Introduction to Mehmood Booti Waste Dumping Site
Mehmood Booti waste dumping site is located in Lahore, near Ring Road. It is the oldest dumping site and responsible for the source of many environmental issues in itself. The waste dumped there crosses over 80 feet in height and gives rise to several other environmental concerns. The composition of the waste is mixed with all sorts of waste being dumped in there since 1998 and about 15 million tonnes of waste have since been disposed here. It continues to serve as a waste dumping site regardless of the immediate and long-term harm it is causing to the environment.
Also check out another similar article on the same issue: Mehmood Booti Dumping Site Impacting Environment of Lahore
Following are some of the major harms it causes to the environment of Lahore:
Environmental Issues Due to the Mehmood Booti Waste Dumping Site:
- Leachate Formation: Due to the heaps of waste being dumped and accumulated over there since decades, it creates a high temperature and pressure in the waste that is present underneath the new waste being dumped everyday. This leads to leachate formation due to increased microbiological activity. Coupled with rainfall, the leachate formed reaches the underground surfaces or runs off to nearby water sources where it leads to contamination. Needless to say, that causes heavy metal contamination in water used by nearby areas and also infiltrates underground water tables. You might also like to read: Improper Management of Solid Waste in Pakistan and Its Effects
- Noise Pollution: The heavy machinery used for waste dumping and sorting out waste generates a lot of noise that leads to noise pollution for the nearby population.
- Odor: The smell produced due to the waste causes discomfort and makes the living conditions unbearable for the residents living nearby.
- Respiratory Illnesses: health problems like asthma and difficulty breathing increase as the waste is dumped in the landfill sites. This is because these sites are also subjected to frequent exposure to natural elements like wind and rain etc. that spread and transmit more pathogens. Moreover, the burning of waste in the landfill site also generates smoke and air pollutants that lead to these respiratory problem. It also contributes to smog formation. Read more on Smog here: Lahore Smog is Killing Us- Harmful Impacts of Smog In Lahore
- Vector-Disease Transmission: The waste site has been previously been a site for the contraction of various pathogens and diseases such as those carried by flies. It also serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes larvae and other vectors that can transmit diseases like dengue which is already an epidemic in Pakistan.
- Other Illnesses: The toxic metal accumulation also results in liver or lung cancer due to the persistent nature of the pollutants present at the site and seeping into homes of people via water ways and air.
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions: The accumulation of so much waste at the site, has become a leading source of green house gas emissions in Lahore that can potentially alter the weather of Lahore. The anaerobic processes going on due to microbial activity at the waste disposal site releases large amounts of Methane gas that is a GHG 4 times stronger than CO2. This may even greatly effect the local micro-climate and weather of the region over time.
- Effects on Biodiversity: The waste disposal site also effects the flora and fauna in the vicinity. It has proved toxic to dogs and other animals that have accidentally consumed something like plastic for instance, from the site and that may prove lethal to the animal. The death of plants and sparse vegetation around the site is also evidence of the harmful pollutants emanating from the waste disposal site.
You may be interested in: Punjab Government and Its Role in the Lahore Smog Crisis
In conclusion, the harm to the environment caused due to the mismanagement of the disposal site has become a bane for the existence of the local people. Effects like air pollution, water pollution/underground water contamination, soil and land degradation as well as effecting nearby fertility of land is common and well documented.
The problem that is of concern immediately is that what remedy has the provincial government devised – it is only a matter of time that the waste will increase in capacity and the land will become irreparable. As well as the other resources of water and land that will become unsalvageable due to the intensity and duration of the contaminants from the waste site. It is very crucial that matters concerning the environment be taken seriously by the government for the benefit of the public.
To know how you can help minimize solid waste check out: 10 Ways to Eradicate Solid Waste- Methods of Reducing Solid Waste
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