Recycling of PET Plastic Bottles

Like all other modern urban centers, the Middle East also faces challenges in environmental protection due to tremendous tonnage of plastic waste produced in different forms. The gross urban waste generation from Middle East countries exceeds 150 million tons per annum, out of which 10-15 percent is contributed by plastic wastes. The burgeoning population, growing consumption, and an increasing trend towards a “disposable” culture, is causing nightmares to municipal authorities across the region and beyond. Plastic consumption has grown at a tremendous rate over the past two decades as plastics now play an important role in all aspects of modern … Continue reading

Significance of E-Waste Management

E-Waste is the fastest growing waste stream, and its disposal is a major environmental concern in all parts of the world. More than 50 million tons of e-waste is generated every year with major fraction finding its way to landfills and dumpsites. E-waste comprises as much as 8% of the municipal solid waste stream in rich nations, such as those in GCC. Globally only 15 – 20 percent of e-waste is recycled while the rest is dumped into developing countries. However, in the Middle East, merely 5 percent of e-waste is sent to recycling facilities (which are located in Asia, … Continue reading

Solid Waste Management in the Middle East – Major Challenges

Middle East is one of the most prolific waste generating regions of the world. Solid waste management in the Middle East is bogged down by major challenges like lavish lifestyles, ineffective legislation, infrastructural roadblocks, indifferent public attitude and lack of environmental awareness. High standards of living are contributing to more generation of waste which when coupled with lack of waste collection and disposal facilities have transformed ‘trash’ into a liability. Major Hurdles The general perception towards waste is that of indifference and apathy. Waste is treated as ‘waste’ rather than as a ‘resource’. There is an urgent need to increase … Continue reading

Biomass Potential of Date Palm Wastes

Date palm is one of the principal agricultural products in the arid and semi-arid region of the world, especially Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. There are more than 120 million date palm trees worldwide yielding several million tons of dates per year, apart from secondary products including palm midribs, leaves, stems, fronds and coir. The Arab world has more than 84 million date palm trees with the majority in Egypt, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates. Egypt is the world’s largest date producer with annual production of 1.47 million tons of dates in … Continue reading

Waste-to-Energy Outlook for the Middle East

High-income Middle Eastern countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait are counted as world’s largest waste producers in terms of per capita waste generation which is more than 2kg per day in some countries. The urban waste generation from the region has now crossed 150 million tons per year which has forced policy-makers and urban planners to seriously look for sustainable waste management solutions, including recycling and waste-to-energy. Let us take a look at solid waste generation in major countries across the Middle East region: Country MSW Generation (million tons per annum) Saudi Arabia 15 United Arab Emirates … Continue reading

A Quick Glance at Composting Methods

The composting process is a complex interaction between the waste and the microorganisms within the waste. The microorganisms that carry out this process fall into three groups: bacteria, fungi, and actinomycetes. Actinomycetes are a form of fungi-like bacteria that break down organic matter. The first stage of the biological activity is the consumption of easily available sugars by bacteria, which causes a fast rise in temperature. The second stage involves bacteria and actinomycetes that cause cellulose breakdown. The last stage is concerned with the breakdown of the tougher lignin by fungi. Types of Composting There are 3 broad types of composting methods—anaerobic composting, aerobic composting, … Continue reading

مشكلة رمي النفايات في الأردن

في الماضي القريب، كانت عمان تعتبر واحدة من أنظف المدن في العالم,  حالياً، وكما هو الحال في البلدان الأخرى، يشكل رمي النفايات على الأرض في المناطق العامة مشكلة بيئية متزايدة في الأردن, والتي بدورها تشوه المظهر العام للبلاد كما أن لها آثاراً خطيرة على البيئة والإقتصاد والصحة العامة. “القمامة غير المرئية“ تعتبر ظاهرة الرمي العشوائي للنفايات كارثة وطنية، حيث تنتشر النفايات المختلفة مثل العلب المعدنية والأكياس البلاستيكية وأعقاب السجائر والمحارم وأغلفة الطعام والإطارات القديمة على جوانب الطرق. لتسليط الضوء على المشكلة, قامت كاتبة المقال بدراسة ماسحة في عام 2011، حيث كشفت الدراسة عن المفاهيم الخاطئة لدى العامة لمفهوم “النظافة” في … Continue reading

الاثار الضاره لرمي النفايات

يعد رمي  النفايات خطر شائع يمكن للمرء ان يشهده في جميع المناطق الحضريه, حيث الشوارع و الارصفه و مواقف السيارات و الطرق السريعه اغلبها مغطاه باغلفه المواد الغذائيه و زجاجات المياه و المشروبات الغازيه و الاكياس البلاستيكيه و النشرات الدعائيه و اعقاب السجائر بالاضافه الى المناديل الصحيه و الاوراق و غيرها. 1.9 بليون طن ما يقدر سنويا من النفايات ينتهي بها المطاف في المحيطات , مما يدل بشكل واضح على ان الناس يميلون الى رمي الاشياء عشوائيا في اي مكان على القيام  برميها في صناديق القمامه. لايعد رمي هذه  القمامه مشكله جماليه فحسب و انما  مشكله بيئيه لها عواقب وخيمه … Continue reading

A Glance at Waste-Free Economy

Growth from trashing the planet was never a clever idea and linear economics has now reached the end of the line. The ‘more is better’ economy does not need to be stimulated to grow nor constrained from growing. It needs to be entirely replaced by ‘positive development’ in which markets work to automatically, systematically make things better both locally and globally. The folly of endless resources extraction, endlessly unmet human needs and endless waste dumping can end. Linear economics can be replaced by ‘circular economics’. Waste-Free Growth Model A switch towards waste-free economy would preserve and regenerate material value and … Continue reading

What is Vermicomposting

Vermicomposting is a type of composting in which certain species of earthworms are used to enhance the process of organic waste conversion and produce a better end-product. It is a mesophilic process utilizing microorganisms and earthworms. Earthworms feeds the organic waste materials and passes it through their digestive system and gives out in a granular form (cocoons) which is known as vermicompost. Simply speaking, vermicompost is earthworm excrement, called castings, which can improve biological, chemical, and physical properties of the soil. The chemical secretions in the earthworm’s digestive tract help break down soil and organic matter, so the castings contain … Continue reading

Solid Waste Management Challenges in GCC

The challenges posed by solid waste to governments and communities are many and varied. In the GCC region, where most countries have considerably high per capita waste generation values, the scale of the waste management challenge faced by civic authorities is even bigger. Fast-paced industrial growth, recent construction boom, increasing population, rapid urbanisation, and vastly improved lifestyle coupled with unsustainable consumption patterns have all contributed to the growing waste crisis in the GCC. Among the GCC nations, United Arab Emirates has the highest municipal solid waste generation per capita of 2.2 kg (which is among the highest worldwide) followed closely … Continue reading

The Problem of Used Lead-Acid Batteries

Lead-acid batteries are widely used on a mass-scale in all parts of the world.  They act as power sources in a wide-range of equipment and appliances used by households, commerce and industry. Lead-acid batteries finds wide application in all modes of modern transport including cars, trucks, buses, boats, trains, rapid mass-transit systems, recreational vehicles etc. During power-cuts, lead-acid batteries provide emergency power for critical operations such as air-traffic control towers, hospitals, railroad crossings, military installations, submarines, and weapons systems. All automotive batteries and 95 percent of industrial batteries are lead-acid secondary cells. Harmful Impacts of Batteries Lead-acid batteries contain sulphuric acid … Continue reading