ISLAMABAD - Despite repeated public complaints, the civic agencies are still at their loggerheads to move totally generated garbage out of the city’s area and the residents of the federal capital are compelled to brave teasing odour of the solid waste dumped in installed waste dumpsters by them daily.

The placing of waste bins of different sizes across the capital, one of the archaic strategy of Capital Development Authority (CDA) to handle the total generated trash of Islamabad, has gradually left the capital’s dwellers to breath in polluted air. The trash trolleys aimed at giving the city a civilised look, are somehow becoming breeding places for mosquitoes and creating health hazards for the public as these are not being properly covered. The residents of different sectors including G-6, G-7, G-8, G-9, G-10, I-8, I-9, I-10 and other complained about untimely cleaning of these bins which is making them more prone to communicable diseases like malaria, dengue and diarrhoea and demanded to cover these trolleys properly.

Director Sanitation Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad Sardar Khan Zimri said that the MCI was taking different measures to keep the city clean by fully utilising resources at its disposal, citing the paucity of funds to properly handle the trash generated in the capital. He said the administration was also planning to outsource trash-picking to a private company for further streamlining the cleaning process. Additionally, the MCI is working on different options to recycle the garbage and utilise the same for a constructive purpose like energy generation and making organic fertilizers, requiring around Rs1.25 billion for handling the total generated trash of the capital through insight plans. The outsourcing scheme was already operational in G-6, G-7, G-8, G-9, G-10, G-11 and I-8 sectors as pilot project since August that had given positive results, he added. The Director said that the MCI was in the process of consultation with different entities for waste disposal without impacting the environment and general health.

Highlighting the options considered by the civic authority over the years, Zimri stressed for materializing the waste-to-energy plant project which would play a significant role in bringing down littering in the capital to zero level and provide the city a civilized look. Some foreign companies, he said, had shown their desire to build the plants on BOT basis. “They had suggested charging $10 to 12 for converting one-ton garbage into energy and then selling it to the National Electric Power Regulatory Authority,” he added. He said that he wrote 3 times to the CDA for allocating the place for the waste-to-energy plant in Sanjrani which he regretted was being dealt with slow approach.

Dr Sharif Astori of Federal Government Services Hospital (FGSH) said that trash should be lifted daily as the bins mostly contained food waste, inviting bacteria to grow which could affect human respiratory system. “Its initial breakdown and subsequent decomposition by micro-organisms created unpleasant smell. The people, who had to bear its smell all the day, might have more aggressive behaviour”, Qasim claimed.

Ishtiaq, a government employee in sector I-9 called for placing waste-containers outside the localities and practice of placing it before homes, shops, schools and playing grounds must be discouraged. “We are forced to keep our doors and windows shut to avoid this uninvited adversity,” he said.

He urged the authorities concerned that if they could not put these uncovered bins outside the localities, at least it should apply insecticide or lime-powder on these over-stuffed dumpster.

A retired CDA employee on condition of anonymity said that despite lapse of 50 years, no permanent of garbage dumping site had been set up for the capital due to mishandling of the matter by the civic body.

The city witnessed relocation of dumping site to sectors H-10, I-12, I-14, I-15 and then back to I-12 over the years, he said.