Therefore, Pakistan’s government and people are acutely aware of their heightened climate vulnerabilities, and are resolved to act. Lahore, a major urban area with endemic pollution issues, is determined to tackle its mounting municipal waste problem with entrepreneurialism and ingenuity.
Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) was established in 2010 and has grown to become Asia’s largest waste management company in terms of its operations and workforce. Today, it directs the round-the-clock efforts of over 15,000 employees and a vehicle fleet over 1,400 strong. Its efforts allow for a top recycling rate of 60% of all organic/green waste, while its Lakhodair landfill site operates continuous waste-to-energy operations by siphoning off methane gas produced by the waste, supplying it to five local factories.
LWMC also collaborates with a small army of local entrepreneurs who take scour landfill sites for plastic waste to repurpose into usable products. These range from sustainable wood pulp to the more esoteric – their partner Green Earth Recycling recently created 350 manhole covers entirely from plastic waste.
This multi-pronged approach demonstrates how versatile municipal waste really is when it comes to recycling and repurposing it. Lahore is well on the way to not just alleviating its public waste issues, but actively turning it into a source of enduring value.