Pakistan - Country Commercial Guide
Waste Management

This is a best prospect industry for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2019-10-13


Pakistan generates about 48.5 million tons of solid waste a year, which has been increasing more than 2 percent annually. Like other developing countries, Pakistan lacks waste management infrastructure, creating serious environmental problems. Most municipal waste is either burned, dumped or buried on vacant lots, threatening the health and welfare of the general population. The Government of Pakistan (GOP) estimates that 87,000 tons of solid waste is generated per day, mostly from major metropolitan areas. Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, generates more than 13,500 tons of municipal waste daily. All major cities face enormous challenges on how to manage urban waste. Bureaucratic hurdles, lack of urban planning, inadequate waste management equipment, and low public awareness contribute to the problem.
Existing Solid Waste Management System in Pakistan.

Local and municipal governments are responsible for collecting waste throughout most of Pakistan’s major cities. About 60-70 percent of solid waste in the cities is collected. The waste collection fleet typically consists of handcarts and donkey pull-carts for primary collection; then open trucks, tractor/trolley systems, and arm roll containers/trucks for secondary collection and transport. Some municipalities hire street sweepers and sanitary workers to augment other collection methods. They use wheelbarrows and brooms to collect solid waste from small heaps and dustbins, then store it in formal and informal depots.

Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, utilizes three sanitary landfill sites, while Lahore, the country’s second-largest city, has two. Other major cities plan to build proper landfill sites. In many areas, solid waste is simply dumped outside the city limits. Solid waste management capabilities and systems vary by province. In Punjab, Lahore is the only city with a proper solid waste management, treatment and disposal system, which was outsourced to Turkish companies Albayrak and OzPak. Similar systems are planned for other big Punjab cities. In Sindh, the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Infrastructure and Service Delivery Reform Program has provided $400 million to the Sindh Cities Improvement Investment Program (SCIP), which aims to improve solid waste management services in 20 secondary cities, and has issued tenders for a wide range of waste management projects (Source: Government of Sindh,; In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Water and Sanitation Services Peshawar (WSSP) is planning to build a sanitary landfill. Balochistan, with a population of 6.9 million, has no significant infrastructure for waste management system.

Much of Pakistan’s solid waste does not reach final disposal sites. In developed countries, most solid waste generated winds up in landfills, incinerators, or other recycling centers. In Pakistan, much of the waste generated is recovered for recycling, mostly by scavengers, before it ever reaches disposal points.   
Solid Waste Generation in Major Cities

City Population in million Solid waste generation/day
in tons
Karachi 20,500,000 9,900
Lahore 10,000,000 7,510
Faisalabad 7,500,000 4,900
Rawalpindi 5,900,000 4,400
Hyderabad 5,500,000 3,880
Multan 5,200,000 3,600
Gujranwala 4,800,000 3,400
Sargodha 4,500,000 3,000
Peshawar 2,900,000 2,000
Quetta 600,000 700

Source: Mr. Saadat Ali, USCS Pakistan contact from Project Procurement International, Pakistan, (website;

Ash, bricks and dirt – 18%, Glass – 6%, Textile - 2%, Cardboard - 7%, Food wastes - 30%, Leather - 1%, Paper - 6%, Plastic - 9%, Rubber - 1%, Metal - 4%, Wood - 2%, Yard wastes - 14%.

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • Equipment: Waste collection and transportation
  • Chemicals: To remove waste odor for open landfill sites all-over the country
  • Instrumentation
  • Waste to energy plants and equipment
  • Waste recycling plants
  • Bio hazard waste equipment
  • Industrial and municipal waste water treatment machineries


The local market has shown moderate growth in terms of its volume and FDI contribution over the past few years. Both the public and private sectors have or will initiate small- to large-scale projects, small- to-large scale waste collection, and waste treatment projects. According to industry experts, the local market will continue to offer sizeable business opportunities to local and foreign companies for the foreseeable future.
The National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has announced a Competitive Upfront Tariff of U.S. $.10007/kWh for waste-to-energy projects based on a 25-year operational period, with overall capacity cap of 250MW where the share to each province and Federal Territory has been kept at 50 MW each. The construction period for these power plants is limited to 24 months. Source:

Web Resources

Pakistan environmental protection agency (Pak- EPA)   
Pakistan Alternate Energy Development Board
Punjab environment protection department
Pakistan Council for Renewable Energy Technologies
Federal Bureau of Statistics