Mountains in the Chaning World, Mountains in the Chaning World

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The role of open data in solid waste management
Neelam Pradhananga, Nathaniel Azam

Last modified: 2017-09-26


Waste management in Kathmandu city is an ever growing fiscal, environmental and social challenge due to an increasing population, changing lifestyles and lack of household waste segregation. With increasing volumes of waste generated and lack of a sound waste management strategy, waste collection in Kathmandu has primarily been dominated by approximately 80 private service providers. The government agency-- Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) and private service providers work largely independently resulting in the organic and ad hoc delivery of services throughout the city. This has resulted in a focus on waste collection with little attention paid to the safe treatment and disposal of waste despite a significant portion of KMC’s annual budget going to waste-related activities.

Improved planning in the waste-sector requires a detailed and nuanced understanding of waste governance structures. Key to planning in the sector is an understanding of waste collection agencies and their areas of coverage, waste infrastructure, and levels of service provided to households in the city. Such data collected spatially and openly shared would enable a deeper understanding of the current complexities in Kathmandu’s waste sector, and provide key stakeholders such as the citizens of Kathmandu, KMC, and private agencies an ability to hold each other accountable, and to support initiatives to improve KMC’s future waste management strategies. This paper explores Clean up Nepal’s pilot project to map urban waste management systems at three wards in Kathmandu, and highlights some of the challenges in scaling up and the future sustainability of the project.

Keywords—accountability, transparency, collaboration, public participation, open data, mapping.

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