BEST PRACTICES ON SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT OF NEPALESE CITIES
Solid Waste ManagementURBAN ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
Being the second largest city in Nepal, Biratnagar is a major
industrial hub of the country. It is located near the Indian
border in the south-east and is 490 km from the capital,
Kathmandu. Covering a total area of 58.48 km2, Biratnagar
Sub-Metropolitan City21 (BSMC) has 22 wards (BSMC, 2008
data). In 2001 the total number of HHs in this sub-
metropolitan city was 33,678 and the population was
166,674 (CBS, 2001). The population growth rate of this
sub-metropolitan city is 3.36 per cent per year and the
population density is 2850.1 persons per km2 (CBS, 2001).
The projected population for the year 2008 is 205,876.
Rationale for selection
This case is included in this study because it is the first
municipality to involve the private sector in solid waste
management. The citizens are familiar with private
sector provision of sustainable waste management
services in their city.
The situation was much worse before recent
interventions. Garbage was left in the open in the public
places of Biratnagar. The municipality was not able to
provide neither a door-to-door collection service nor a
sanitary disposal of solid wastes. Because of the
strength of the local business sector, the municipality
had proposed that waste management services should
be provided by the private sector. This concept was
introduced in 1997-98, and Biratnagar became the first
municipality in Nepal to introduce this kind of
partnership approach for solid waste management.
Because of the unstable political situation and the lack
of clear government policy, the partnership with the
first contractor to be engaged - Americorp - ran into
difficulties (GHK Working Paper, 2001). Subsequently,
a contract with another contractor - Silt - was signed,
and this contract was operational until 2007. Silt
established an effective partnership environment with
the city in which a satisfactory service was provided.
In addition the partnership paved the way for the
introduction of waste management charges for HHs,
shops and other businesses.
Now Samajik Sudhar Tatha Batabaraniya Bikas Manch
(a private company) has taken over the contract for
providing services that include door-to-door waste
collection, transport and dumping. Local people and
politicians have appreciated the work of the private
sector in waste management; however they are dubious
Name of the Programme: Solid Waste Management in Biratnagar
Location: South-eastern Nepal, near to the Indian border
Duration of the Project: 1997 onwards
Beneficiaries: Residents of the sub-metropolitan city
Donors and Partners: Private sector, NGOs, CBOs, UNDP
Municipal Vision: Building municipal capacity in waste management by private sector involvement
21 Sub-metropolitan cities have populations more than 100,000 and annual revenues of at least NRs.20 million.