Municipal solid waste generation in Kathmandu, Nepal

Waste stream characteristics must be understood to tackle waste management problems in Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), Nepal. Three-stage stratified cluster sampling was used to evaluate solid waste data collected from 336 households in KMC. This information was combined with data collected regarding waste from restaurants, hotels, schools and streets. The study found that 497.3 g capita−1 day−1 of solid waste was generated from households and 48.5, 113.3 and 26.1 kg facility−1 day−1 of waste was generated from restaurants, hotels and schools, respectively. Street litter measured 69.3 metric tons day−1. The average municipal solid waste generation rate was 523.8 metric tons day−1 or 0.66 kg capita−1 day−1 as compared to the 320 metric tons day−1 reported by the city. The coefficient of correlation between the number of people and the amount of waste produced was 0.94. Key household waste constituents included 71% organic wastes, 12% plastics, 7.5% paper and paper products, 5% dirt and construction debris and 1% hazardous wastes. Although the waste composition varied depending on the source, the composition analysis of waste from restaurants, hotels, schools and streets showed a high percentage of organic wastes. These numbers suggest a greater potential for recovery of organic wastes via composting and there is an opportunity for recycling. Because there is no previous inquiry of this scale in reporting comprehensive municipal solid waste generation in Nepal, this study can be treated as a baseline for other Nepalese municipalities.