Solid Waste Management in Oman

Waste management is a challenging issue for the Sultanate of Oman because of limited land availability and adverse impacts on environment and public health. With population of almost 3.9 million inhabitants, Oman generates more than 1.7 million tons of solid waste each year. The average per capita waste generation is more than 1.2 kg per day, which is equivalent to about 4700 tons of municipal waste every day.  

Solid waste in Oman is characterized by very high percentage of recyclables, primarily paper and cardboard (15%), plastics (20.9%), metals (1.8%) and glass (4%) (Source: Waste Characterization and Quantification Survey, Be'ah, 2013). However the country is yet to realize the recycling potential of its municipal waste stream. Most of the solid waste is sent to authorized and unauthorized dumpsites for disposal which is creating environment and health issues. There are several dumpsites which are located in the midst of residential areas or close to catchment areas of private and public drinking water bodies.

Solid waste management scenario in Oman is marked by lack of collection and disposal facilities. Solid waste, industrial waste, e-wastes etc are deposited in scores of landfills scattered across the country. Oman has around 350 landfills/dumpsites which are managed by municipalities. In addition, there are numerous unauthorized dumpsites in Oman where all sorts of wastes are recklessly dumped.

Al Amerat landfill is the first engineered sanitary landfill in Oman which began its operations in early 2011. The landfill site, spread over an area of 9.1 hectares, consists of 5 cells with a total capacity of 10 million m3 of solid waste. Each cell has 16 shafts to take care of leachate. All the shafts are interconnected in order to facilitate movement of leachate to the leachate pump. The project is part of the government’s initiatives to tackle solid waste in a scientific and environment-friendly manner. Being the first of its kind, Al Amerat sanitary landfill is expected to be an example for the future solid waste management projects in the country.

Future Planning

Solid waste management is among the top priorities of Oman government which has chalked out a robust strategy to resolve waste management problem in the Sultanate. The country is striving to establish 13 engineered landfills and 36 waste transfer stations in different parts of the country by 2015. 

Modern solid waste management facilities are under planning in several wilayat, especially Muscat and Salalah. The new landfills will eventually pave the way for closure of authorized and unauthorized garbage dumps around the country. 

 

The state-owned Oman Environment Services Holding Company, now known as Be'ah, which is responsible for waste management projects in Oman, has recently started the tendering process for important projects. Be'ah has launched its waste management strategy and has awarded numerous tenders, while a host of other tenders are under evaluation or bidding phase. Be'ah has invited tenders from specialised companies for engineered landfils, material recovery facilites, transfer stations and waste management services in the upcoming Special Economic Zone at Duqm (SEZAD), among others. Among the top priorities is that development of Barka engineered landfill as the existing Barka waste disposal site, which serve entire wilayat and other neighbouring wilayats in south Batinah governorate, is plagued by environmental and public health issues.

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About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the Founder of EcoMENA and a renowned expert in waste management, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainability. He is widely acknowledged as an authority on environment and sustainability sector in the Middle East and regularly consulted on environmental projects by top firms in the region and beyond. Salman is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on clean energy, environment and sustainability through his websites, blogs, articles and projects. He has participated in numerous conferences as session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is a prolific professional cleantech writer and has authored numerous articles in reputed journals, magazines and newsletters. He holds Masters and Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering and can be contacted on salman@ecomena.org or salman@bioenergyconsult.com
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7 Responses to Solid Waste Management in Oman

  1. Pingback: Exploring Solid Waste Management in Oman « Cleantech Solutions

  2. Muhammad Bilal says:

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  3. Pingback: Solid Waste Management in Oman | Solid waste in the Gulf countries

  4. Briny Addison says:

    Nice read! Solid waste management is one of the important aspects in order to make our surrounding environment pollution free. Every year a lot of waste is produces including gaseous waste, liquid waste, and solid waste which need to be reused or recycled. Most of the wastes are highly hazardous and can pollute the surrounding environment so it is essential to handle these wastes appropriately.

  5. tiru7111 says:

    Informative and enterprising…

  6. Saif says:

    Great read, providing your source of the data you collect would be helpful for future readers and/or researchers

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