Field study of disaster waste management and disposal status of debris after Gorkha Earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal

Poudel, R.; Hirai, Y.; Asari, M.; Sakai, S. (2019) Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management, 21: 753-765


This study provides information on the disaster waste management practices and disposal methods employed in Kathmandu Valley for debris generated by the Gorkha Earthquake on April 25, 2015. We also quantify the amount of building debris generated and managed at destinations within the core city area of Kathmandu Valley, which was diverted from the government-proposed disposal site. This research involved field visits, interaction with communities, meetings with officers related to debris management, and reference to published reports. Disaster waste management in Nepal included the reuse/recycling of building materials in new construction or as filling materials in land development. Debris were also disposed on low-lying areas, down the cliff, and river bank; however, the disposal method was open dumping. Of the estimated 3.23 million tons of potential debris generated in the core city area of Kathmandu Valley, 1.07 million tons were managed 2 years after the Gorkha Earthquake, of which 0.63 million tons were disposed on river banks, along the ring road, and in open spaces, and the remaining 0.44 million tons were salvaged for reuse or sold for recycling or disposed in other isolated areas. Approximately 2.17 million tons of building debris is yet to be managed.

Published online on February 21, 2019


Gorkha Earthquake; Disaster waste management; Building debris; Kathmandu Valley; Disposal methods