate persons in Sandikhola will gain knowledge and will help educate other members of the community. Residents of Sandikhola will also be in a position to understand the current status in terms of waste management and the possible outcomes of their failure to act.

Waste management projects have a number of objectives. The major aim of the current undertaking involves convincing every individual in Sandikhola to reduce the amount of waste that they produce (Anderzen & Blees 2014). Reducing the amount of solid waste generated by households will translate to an overall decrease in the quantity of garbage collected in the entire community. After each and every individual has adopted the practice of reducing the quantity of waste, it is easier for the people of Sandikhola to deliberate on the way forward with regards to the elimination of the refuse produced in the entire community. The participation of the people of Sandikhola in the project will ensure that all community members collaborate in the new management efforts. Members of the society will use equal efforts in collecting and disposing of waste that they had accumulated prior to the initiation of the project.

How to address the people of Sandikhola

The residents of this village need guidance on how to best deal with the problem of solid waste. A four-step procedure can be used to help the village manage this problem. The procedure begins at the household level. It is referred to as the ‘4Rs’. It involves reducing, reusing, recycling, and responding (Gurung & Oh, 2012). The four steps form a cycle that should be observed on a daily basis in order to reduce the amount of solid waste in the environment. Although it is difficult for the people of Sandikhola to get used to the process, they will finally embrace it having seen the benefits that come with it. The four steps are discussed in detail below:

Reducing

In Sandikhola, the focus is on reducing the problem by choosing a range of products and materials that generate the least amount of solid waste after they have been used. It is important to acknowledge the fact that items are discarded after their usefulness is exhausted (March 2011).

By buying such products, the households in Sandikhola will produce less waste than in the past. Buying products that are easier to degrade is also important when dealing with the accumulation of waste. Such products include those delivered in packages that are biodegradable. Items like fridges and television sets should be packed in wooden cartons and such other materials. Most of the solid waste that the people of Nepal have to contend with involves product wrappers (Asian Development Bank 2013). They are used as protective coats for household commodities purchased from major stores. In the case of Nepal, waste from these packaging materials should not be a big problem. The country’s tropical environment has plenty of vegetation that is capable of providing enough natural food to the population.

The communities living in Sandikhola should buy locally assembled products instead of obtaining items from stores (Asian Development Bank 2013). The decision is informed by the fact that most of the goods obtained from the stores come in plastic packages. Once the product is used, the wrappers are no longer important. As such, they are discarded. When waste is not collected, the plastic packaging materials become a major health concern to the dwellers. The impacts of locally generated products on waste management may be negligible at the household level. However, there will be an overall reduction in the amount of waste generated in the village as a whole.

Reusing

Recycling of items is identified as one of the most effective ways through which waste can be reduced. It is noted that there are two major guiding principles when it comes to the reuse of waste. To begin with, the people must be aware of the products that are reusable (Cash the trash: plastic waste management in Nepal n.d). People should also learn to share the items that they do not use on a regular basis. Reusing ensures that items are utilised until they are no longer beneficial to the owner. For this reason, little waste is produced in a given duration of time. The element of wastage is eliminated in the process. Through reuse of products, the people of Sandikhola will be able to produce manageable amounts of waste over time.

As stated earlier, it is important to know the kind of products that can be reused and those that cannot. It is noted that most organic products cannot be reused. However, most inorganic goods can be used more than once (Neupane & Neupane 2013).

Plastics are some of the most reused products. Their ability to be used more than once is attributed to the fact that they are tough in nature and are not easily worn out. Unlike organic products, plastics are synthetic and their quality does not deteriorate with time. Communities living in Sandikhola can wash and use these products, including polythene papers and plastic water bottles. For example, a person washing and reusing the same water bottle for a month will have produced thirty times as less waste compared to an individual who purchases a new bottle of water daily and discards it. Fabrics, such as table clothes and garments, can also be reused for a long time. Washing the fabrics improves their appearance, making sure that they can continue to be used for many years. Some organic products, such as scrap paper, can also be reused. The amount of waste paper produced can be reduced by writing on both sides of the paper.

Sharing items that are not needed regularly has also been identified as one of the key principles of reusing. Equipments, such as drills, printers, and pumps, are not put into use for long durations (Cash the trash: plastic waste management in Nepal n.d). They are only retrieved by the users when the need arises. As a result, it is easy for these equipments to get damaged due to prolonged stay in the store where they collect dust and rust. As a result, such products are discarded as a result of malfunctioning and lack of regular servicing. When discarded in large numbers, they may lead to pollution of the environment.

Sharing of items ensures that a single resource is shared amongst several households, rather than having each of them purchase the same tool (Neupane & Neupane 2013). It also reduces the accumulation of items that are not of any use to the household. Renting out these tools for a given duration of time should also be encouraged. Through sharing, the items are properly maintained by the people who use them. The tools and equipment that are no longer needed can be donated to charity, rather than discarding them.

Recycling

Recycling is closely related to reusing. It refers to the process through which waste is converted into new products. The process is important since it ensures that potentially useful materials do not go to waste (Shrestha & Singh 2012). Recycling of waste products, however, requires specialised technology and equipment. As a result, not all individuals in Sandikhola village can directly participate in the recycling process. However, the locals can help in the separation of non-recyclable solid waste from recyclable materials (Shrestha & Singh 2012). Two basic processes must be followed for the process to be possible. To begin with, composting of food scraps is needed. Secondly, the recyclable products must be carefully chosen and separated from those that cannot be recycled.

