Leading a fact-finding mission to trace how solid waste is managed in Qatar, a ten-member team comprising of representatives of founding-member organizations and the Solid Waste Interest Group (SWIG) of the Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), conducted a series of visits across various recycling and waste management facilities in Qatar.
The visit concluded at the Domestic Solid Waste Management Centre (DSWMC) at Messaied, which incorporates the world’s biggest compost plant in an integrated waste to energy facility.
QGBC’s initiative aligns with interventions outlined in the National Development Strategy (2011–2016) which includes an environmental management strategy that envisions a broad shift in laws, regulations, management systems, technologies and attitudes.
With a focus on knowledge-sharing, the visit kicked off with the team visiting the now-closed land fill at Umm Al Afai, followed by the transfer station in its vicinity, where solid waste is compacted before being transported to DSWMC. The team was hosted by the management of the Seashore Tire Recycling facility, part of Seashore Group. The facility, that currently has the ability to process up to 200 tires a day- 6 days a week, experiences a lack of demand for the rubber pellets recycled from the tires. However, scrap metal recycled from the tires is used at the Seashore steel plant.
Expressing her thoughts, Dr. Sarah Clarke, Chair of QGBC-SWIG commented, “There has been no market yet for these pellets in Qatar’s construction sector, although the government has proactively offered licenses for more tire recycling facilities. Ashghal, Qatar’s public works authority has begun testing their use in road-building. We are confident that more tire recyclers will follow suit and that the recycled material can be used here, as in other developing nations with booming infrastructure projects, such as India.”
The visit ended at DSWMC where the team and the management discussed wide- ranging issues and solutions pertaining to domestic solid waste. The topics included effective green waste collection, glass recycling household battery-disposal and the problem of plastic-bags.
Speaking at the facility, Abdulaziz Al Malki from the Ministry of Environment said, “The rate of growth in domestic waste quantities in Qatar is approximately at 10-15% per annum, so the need to address waste generation is paramount. There is also a need for a public education campaign, supported by a network of central collection points around Qatar where different recyclable materials could be dropped off by residents.”
Dr. Clarke noted, “The DSWMC is a very efficiently run facility with well-trained O&M staff from Keppel Seghers, but there needs to be public consensus on waste management policies to make it even more effective in the long-term.”
DSWMC is able to divert 95% of waste from landfill but is currently receiving waste beyond its daily capacity of 2300 tonnes. There are discussions underway for the facility to expand in the short term as replicating the facility would take over five years.
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