Recycling: the why, how and where in Bahrain
|Posted by Jameela Mohanna on February 19, 2015 at 2:25 AM|
In many countries worldwide recycling is a habit that one doesn’t think off as it is ingrained starting from kindergarten to separate recyclable items wash them and put in the appropriate containers.
In Bahrain in many schools paper/plastic utensils and plates are still used in the cafeteria for the children instead of washable ceramics. Water gets reused in Bahrain unseparated items end up in the wastebasket, get thrown out and end up in the landfill.
In the Netherlands every household has separate containers for different types of waste and recyclable items this has been compulsory for decades.
Landfills are used for less than 10% of all waste. Dutch household waste recycling averages to 60% (2006)
Compost : The separately gathered organic fraction is 50% of household waste, or 1500 kilotons. This is processed to 600 kilotons of compost, and the end-product partially exported while over annual national consumption.
Paper (2005): In the Netherlands itself, the recycled amount in 2005 was up to 2.5 million tons, which is 75% of annual consumption.
By contrast, in the EU, only just over 50% of paper is recycled.
Most people in the Kingdom don’t recycle because their excuses is that it smells, however properly cleaned items don’t give off an odor.
We are a household of 9 and weekly I separate my household waste; greens go to the animals; paper-carton/plastic/metals all get put in separate bags and are dropped off to one of the recycling points.
My unrecyclable waste constitutes of less than half a bag per week. Over the years we have saved many cubic meters from going into the landfill. Anyone can do this with very little effort.
In Bahrain there has been talk off a curbside collection systems for recyclables since before 2008, this still has not been implemented for many reasons, one being the municipality dragging its feet in awarding contracts to (established) companies. They want to collect a fee from these companies instead of working together and cutting down cost.
In Holland the following boxes are used which easily could be implemented in the Kingdom.
The biodegradable waste box or Green bin
For zero waste facility to produce methane gas (we have one in Bahrain but is it operational?) to compost the biodegradable waste (imported for almost 10 Million BHD yearly)
Red box - household chemicals, batteries, light bulbs
Materials such as lead, cadmium, mercury, lithium, manganese, nickel and zinc are used to make batteries. These materials are all non-renewable, can be recycled an indefinite number of times and have a commercial value.
Some of these materials, particularly lead, cadmium and mercury, are potentially hazardous to human health and the environment. Disposal in landfill means that there is a risk of heavy metals leaching into surrounding groundwater and surface water.
In Bahrain they in up in the landfill there are companies however in Saudi Arabia and the UAE that recycle them.
LED light encouraged to be used by the MOE however they contain mercury and end up in the landfill in Askar.
Could get collected through local organizations such as sports groups and established local businesses. These companies already collect it free of charge and provide open containers in many locations (near supermarkets for bigger items) like want2recycle of Alfa express that have placed boxes in healthcenters etc.
White bag - clothing.
Many local mosque and charities have boxes where they can be deposited in and I have seen several clothing collection boxes around Bahrain.
Blue box - plastics
There are many types of plastic and we haveand there are many local companies that collect and recycle plastic being it household packaging and/or industrial
Although collected by recycling for Charity I have yet to receive and answer to what is done with glass in the Kingdom
It would be better to encourage local beverage companies to re-introduce the system of glass bottle collection and reuse (emballage)
Or set up a small local recycling facility to enable them to do so
Glass is one of the few materials that can be recycled infinitely without losing strength, purity or quality.
But most of all we need to reduce our waste by making smart choices like using re-usable bags (can be bought from as little as 300fils) choosing lose fruit and vegetable instead of packed in plastic and Styrofoam.
Although I was happy to hear of a company that is collecting this too. Find it on the recyclewhere page