Compositing of food scraps is a simple process that each and every household in Sandikhola can be able to engage in (Marsh 2011). Yard garbage and waste emanating from the kitchen is composted and moved to the backyards. Composting will help the residents to turn waste into nutrients that can be added into the soil to improve its fertility (Turner & Geraldine 2010). The process also improves the amount of water and air that is needed by the soil by enhancing its texture. In addition, it controls weed, eliminating the need to use chemicals, such as herbicides, in farming.

The process of choosing recyclable products is important in the management of waste. By using these products, the people living in Sandikhola will be in a position to reduce the amount of waste in their surroundings (Shrestha & Singh 2012). Education can be used to complement this approach. To this end, members of the society are advised on means through which they can be able to gather the recyclable waste for collection. Collection of these waste products can be done at the household or at the community level. It is also important for the locals to be able to point out examples of materials that can be recycled. They (materials) include glass, plastic, and steel. Recycling of waste is important since it requires low amounts of energy to come up with the final products. Natural resources that would have been used in the assembly of entirely new products are conserved. As such, the government and the residents benefit from this process.

Responding

The process takes place when people are left to share and help each other on issues to do with waste management. Without the sharing of information amongst the people living in Sandikhola, the efforts made to reduce the amount of waste generated will be futile (Waste Online 2006). It is important to note that no single individual is in a position to retain everything taught during the launch and implementation of the project. Members of the community have to come together and share what they have learnt during the implementation of the entire program. As a result, individuals will have an idea of what is expected of them. Through sharing, ignorance among the members of the society is also eliminated. Each and every individual assumes responsibility when it comes to matters of solid waste management. Sustainability will be achieved since all individuals will learn how to care for their environment, even without the presence of NGOs to guide them.

Everyone should take the responsibility of spreading information relating to the reduction, reuse, and recycling of waste. It is a fact that it is not possible for a single individual to impact on the entire village of Sandikhola. However, everyone should take the initiative to share the information with their friends, families, neighbours, and workmates. Providing these people with information will give them the ability to reduce waste (Visvanathan & Norbu 2006).

By educating their friends, individuals can help reduce waste at their work places. It is important to realise that the aim of the project is to prevent the accumulation of waste by targeting all the possible sources. One should take the responsibility of encouraging and checking the progress of other members of the society in their bid to reduce waste. The practice will motivate people to stick to the process of cleaning up the environment and reducing the amount of waste that they generate in order to stop further degradation (Visvanathan & Norbu 2006). Through follow up, they will gain a sense of responsibility since they feel that they are not the only ones who are using their time in making efforts to clean up the environment.

Information on reducing the amount of waste should also be provided to school going children. For example, the children can be taught on how to build composting systems. Involving the young members of the society will ensure that they reduce the amount of waste that they generate at school. Lessons given to the students can also be applied at home. The students can share the information with their parents, siblings, friends, and neighbours. Schools provide a platform from which information on waste management can be passed to a large number of persons at a go (UNEP n.d).

School meetings in Nepal can, for example, be used to educate members of the society. Information that is provided in such forums will impact on the lives of many members of the society in terms of their ability to reduce waste. Teaching the individuals on how to manage waste at a tender age will turn them into responsible citizens. They are also likely to grow accustomed to waste reduction. In addition, they are likely to take care of their environment in a better way compared to previous generations. Sustainability will be achieved in the process since new generations will have the knowledge to combat the waste menace.

Educating others on waste management is also important since it enables members of the society to come together to seek a lasting solution (UNEP n.d). Education forums encourage creativity in the community. Through the exchange of ideas, new possibilities to reduce waste can be suggested and explored. By exchanging ideas, the people of Sandikhola can come up with alternative ways of dealing with waste. For example, suggestions may be made on how to improve the efficiency of the design used to manufacture or assemble the composting systems (Dangi et al. 2013). Individuals can also come up with better ways of reusing waste. For example, biscuit tins can be used to grow plants. Tires that are worn out can be used to make swings for the children, rather than buying new ones. Through education, individuals are empowered. Entrepreneurial minds may also be created in the process. An individual can, for instance, discover a viable economic opportunity in the collection of renewable waste.

Selected Alternative 2 – Incineration of Waste

Incineration is one of the traditional practices that are used in Nepal to dispose large amounts of waste. The practice is common in many other Asian countries. In Nepal, the approach is mostly used in the disposal of hospital wastes. A study to this end was conducted by Pesticide Watch Group on 16 hospitals in Kathmandu valley. The research found that 62 percent of health institutions resorted to combustion to manage their waste.

The hospitals practiced either open burning or incineration. Both practices were carried out within the premises. In addition, the study revealed that there were two main types of incinerators that were commonly used. The incinerators used were observed to have either one or two chambers. Some of them were locally made, while others were imported. Some hospitals incinerated all their waste products, while others only burnt items that were considered to have the potential of spreading infections (Dorsetforyou.com 2013). The government of Nepal has funded many incinerator projects across the country. However, the construction of a state-of-the-art incinerator plant at Sherlo Monastery is seen as one of the most optimistic projects implemented by the government of Nepal to deal with the waste problem in the country. The image in appendix 1 shows a picture of a worker putting waste into an incinerator situated at Sherlo Monastery.

