“How does waste you threw¬† into the bin and sent off with a collection vehicle hit the streets?” One must have wondered as they navigate the sore sight and smell that stains Kathmandu Valley.

To understand that, it is first important to understand the waste management cycle of Kathmandu Valley – the waste that a collection agency or municipality workers collect from Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, and Kathmandu districts is first collected at the Teku Tranfer Station. With hardly any segregation at the household level, toxic waste, organic waste, and recyclable waste, all waste is dumped without much care – awaiting transfer.

From the Teku Transfer Station, waste is transferred to the Sisdole landfill area in Nuwakot – however, with Sisdole residents demands of swift upgradation of their highway not being met, they continue to obstruct vehicles laden with Kathmandu waste being dumped at Sisdole. This time their protests has stretched to more than 3 weeks.

So much so, on 7th May, after exasperated KMC officials sought the Home Ministry for assistance, the Home Ministry provided security forces to safely escort waste to Sisdole.

With Sisdole residents demands not being met, waste continued to be piled at Teku Collection Centre – frustrated, they on Sunday, they padlocked the Collection Centre – preventing vehicles from further dumping waste into the station.

“Can’t you smell the stench? How do you expect us to live with such stench?”, almost all residents Aawaaj News spoke to had the same concern. Many also spoke of the health concerns that are associated with dumping waste in open areas at residential areas.

According to Sarita Rai of Environment Management Department, “Transfer of waste has begun since Tuesday, and to clear Kathmandu of its waste could take up to a fortnight”.

Meanwhile, Kathmandu continues to drown in its own waste.

A woman and a young child cover their mouth to ward off the stench in Kathmandu Valley. (Image: Nishant Singh Gurung/Aawaaj News)

Open waste in a street in Kathmandu Valley. (Image: Nishant Singh Gurung/Aawaaj News)

Open waste in a street in Kathmandu Valley. (Image: Nishant Singh Gurung/Aawaaj News)

Valley residents walk past an open garbage dump in Kathmandu Valley. (Image: Nishant Singh Gurung/Aawaaj News)

A woman covers her mouth as she passes a pile of garbage in Kathmandu Valley. (Image: Nishant Singh Gurung/Aawaaj News)

A protest sign at Teku Collection Centre (Image: Nishant Singh Gurung/Aawaaj News)

A man sorts through waste at the Teku Collection Centre (Image: Nishant Singh Gurung/Aawaaj News)

A man sorts through waste at the Teku Collection Centre (Image: Nishant Singh Gurung/Aawaaj News)

An excavator dumps waste into a truck which will transport the waste to Sisdole landfill area. (Image: Nishant Singh Gurung)

An excavator dumps waste into a truck which will transport the waste to Sisdole landfill area. (Image: Nishant Singh Gurung)

Waste remains unattended at an open area in Kathmandu Valley. (Image: Nishant Singh Gurung)