Section 144 imposed on dumpster diving/spreading trash away from disposal sites

According to a decision made by the Managing Director of Sindh Solid Waste Management Board, Amtiaz Ali Shah, Garbage pickers in Sindh, Pakistan, will now face legal action sanctioned under Section 144 if found spreading garbage once it has been dumped at disposal sites. The pickers, who remove recyclable items from dustbins, often throw the leftovers or trash destined for the landfill outside the bins or into the drains, which causes pollution and blockages.

Photo by The Environmental Correspondent

There is already a ban on throwing garbage in the drains and their surroundings. Legal action will now be taken against any person or picker who violates the rule. However, in a positive move, garbage pickers will also be made part of the sanitary workforce, allowing them to help clean the city rather than spreading more trash.

In addition, traders and shopkeepers who purchase items from waste pickers will also be targeted to stop the spread of trash. The MD Solid Waste has called for coordination with the Deputy Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners of Police of the concerned district to ensure legal action is taken upon detection.

Citizens have also been urged to cooperate by avoiding throwing garbage in the drains and sides, and to notify authorities if they see anyone spreading garbage. By working together, Sindh can effectively manage waste and ensure a cleaner, healthier environment for all.

How will Karachi waste management be improved?

Small-scale sustainable waste businesses in the city are not the cause of Karachi’s garbage problem, according to various institutions associated with the sustainable waste sector. Instead, the issue lies in administrative failure, which has allowed garbage to accumulate in the city’s landfills until proper administrative measures are taken. According to a waste management expert, Ahmad Shabbar, CEO of a social entreprenuership ‘GarbageCAN! Sustainable Waste Management’, the government should work with small businesses, rather than giving the city’s waste to just one large company, and base their partnership on performance. If they fail to manage waste properly and on time, the contract should be terminated to resolve the city’s garbage issue.

The problem with Karachi’s garbage, according to climate change activists, is that people take what they need from the garbage and leave the rest behind, which ends up in the city’s canals and eventually the sea. While the Sindh Solid Waste Management Board has taken steps to address this issue, some believe it will not make much of a difference in the long run. However, people may be able to help by bringing their garbage to specific locations, and sustainable waste management businesses may be able to provide assistance.

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