There are a number of advantages associated with the incineration of waste in Nepal, particularly for the people of Sandikhola. To start with, incineration requires a small piece of land for the management of waste compared to other alternative designs, such as landfill (WaterAid 2008). With the help of this process, the weight and volume of waste is reduced to manageable levels. As such, incineration helps reduce the bulk of the waste.

Only a small piece of land is required for the disposal of the waste using the incineration method. There is a 75 percent reduction in the weight of waste following incineration. The burning is also important as it ensures that the flue and the heavy metal-laden gases produced following incineration are cleaned to reduce their effect on the environment. The approach is important in that it ensures that the gases produced are released to the environment in a friendly manner. It averts the occurrence of pollution related problems, such as the greenhouse effect.

It is possible to locate incinerators near residential areas. As already indicated, most of the waste produced in Sandikhola emanates from households (Waste Online 2006). The ability to construct the incinerators close to residential areas with minimal effects on the people will reduce the volume of traffic associated with waste disposal efforts. The waste does not have to be transported over long distances since it is incinerated close to the site where it was produced. Incinerators set up in residential areas also help reduce the cost of transporting waste. In addition, air pollution is reduced since less fossil fuel is burnt to transport the waste using heavy trucks.

Incinerators do not cause noise pollution since waste is burnt under controlled environment (Waste Online 2006). By adopting this approach, members of the community will not need to use other waste management alternatives, such as landfill. The heat generated by these burners can be put into good use. It can be used to power steam turbines for the generation of power. It can be used for heating during cold weather. The products of incineration include flue gases, slag, ash, and other residues. The by-products are not associated with foul smells like other solid wastes. It is also important to note that the waste that is managed through incineration is renewable since it assists in the conservation of fossil fuel, which is a non-renewable resource.

Incineration is, however, more expensive compared to alternative forms of waste management, such as landfill (Visvanathan & Norbu 2006). The cost associated with this method continues to rise, especially as a result of skyrocketing prices of fuel. A lot of energy is required to completely burn the waste products. The energy is mainly sourced from petroleum products or electricity. People living in poor regions, such as Sandikhola, cannot afford to put up with the high cost of fuel. Measures put in place to reduce pollution are expensive. Such measures include cleaning the gases released after the incineration of the waste. Expensive technology in terms of sieves and chemical reactants are used. The gas must be checked for harmful elements before it is released into the environment. It is argued that measures put in place to avert pollution contribute to over half the total cost of the incineration process.

The success of incineration as the most suitable waste management alternative for the people of Sandikhola is limited. To begin with, the approach requires expensive technology when compared to other alternatives (Visvanathan & Norbu 2006). To this end, it is not easy for the people of Sandikhola to purchase and maintain these technologies. Most of the incinerators used in Nepal are imported and require a lot of capital to install and maintain.

The machines also need skilled personnel to operate them. As a result, such a project will not be feasible and sustainable in the long term. In addition, the use of incineration as an alternative wastage management strategy in Nepal is limited. The alternative is not popular with the people of Sandikhola. As such, people will take long fully adopt and embrace the strategy. Incinerators also have a considerably small capacity. For instance, only one major installation is found in Kathmandu valley. It is situated at Patan Hospital. Other smaller incinerators in the area can only handle a daily waste capacity of 400 kilograms.

Many Nepalese have protested against the setting up of incinerators. They are not comfortable with the installations close to their households. It is not easy to convince them that the incinerators will help them deal with the problem of waste disposal (Asian Development Bank 2013). On the contrary, they continue to express fears that the facilities will expose them to a number of health issues. They particularly raise concerns with the emissions produced by the incinerators (Asian Development Bank 2013). The picture in appendix 2 is an illustration of such emissions. The realisation is an indication of some of the negative effects that incinerators have on people living near the facilities.

Nepalese citizens have in the past held protests demanding to know who is responsible for the management of medical waste. Currently, the country’s ministry of health is responsible for large healthcare institutions. The ministry of education is responsible for teaching persons working in the healthcare facilities (How can I reduce waste? n.d). The health practitioners should be taught on how to appropriately dispose medical waste. The ministry of industry on the other hand is in charge of nursing hospitals. Failure to streamline the system has lead to a crisis in terms of the disposal of medical waste. No single government department is responsible for the disposal of the waste, a situation that has created confusion in the countries public sector. As a result, medical waste in the country has always been mishandled and carelessly disposed (How can I reduce waste? n.d).

Selected Alternative 3 – Bioremediation in Nepal

Bioremediation is also one of the most commonly used waste management alternatives. The technique has been used for over three decades now since it was introduced. Vermicomposting is the mostly used bioremediation technology in Nepal (How can I reduce waste? n.d). In vermicomposting, worms are used to speed up the rate of decomposition of food and vegetable wastes. Earthworms, red wigglers and white worms are the most commonly used. The diagram in appendix 3 illustrates this clearly. It shows a picture of vendors selling compost kits containing worms that are used in vermicomposting.

