Bahrain to make recycling compulsory
Manama, October 2, 2013
Bahrain will launch a compulsory nationwide campaign to recycle domestic waste in a bid to reduce rubbish and save energy, a report said.
The scheme has already been introduced in certain areas in the Northern Governorate, but the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry believes the project is ready to be rolled out across the country, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
Municipalities in the country's five governorates have also started setting up recycling factories with some expanding existing facilities.
Northern Municipality director-general Yousif Al Ghatam, who is also National Cleanliness Committee chairman, said the scheme has helped in reducing waste taken to the ministry's landfill in Askar.
"Recycling schemes are accessible at schools, shopping centres and coffee shops across Bahrain," he said.
"But, after sorting wastes, companies that are contracted to collect it face problems with items that they don't recycle, and that is being addressed by us allowing expansions in some factories' operations.
"It is a good thing that we have managed, in nine months, to raise awareness amongst homes in selected areas, but we still have to be prepared further as we turn it into a nationwide scheme in January.
"So far, we have managed to achieve our goal in reducing waste taken to the ministry's landfill in Askar and there are recycled products that are on offer in the market. Both steps are important to our efforts to protect the environment."
Al Ghatam said coloured collection bags to separate waste will be distributed among homeowners, as part of the scheme.
"More bags have been ordered and they will be given to people whenever they visit municipalities to get their monthly stock of black bags," he said.
Al Ghatam also hopes to introduce strict punishment against people who do not recycle.
"We could, in the future, introduce a punishment system for those who don't follow recycling guidelines in sorting waste," he said.
"First, we have to make recycling part of people's lives, something like the prohibition of smoking in malls and closed areas. When we feel that is achieved, new legislation with fines will be imposed."
Meanwhile, Al Majid Factory general manager Hameed Al Majid said the majority of domestic waste included paper and plastic.
"Around 35 per cent of that thrown out is paper while plastic comprises 30 per cent, which is unfortunately being buried in the landfill rather than reused through recycling," said Al Majid.
"We have facilities here in Bahrain to recycle paper and plastic products into raw materials, while items that are sophisticated or complicated are taken abroad to specialised factories.
"Recycling is a lifestyle we hope people start adapting to and I am certain that with practise everyone will automatically start sorting waste,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service