Waste-to-Energy Potential in Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been grappling with the problem of solid waste in recent years. Around 15 million tons of municipal solid waste is generated in the country each year with per capita average of 1.4 kg per day. Depending on the population density and urban activities of that area, the major ingredients of Saudi Arabian MSW are food waste (40-51 %), paper (12-28 %), cardboard (7 %), plastics (5-17 %), glass (3-5 %), wood (2-8 %), textile (2-6 %), metals (2-8 %) etc. Due to high population growth rate, (3.4% per annum), rapid urbanization (1.5% per annum) … Continue reading

Hazardous Waste Management in Qatar: Progress and Challenges

A country with an abundance of raw materials, cheap labor, and a rising demand for energy, Qatar needed to diversify its industrial sector in the 1970s. From then onwards, the use of fertilizers, petrochemicals, and gas liquefaction plants have grown exponentially. The magnitude of hazardous waste and the pollution to be produced from different streams have not been thoroughly considered, but Qatar has taken serious steps to implement commitments for sustainable development by passing laws and treaties, such as law No.4 in 1981 issuing safeguards and providing requirements for the protection of the environment, and by signing onto treaties such … Continue reading

Towards an Eco-Friendly Eidul Adha

Eidul Adha, like other religious festivals, often has a major impact on the environmental resources. Extra food, drinks and clothes are made, used and consumed which results in a major environmental footprint. The celebrations and festivity are often extravagant and cause pollution of different forms. The day starts with the special prayers whereby men, women and children gather to offer prayers. The site of praying after the ritual is often plagued by litter, rubbish and waste scattered all over the place and even blowing in the air and migrating to nearby safe heavens for unaesthetic and unhygienic accumulations. Muslims on Eid … Continue reading

Community Engagement in Recycling Initiatives in Qatar

The current state of environmental custodianship in Qatar leaves much to be desired from the national government and other institutions that publicly endorse initiatives with much fan-fare but do not commit to sustained action. My previous piece titled “Environmental Initiatives in Middle East – Challenges and Remedies” illuminated some of these gaps, but did not provide a detailed description of what underpins this trend and possible solutions might look like. Thus, this article seeks to delve deeper into how state institutions and civil society in Qatar may be able to work cooperatively in staving off further environmental degradation, especially with … Continue reading

Waste Management Implications of 3D Printing

The rapid deployment of 3D printing is one of the most exciting developments since the appearance of the smart phone. This is technology with some serious potential to change how and where goods are manufactured, transforming supply chains. The New Scientist has gone so far as to herald 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, as ushering in a second industrial revolution. But is anyone thinking about how what this new development means for the waste sector? Whilst the technology is already being put to some dubious uses, the ability to manufacture pretty much anything wherever and whenever it’s needed is certainly appealing. Interest isn’t … Continue reading

Recycling and Artwork

Art and recycling goes hand-in-hand. Eco-artists are, nowadays, transforming old, recycled and resued object into amazing pieces of contemporary art. The trend started gaining prominence in 1980s when museums and galleries in the Western world opened their doors for such innovation and creativity. In recent years, many artists in the Middle East has started expressing their support for recycling and sustainability through artworks where they merge traditional tone with contemporary themes creating attractive installation art that express local cultural heritage in the larger public interests. Artists are expressing their emotions and ideas through a wide range of recyclables glass, cans, plastics, CDs, PET bottles etc. Installation … Continue reading

Waste Management in Gaza Strip

Solid waste management in Gaza Strip is a matter of grave concern. With population of approximately 1.75 million, waste management is one of the most serious challenges confronting the local authorities because of high volumes of solid waste generation and economic blockade by Israel. The daily solid waste generation across Gaza is more than 1300 tons which is characterized by per capita waste generation of 0.35 to 1.0 kg. Scarcity of waste disposal sites coupled with huge increase in waste generation is leading to serious environmental and human health impacts on the population. The severity of the crisis is a … Continue reading

Recycling of PVC – Prospects and Challenges

PVC, also known as Polyvinyl Chloride or Vinyl, is one of the most widely used plastics worldwide due to its chemical stability and durability. PVC products have an average lifetime of 30 years, with some reaching 50 or more years.  This means that more PVC products are reaching the end-of-life and entering the waste stream, and the amount is likely to increase significantly in the near future. The Middle East will ultimately have to deal with increased PVC waste as it is one of the markets expected to have high growth rates for PVC consumption, with developing countries in the … Continue reading

Biomass Energy and its Promise

Biomass is the material derived from plants that use sunlight to grow which include plant and animal material such as wood from forests, material left over from agricultural and forestry processes, and organic industrial, human and animal wastes. Biomass comes from a variety of sources including wood from natural forests, agricultural residues, agro-industrial wastes, animal manure, organic industrial wastes, municipal solid wastes, sewage sludge etc. When biomass is left lying around on the ground it breaks down over a long period of time, releasing carbon dioxide and its store of energy slowly. By burning biomass its store of energy is released … Continue reading

The Menace of Plastic Water Bottles

In the Middle East, it is common to see people greatly misuse plastic water bottles considering it free, taking a bottle, sipping it half and throwing it away. These used and partially consumed water bottles are then collected and thrown away in municipal garbage bins from where  it is collected and transported to landfills and waste dumps. These water bottles thus have a high carbon footprint and represent enormous wastage of precious water source and misuse of our other fragile resources. In many cases, these water bottles are being littered around the commercial and religious places. Plastic water bottles are a … Continue reading

Food Waste in Ramadan: Trends and Counter-Measures

With the holy month of Ramadan starting, preparations are in full swing to make all necessary arrangements by the government, traders and commercial establishments to provide all utilities, goods and food that are required during Ramadan. Muslims countries, Arab nations in particular, generate huge quantities of food waste which increases substantially during the month of Ramadan and festivals whereby the consumption and wastage of food increase at an alarming level. As per conservative estimates, around 15-25% of all food purchased or prepared during Ramadan find its way to the garbage bin before even being used or consumed. In Bahrain alone, … Continue reading

Food Wastes Disposal Methods

Food waste is one of the most prominent waste streams across Middle East, especially in GCC region.  The mushrooming of hotels, restaurants, fast-food joints and cafeterias in the Middle East region has resulted in the generation of huge quantities of food wastes. The proportion of food waste in municipal waste stream is gradually increasing and hence a proper food waste management strategy needs to be devised to ensure its eco-friendly and sustainable disposal in the Middle East.  Food waste is an untapped energy source that mostly ends up rotting in landfills, thereby releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Food waste includes organic … Continue reading

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