However, it is noted that the country lacks large composting facilities. The technology has also not been adopted in all parts of the country. Lack of adequate resources in Sandikhola has hindered the locals from adopting the technology. It is however important to note that composting activities have been ongoing in Nepal especially in the Hetaudu, Bhaktapur and Kathmandu regions. Currently, the municipality of Bhaktapur has the largest compost plant in the country. The plant is in a position to handle atleast six tons of waste on a daily basis.

On the other hand, Hetaudu and Kathmandu municipalities encourage communal and household composting activities (Asian Development Bank 2013). Kathmandu composting plant has been operational for over two decades now. Efforts to install another composting plant in Bhaktapur municipality are underway. The new plant will have the capacity to work on at least 3 tons of waste daily. Both the private sector and the members of the community are being involved in the efforts to manage organic waste through composting. A number of NGOs working in the region are also encouraging composting activities. Such NGOs include WEPCO and NEPCEMAC.

Composting would be important in the management of waste in the Sandikhola. Quality compost obtained from Vermicomposting sites is sold to farmers and landscapers (Benefits of Recycling 2014). As a result, composting will help to improve on the quality and quantity of food produced by the people of Sandikhola. Through composting, pathogens and weeds can also be controlled. Cases of health risks associated with waste will therefore be reduced.

Compost plants maintain temperatures of over 400 centigrade for a few weeks. The temperatures are unfavourable for growth of pathogens, such as bacteria and harmful fungi. Through composting, the mass and volume of the waste is also reduced. A reduction in weight results from the loss of some of the water in the waste material. The bulkiness of the waste is also reduced thus improving its handling. Composting of organic waste also reduces the odours produced. As a result, air pollution is controlled.

There is a possibility that bioremediation can be successfully used in waste management efforts in Sandikhola is high (Benefits of Recycling 2014). Since vermicomposting was introduced in the country in 1996, it has been greatly embraced by the Nepalese people. For example, the practice of selling vermicomposting kits containing 300 worms is common in Kathmandu. The most commonly used worm species is the Eisenia foetida. The cost of these compost kits is much lower compared to other alternatives of waste management, such as incineration. The project is therefore feasible and can be afforded by most households.

The figure in appendix 4 is an illustration of a conventional compost bin. The figure is an image of a Nepalese woman standing in front of such a bin located near a household.

Members of the community in Kathmandu Metropolitan City have also participated in voluntary work involving the composting of waste (Robbins & Dustin 2011). Currently, there are over 100 youths who have volunteered to promote the popularity of vermicomposting as the means of managing waste. The volunteers act as a link between the municipality authority and the members of the community. They guide the locals on the right procedures to be followed during composting to ensure that the process is successful. It is therefore easy to conduct a follow up to ensure that the right thing is being done. As a result, sustainability will be achieved. They also help in demonstrating to the community members on how to construct compost kits without having to buy commercial ones.

However, it is important to note that the vermicomposting plants can only handle minimal amounts of waste. The largest plant in the country can only handle six tons of organic waste dairy (How can I reduce waste? n.d). The capacity of the composting plants does not however match the ever rising amount of organic waste produced by the households. Bioremediation through composting also only helps people deal with organic waste.

The alternative will not be in a position to deal with inorganic wastes, such as plastic. Composting has also been noted to be effective only on fast decomposing waste products, such as vegetables and food scraps. Vermicomposting is therefore not an effective practice in dealing with waste management since it is selective. It is important to note that the people of Sandikhola need to seek an alternative that deals with all forms of waste. Persons are also required to purchase the compost kits which contain worms. Poor households will not be in a position to purchase these kits and will continue relying on municipal services.

Selected Alternative 4 – Composting

Composting is an alternative to dealing with waste that involves its conversion to fertiliser. The alternative only helps deal with organic matter which is decomposed and recycled back into the soil. For this reason, the composting process is also commonly referred to as soil amendment. It is one of the key ingredients of organic farming (Robbins & Dustin 2011). Through composting, nature helps in the recycling of matter into humus like substances.

Examples of substances that are broken down include manure, leaves, food remains, coffee grounds, worms, grass trimmings, as well as papers. A number of microorganisms are used in the process of composting. Bacteria are the most actively involved group of microbes in facilitating the process. Fungi and actinomycetes are also involved in composting. They are able to break down waste only in presence of oxygen. During composting, the aerobic micro organisms turn the organic waste into ammonium, heat, and carbon dioxide (Cornell Waste Management Institute 2014). Ammonium is produced in form of nitrogen (NH4) which is an important nutrient for perennials, such as maize and shrubs. Failure to consume NH4 by the plants leads to further conversion of the product into nitrate (NO3) which also helps complete the nitrogen cycle. Generally, the process of composting takes place naturally. However, human interventions can be used to speed up the process of composting.

The process of composting only takes place under favourable conditions. Five conditions that promote composting have been identified. To begin with, worms and micro organisms must be introduced into the waste for the process to kick off. The organisms, which act as catalysts to the process, are referred to as compost activators. Bacteria, fungi, or both may be used. The right nutrients in their right quantities must also be present for the process of composting to take place. Waste to be used for the preparation of compost should be composed of both brown and green organic waste. Brown organic waste is rich in carbon. It consists of materials, such as manure and dead leaves. Green organic waste on the other hand is rich in nitrogen and is composed of materials, such as grass and food waste (Cornell Waste Management Institute 2014). While comparing compost, the two should be mixed in a ratio of 1 green part to 20 parts of brown material.

