Nepal - 3.7 Waste Management and Recycling Infrastructure Assessment 


Waste management has been a major environmental challenge in Nepal. Rapid and uncontrolled urbanization, lack of public awareness, and poor management by municipalities have intensified environmental problems mostly in urban areas of Nepal. The highest waste category consists of organic waste with 66%, followed by plastics with 12%, and paper and paper products with 9%. The composition analysis of institutional wastes revealed 45% paper and paper products, 22% organic wastes, and 21% plastics. 

A report published by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) in 2022 on “Solid Waste Account as part of System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) of the Urban municipalities of Nepal” showed that the total amount of waste generated from the country’s municipalities is approximately one million mt/year, of which 3,86,690 mt/year is contributed by households, 2,45,884 mt/year by business houses, 1,03,244 mt/year by educational institutes, 94,392 mt/year by industries, 1,01,507 mt/year by health institutions, and 66,220 mt/year by other sectors. 

The country has issued several laws regarding waste disposal and management. 

  1. Environment Protection Act 2076 (2019): This act aims to amend and consolidate laws relating to the environment. 

  1. Health Care Waste Management Guideline (2014): Provides guidelines on safe management of health care waste. 

  1. Solid Waste Management Act, 2068 (2011): This act aims to manage solid waste systematically and effectively by reducing waste at its source, promoting re-use, processing, and proper discharge. 

  1. Solid Waste Management Rules, 2070 (2013): These rules were issued by the Government of Nepal under the Solid Waste Management Act. 

  1. Local Self Governance Act, 1999: Provides a framework for local bodies to manage waste within their jurisdictions. 


Municipalities are responsible for the collection, transport, treatment, and final disposal of solid waste. Solid Waste is collected in several ways, including door-to-door collection, collection through community bins, roadside pick-up, and self-delivery.  

The major landfill site for dumping waste generated in the Kathmandu Valley is Sisdol Landfill in the Nuwakot district. The site is filled up and has been causing environmental pollution in the area. A new sanitary landfill site is under construction at Banchare Danda, which lies 2 km west of the existing Sisdol landfill site. Sites for treatment facilities and sanitary landfills are yet to be identified by many municipalities and waste is currently being disposed of without treatment in crude dumping sites, creating public health risks and environmental problems. Most of the municipalities practice open dumping either on the riverside or roadside. There is no large-scale recycling program initiated by the government, however, the Kathmandu metropolis has recently started making compost from biodegradable household wastes, collected from its Ward 27. There are several private firms engaged in waste collection and recycling of waste. Notable private entities are Kahalisisi, Nepsemyak, and Doko Recyclers, these companies provide various waste management services including collection, transportation, and recycling or disposal of waste materials. 

Hazardous Waste Disposal 

Apart from the Health Care Waste Management Guidelines issued in 2014, there are no significant rules or laws that address the concern of hazardous waste disposal. Recently, Kathmandu metropolis has started monitoring the waste management practices of health facilities. The waste generated from home appliances, telecommunication devices including batteries, and the waste generated from vehicle maintenance workshops are still dumped in landfill sites. 

Medical Waste Overview and Disposal 

There is no proper waste management system in place for managing medical waste in Nepal. According to WHO, out of the total amount of waste generated by healthcare activities, about 85% is general, non-hazardous waste and the remaining 15% is considered hazardous material that may be infectious, toxic, or radioactive. A study published by UNDP in February 2022 titled “Need of Healthcare Waste Management System” states that, In Nepal, only a few hospitals have a well-established healthcare waste management system in place. Most hospitals and healthcare facilities either mix hazardous hospital waste with municipal waste and send it to landfill sites as general waste or burn it in the hospital's open space or backyard. 




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