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Millions and millions of tons of trash is dumped every day, globally, either on landfill sites; to be recycled later or directly into oceans. A huge quantity of trash accumulated by the oceans creates havoc for marine life, in fact due to ‘oceanic littering’ and other human activity; various areas are on the verge of an ecological disaster, whereas coral reefs and precious indigenous marine life is on the brink of extinction.

Although, some states have ramped up conservation efforts to save oceans from the lingering disaster, however, these efforts are restricted mostly to developed nations, whereas developing nations are still dumping waste into their oceans. Nonetheless, a new concept of waste-to-energy production, has given a glimmer of hope, as dumped waste could be used to generate electricity in the under-developed world, that’s already grappling with electricity shortfall.

Pakistan, being one of the most energy hungry nations in South-East Asia, is facing an acute electricity shortfall, where its mega polis Karachi is reeling under long hours of ‘load management plans’. However, an international organization named “Zharbiz international’’ working to promote clean energy, has offered a ‘clean’, viable and practical solution to Karachi’s energy problems.

One of the pioneers in implementing several waste-to-energy projects, Zharbiz international envisages producing electricity from the 16,000 metric tons of waste Karachi produces every day. A waste-to-energy plant could be set up to take waste from landfills, eliminate it and create electricity out of it, so that it could become a profitable venture, rather than ending up at a landfill to create more diseases.

The organization envisions setting up 10 waste-to-energy plants to manage the waste dumping situation in Karachi, owing to the absence of new landfill sites. The plants harness Finnish technology, and could be setup with a $100 million investment with assistance from partner firms, offering both effectiveness and a viable solution to the electricity shortfall. It is pertinent to mention here that a waste-to-energy plant can treat 1500 metric tons of waste and turn it into energy.

Currently there are 15 waste-to-energy plants operational in Finland, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam, whereas two power plants are in the pipeline, soon to be set up in two Philippines’ cities and in Cape Town, South Africa, all under the auspice of Zharbiz international.

The waste-to-energy plant offers a feasible and practical solution to manage and eliminate waste dumping in Karachi, which could be replicated in other cities later, however, in the end, it’s the government’s call to show willingness and practically implement the projects.

Wardah Farooqi

Wardah Farooqi. She is a content writer and also a media major from Lahore College for Women university.