Oxygen is also essential for the process of composting to occur. Microbes require oxygen for them to survive and for their respiration. As a result, it is important to ensure that the waste is properly aerated to ensure that there is swift breakdown of the waste (Turner & Geraldine 2010). Water is also an important requirement for the process of composting. Water is a medium for most microbes, such as bacteria. Water also helps hydrolyse the organic matter making it easier for the microbes to break it down. Moisture is also important for the growth of fungi. Enough time must also be allowed for the compost to be ready. The process of composting takes several weeks and can at times take even months. What this means is that it is a long term waste management strategy.

Compost designs are simple and inexpensive (Cornell Waste Management Institute 2014). They can be built at any location. Site selection is however very important when designing a compost site. It is important to ensure that the designs are built away from dwelling places in order to avoid air pollution. The direction of the wind should also be considered to avoid carrying the odour from compost to the homes. While preparing a compost pit, the waste should be arranged into two layers.

The first layer should be made up of the green organic material, such as grass and leaves. The materials are rich in nitrogen. The reason behind using these materials on the lower layer is to improve on aeration. Since large air spaces are left between the materials, the rate of airflow will be increased in the compost. The activity of the bacteria is therefore promoted in the process (Turner & Geraldine 2010). The upper layer is made up of the carbon based materials. Here, more dense materials such as manure and soils rich in nutrients can be used. Carbon rich materials act as a source of nutrition for the microbes. Food scraps are also added in this layer to improve on the quality of the compost.

In order for the compost to be more efficient, it is important to build several rows. Having several rows ensures that the new waste is not mixed with older waste. As such, fresh waste added will have enough time to decompose. The waste should also be turned regularly to ensure that it is evenly broken down (Turner & Geraldine 2010). Turning the compost regularly also ensures that it is properly aerated and prevents the rotting of the materials used. Rotting would lead to the release of unpleasant odours that would pollute the air. Once the compost is ready, it can be transferred to the backyards where it can be used to grow vegetables and other crops.

A number of advantages are associated with composting as one of the alternatives designs to waste management. Should the people of Sandikhola adopt composting, they will enjoy flexibility in waste management (Turner & Geraldine 2010). Decomposing is a natural process and does not require much human intervention. Man can only help increase the process of decomposing the waste. Since composting does not require any specialised technology, it is a cheap method of managing waste. The procedures to be followed when preparing compost are also simple and can be followed by all members of the society, both the literate and the illiterate. Sustainability can also be achieved since the people of Sandikhola will not require constant training and follow up for them to be in a position to prepare quality compost. Compost is also beneficial to the people since it promotes farming activities.

Composting can also save the people of Sandikhola a lot of cost in terms of the transportation of waste. Composting in most cases is done at household basis unlike other alternatives, such as landfill (Robbins & Dustin 2011). Composting will also help promote recycling activities. In order to compost, households are required to separate organic wastes from that which is inorganic. During the sorting process, the villagers will also be in a position to separate recyclable waste from other materials. In the process, tons of glass, paper, and metal can be gathered from waste generated for them to be recycled. Composting is also important in that it reduces the need for synthetic fertiliser. The people of Sandikhola will be in a position to practice farming that is environmental friendly (Turner & Geraldine 2010).

Compost manure does not have as great pollution effects compared to synthetic fertiliser, such as the green house effect. The cost of purchasing synthetic fertilisers is also high and lowers the profitability of farming. Composting is also important in that it helps in the recycling of nitrogen. Through the nitrogen cycle, nitrogen contained in the organic wastes is returned back into the soil and can be used in the production of new foods and vegetative materials. The cycle is continuous and ensures that nitrogen is not exhausted.

The possibility of composting helping the people of Sandikhola deal with the problem of waste management is however limited. To begin with, the alternative only helps in the management organic waste. It does not help the people of Sandikhola deal with synthetic waste which has continued to be one of their greatest menaces. Through composting, limited amount of waste can be managed (Robbins & Dustin 2011). Compost pits can only accommodate limited amounts of waste.

The figure in appendix 5 shows a picture of a compost pit. In the picture, it is apparent that only a limited amount of waste can be accommodated in such a pit.

The alternative is also time consuming and does not provide immediate solutions to waste management compared to other alternatives, such as incineration. Composting also increases the population of microbes in the waste. Some of the microbes may be pathogenic and pose health risks to the people of Sandikhola (Turner & Geraldine 2010). Following composting, it is important to treat the waste in order to kill harmful microbes. Treating the waste increases on the cost of composting. As a result, the alternative would not be the most appropriate for the people of Sandikhola.

Selected Alternative 5 – Onsite Burial

Onsite disposal is one of the alternatives to waste management. It involves placing waste on the ground at the same spot where it was generated. Onsite burial is important since it ensures that the earth’s surface is not littered with waste (Asian Development Bank 2013). The process involves the removal of the top soil to a given depth depending on the amount of waste that has been generated.

Through this alternative, households can be in a position to dispose their own solid waste without relying on municipal services. A number of considerations must however be taken when dealing with the waste. For example, it is important to consider the water table’s depth at the site. Sound environmental controls must be taken in order to prevent the contamination of underground water. Through burying, the contamination of surface water is also prevented. The waste should be buried deep enough to prevent it being washed away following erosion of the soil. Soil should also be properly compacted to ensure that the waste is contained within the site where it was buried.

In Nepal, onsite burial as a waste disposal alternative has been mainly applied in the region of Kathmandu. Huge trenches have been dug in the area. The trenches stretch to the length of several kilometres. Most of these trenches have been filled with plastic waste. The waste is non-degradable. For this reason, it continues to persist in the soil for many decades. Soil erosion eventually leads to the exposure of these pits on to the ground surface. In areas where the amount of waste buried was considerably huge, it forms a landmark when it is exposed following erosion (UNEP n.d). The waste can be carried to water bodies through surface erosion causing contamination.

Onsite burial of waste is however associated with a number of advantages. The alternative offers instant waste management solutions to the people. If adopted by the people of Sandikhola, onsite burial will help the people to dispose of waste as soon as it is generated. Rapid management of waste helps reduce on its pollution effect (UNEP n.d). The alternative is also cost effective. The people of Sandikhola only require digging pits that are proportionate with the amount of waste that they wish to dispose off. Since waste management is done at the household level, only human effort will be required. All forms of solid waste can also be disposed through the alternative.

Onsite burial also does not require the transportation of waste from one point to another. Since waste is buried at the same spot where it is generated, the cost of transporting it is eliminated. The harmful effects associated with the waste are also contained within a small region. The design has for example been used in many countries in the control of diseases, such as anthrax. Animals that die from the disease are buried on the same spot to prevent the spread of pathogens. For this reason, the health of the people of Sandikhola will be promoted.

However, the alternative would not be effective in addressing the problem of waste management in Sandikhola since it is associated with a number of shortcomings. To begin with, onsite burial is only an effective means of waste disposal in approved sites. Organisations and agencies involved in the conservation of the environmental put in place strict regulations concerning the burial of waste. The regulations are mainly aimed at maintaining the quality of water. Onsite burial of waste therefore requires continuous monitoring (UNEP n.d). Monitoring requires the involvement of the government in the management of waste.

However, the government may lack the resources to follow up the project a situation that would negatively impact on its sustainability. People have to take the waste to the burial sites. The alternative design also requires significant amount of space. A lot of land will therefore be wasted in the process making it undesirable among the people. Land used for the burial of waste can also not be put into future economic use. Contamination may also result from the burial of waste. The waste encourages the multiplication of pathogens in the soil. If the waste is shallowly buried, the pathogens can be easily transported from one point to another through disease vectors, such as rodents and insects.

Selected Alternative 6 – Landfill Disposal

The construction of landfill sites is also another alternative to the management of waste in Sandikhola. The sites are also commonly referred to as tips, middens, dumps, dumping grounds, as well as rubbish dumps (Dangi et al. 2013). The alternative has previously been used in Nepal for many decades and is considered to be one of the oldest strategies to deal with waste. There are a number of landfills situated across the country. The Karaute Danda dump is the major and the most well managed landfill in the country. Activities undertaken in the landfill include sorting of waste.

Through sorting, the management of the landfill is able to determine what waste will be reused, recycled, and that which will undergo composting. The site has for this reason been in a position to generate income through the sale of compost and recyclable waste. However, there have been concerns that the landfill is almost filled to capacity. The disposal of heavy metals and other chemicals have also led to the contamination of the landfill. The presence of contaminants has posed persons working in the landfill to a number of health conditions, such as cancer and bacterial diseases (Dangi et al. 2013). The citizens are also not willing to purchase contaminated compost. Other landfills include the Sisdole and Pokhara dumps. The two landfills are however of a smaller capacity and do not engage in the sorting of waste.

Landfills are suitable for the disposal of solid and semisolid waste. The waste to be disposed should also have low concentration of salts and hydrocarbons to avoid the contamination of surface and underground water. In most cases, the wastes are treated prior to its disposal in the landfill (Gurung & Oh 2012). Landfills are similar to the onsite burials in that on both alternative designs, the top soil is dug out before the pits are filled with waste.

The soil that had been dug out is then used to cover the waste. The two are also only practiced in restricted areas and require constant monitoring to prevent them from impacting negatively on the environment. Major differences however exist between the landfills and onsite burial. To begin with, landfills involve large-scale management of waste while onsite burials are often done on a small scale basis. Heavy machinery is used in landfills. Onsite burial on the other hand only requires small hand tools. While onsite burials are done at the local level, landfills are often run by large municipalities that generate a huge amount of waste within a short duration of time.

A number of considerations must be made while implementing landfill projects. The depth of the pit is one of the most important considerations. The site selected for the construction of the landfill should not have ground water that is close to the earth surface (Neupane & Neupane 2013).

The waste should be dumped more than five feet above the level of the ground water. The type of soil in the site is also an important consideration. Landfills should be constructed in areas where the soils have low permeability. Clay soils are the most preferred. Sandy soils would not be suitable for the construction of the landfills. Appropriate measures should also be put in place in order to prevent leaching and surface runoff (Asian Development Bank 2013). Physical barriers are used to separate the waste and the ground water in order to prevent leaching. Vegetation can be used to protect against surface runoff. Grass can be planted on top of the already filled areas to prevent erosion. Despites all these measures having been taken, it is important to closely monitor the sites to ensure that they are still in a good condition.

If the project if adopted in Sandikhola, people living in the village would enjoy a number of advantages are associated with the use of the landfills in the management of waste. To begin with, landfills are simple to construct. No complex technology is required compared to other alternative designs, such as incineration. Equipments required for the construction of landfills, such as excavators are also readily available. Many municipal services own these equipments which can be easily provided to the people to help them deal with waste (Asian Development Bank 2013). Landfills therefore meet the feasibility criteria. People of Sandikhola would also not be required to purchase expensive equipments, such as earth movers since they can be rent out or borrowed at low charges. A landfill also requires limited space compared to the amount of waste that it would help the people of Sandikhola dispose.

Landfills are also associated with a number of disadvantages. By adopting the alternative, the people of Sandikhola will have to contend with the cost of transporting waste from the spot where it is generated to the landfill sites where it is finally discarded (Waste Online 2006).

The cost of transportation would make the alternative to overburden the people of Sandikhola making it undesirable. The transportation of waste from one point to another would also lead to the spread of pathogens. Disease causing organisms, such as bacteria are carried from one area to another and can lead to pandemics. Landfills also lead to the contamination of water. Through landfills, both surface and ground water can be contaminated. Ground water is contaminated through the leaching of waste. Surface water on the other hand is contaminated through erosion. If protective vegetation is not used, surface runoff may occur (WaterAid 2008). Waste may be carried to rivers where it causes the contamination of water. Should the alternative be used in Sandikhola, residents may be faced with the risk of suffering from water borne disease. The construction and running of landfills would also require the community to adhere to strict regulations put in place by environmental agencies.

Final Design

Proposed Design

After a series of evaluations and discussions, the final design narrows down to solid waste. The final design is arrived at following the ranking of the alternatives that are available. With solid waste, we can be in a position to the ‘4Rs’ system that would better assist us deal with the issue in Sandikhola (Thompson 2012). The ‘4Rs’ design ensures that waste is adequately managed through reduction, reusing, recycling, and responding. It is important to note that the solid waste is the only alternative that can apply the system.

This section aims at studying the final design that has been selected. The feasibility of the design has also been discussed in this section. It is also important to consider the scale in which the design can be used. The scale determines the how effective the design will be in dealing with the waste. Through the ‘4Rs’ system, solid waste management can be done on a small-scale and on a large-scale basis (Waste Online 2006). The system can for example be applied by a household efficiently without relying on external help. The same system can also be applied in the entire village effectively where the people come together to reduce on the amount of waste that they generate.

The success of the design is dependent on the education program that was rolled out in the area during the launching and the implementation process. Educating the people is important since it provides them with skills that can be passed on from one generation to another. Sustainability is therefore achieved in the process (WaterAid 2008). Educating the people is also cheap and requires few resources compared to rolling out expensive projects.

Little infrastructure will also be required in the handling of solid waste. Through activities, such as recycling and reusing, the amount of waste generated will be considerably reduced. However, transportation of the waste that cannot be reused or recycled will be needed. The waste can be moved to the nearest Landfill. The only cost to be incurred by the villagers is associated with the transportation of waste that is of no value to the villagers. Since the villagers have already earned from the recycled waste, the cost of transportation will be negligible.

Resources are also conserved through the adoption of the design. The design ensures that the people of Sandikhola use minimal resources since little is wasted (How can I reduce waste? n.d). Products are reused instead of throwing away after they have been utilised. Persons are also encouraged to avoid buying items that they are not to use often to avoid piling up unnecessary items in stores. Recycling also allows the people of Sandikhola to generate revenue from waste. Generation of income has a number of advantages as far as the management of waste is concerned. First, people are encouraged to participate in the management activities due to the associated benefits. Second, the quality of life in the community is improved as a result of an alternative source of income.

Sustainability of the Final Design

For the final design to be effective in addressing the waste problem affecting the people of Sandikhola, it must have an element of sustainability. The designs sustainability is assessed through the ‘4S’ method. Four factors are normally assessed in the ‘4S’ method. The factors are sustainability in general, environmental, social as well as economic factors. The solid waste design allows us to use a 4 step system in order to achieve sustainability (Thompson 2012).

The four steps involve a comprehensive strategy of handling waste. They include reducing, reusing, recycling, and responding with regards to waste. The system is systematic and strategic in the management of waste. Rather than relying on projects, the design only depends on the education of the community members. Reusing of materials also ensures that there is little wastage and also helps in the reduction of the amount of waste generated. Recycling on the other hand is important since it generates revenue for the people living in the village of Sandikhola. Through response, information is passed amongst the people hence allowing all the members of the community to change together. The various factors associated with the 4S method are discussed below.

General aspects of sustainability

It is clear that all solid waste can be reduced, reused and recycled. As a result, the design would be able to deal with all aspects of waste management in the area. For this reason, it is the most appropriate design for the people of Sandikhola. The element of reduction ensures that little waste will be generated in future. Little efforts will therefore be required to ensure that the environment is kept clean. Reusing also ensures that waste that had been generated in the past, as well as the newly generated waste is put into use instead of being disposed (Thompson 2012). Recycling is also important in ensuring that the solid waste management efforts in Sandikhola are sustainable. Recycling makes the design important to the people since they will manage their own waste in order to earn income from it.

Environmental factors

The ‘4Rs’ system of dealing with solid waste is viable for the environment. The amount of waste released into the surrounding will be reduced through cutting on the amount generated, reusing after it has been produced, as well as recycling it (Thompson 2012). Through the ‘4S’ method, accumulation in landfills and dumping sites in Nepal will be reduced as the people begin utilising their own waste. Individuals will also go ahead to utilise the waste that had already been released in the environment. Pollution effects of the waste in the environment will therefore be reduced. Natural resources such as rivers and forestlands will also not be littered with waste.

Economical factors

The implementation of the ‘4Rs’ and the ‘4S’ systems require no financial aid. The Members of the society are only taught on how to manage waste (Asian Development Bank 2013). The success of the education offered to the people will be assessed on the basis of the people’s ability to deal with the waste. Since no financial aid is required to enable the people manage waste, there society will be in a position to continue managing their waste even after the withdrawal of NGO. Reusing waste also enables the people to conserve their resources. Since the people benefit from adequately managing the waste, they will carry on with these activities and pass on the trend to future generations.

Recycling also helps the people generate income. The people of Sandikhola will therefore find value in waste that they generate. Through the purchases of locally produced products, the economy of the area will also be improved. The only cost that the people of Sandikhola will have to incur is the transportation of waste that is of no socio-economic value to them to the landfills. The gains obtained from the waste however surpass the cost of transportation

Social factors

The ‘4S’ method will also not burden the members of the society. Instead, the method will improve on their welfare. Through reduced waste, the health of the people will be ensured (How can I reduce waste? n.d). Managing waste will translate to a reduction of the pathogen population. Income saved and generated from the utilisation of waste will help improve the people’s standards of living. Since waste management acts as their source of income, they will continue to engage in these activities. In the process, waste will be reduced. Management of solid waste also does not impact negatively on the culture of the community.

General Discussion on Sustainability

The 4S method is used to assess sustainability. Sustainability in the management of solid waste will ensure that the people continue to enjoy the design applied. As stated earlier, no financial aid will be required in the implementation of the design, the people of Sandikhola will only be required to apply the skills that they have been taught through the education provided to them (How can I reduce waste? n.d). As explained earlier, the design will help reduce on the waste being generated currently, utilise that which was produced in the past, as well as help the people plan for the future.

Conclusion

Nepal is a developing nation. As a result, the country has in the past experienced rapid economic growth mostly associated with an increase in economic activities. Following these growth in the economy, the country witnessed an increase in the amount of waste being generated. The situation has been further worsened by the fact that the country is experiencing a sharp increase in the population (Waste Online 2006). Waste management has in the past been viewed as the responsibility of the municipal services. To deal with waste, a number of alternatives can be applied. The alternatives include composting, landfill disposal, incineration of waste, solid-waste, bioremediation, and onsite burial. Each of them is associated with a number of strengths and weaknesses.

A number of non-governmental organisations and private investors have in the past taken steps to help the people of Nepal in dealing with the waste problem. Engineers without Borders challenge and Nepal Water for Health are a good example of organisations that have moved in to improve on the welfare of the people by empowering them with information on how to manage waste. The two have achieved this through a number of educational programs (Asian Development Bank 2013). Currently, the two organisations are working with the people of Sandikhola.

Following a series of deliberations, it was concluded that the best design to deal with the problem was that which focused on Solid waste. The design was considered to be the most appropriate since it applied the ‘4Rs’ system in the management of waste (Thompson 2012). The design was also in a position to meet the selection criteria that focused on sustainability and feasibility. The 4S method was used to analyse the sustainability of the design.

The final design should also be implemented in other places in Nepal. Implementation of the design is associated with a number of advantages, such as feasibility and sustainability. The design is also be cheap since only educating the locals is required. No financial aid is also required in the implementation of the design. To better deal with the waste menace in Nepal, it would be important that Engineers without Borders challenge and Nepal Water for Health put in place the necessary infrastructure to ensure continuity rather than just providing education to the people. For instance, they would establish an office in the area with several staff members in order to deal with the waste menace. Several officials and staff members should also be left behind to oversee the transition. The aim of this is to ensure that members of the community learn how to deal with the various issues associated with the project when they are left alone.

Appendices

Appendix 1

Worker putting waste into an incinerator.
Worker putting waste into an incinerator. Source: Visvanathan and Norbu (2006).

Appendix 2

Emissions.
Emissions. Source: Visvanathan and Norbu (2006)

Appendix 3

Vendors selling compost kits containing worms that are used in vermicomposting.
Vendors selling compost kits containing worms that are used in vermicomposting.

Appendix 4

Compost bin.
Compost bin. Source: Visvanathan and Norbu (2006)

Appendix 5

Compost pit.
Compost pit. Source: Visvanathan and Norbu (2006)

References

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Shrestha, A & Singh, R 2012, ‘Energy recovery from municipal solid waste by briquetting process: evaluation of physical and combustion properties of the fuel’, Nepal Journal of Science and Technology, vol. 12 no. 1, pp. 232-250. Web.

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