A “RE­SOURCE­FUL” WASTE

Like its gal­lop­ing econ­omy, solid-waste gen­er­a­tion in Qatar is also grow­ing strongly, due to rapid in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion, a spurt in in­come lev­els and an in­creas­ing stan­dard of liv­ing cou­pled with de­vel­op­men­tal ac­tiv­i­ties. Against this back­ground, Qatar­To­day

Qatar Today - - INSIDE THIS ISSUE - “The gov­ern­ment is mon­i­tor­ing waste man­age­ment and the coun­try is on the right track as far as the goals set by the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Strat­egy (2011-16) to in­crease waste re­cy­cling.” SHEIKH FALEH NASSER J AL THANI Chief En­gi­neer and Un­der­sec­re­tary Ass

Like its gal­lop­ing econ­omy, solid-waste gen­er­a­tion in Qatar is also grow­ing strongly, due to rapid in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion, a spurt in in­come lev­els and an in­creas­ing stan­dard of liv­ing cou­pled with de­vel­op­men­tal ac­tiv­i­ties. Against this back­ground, Qatar To­day looks at the var­i­ous op­tions that are avail­able for man­ag­ing the coun­try's waste in a pru­dent man­ner.

To be­gin with, the solid waste gen­er­ated by has in­creased, by almost 50% be­tween 2008 and 2013. As against 8,200 MTs waste gen­er­ated in 2008, it went up to 12,163 MTs in 2013. In other words, Qatar's per capita daily waste gen­er­a­tion is put at around 1.6 kg, one of the high­est in the world.

Of this waste, 77.2% is from the con­struc­tion sec­tor while do­mes­tic waste ac­counts for 7.7%. The rest is com­prised of hazardous, in­dus­trial and other ef­flu­ents.

While re­cy­cling is one of the best op­tions, other meth­ods like in­cin­er­a­tion and land re­fill are be­ing taken up to keep the prob­lem un­der con­trol. How­ever, this is viewed by ex­perts as a short-term so­lu­tion only, as the waste is grow­ing ex­po­nen­tially and other mea­sures are needed to be taken to tackle it on a per­ma­nent ba­sis.

Nis­pana In­no­va­tive Plat­forms Pri­vate Limited Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Naren­dra Kumar says that, though land­fill is used only to dump what can­not be re­cy­cled or reused, this is not an en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able long-term so­lu­tion, given the limited avail­able land for this pur­pose in the coun­try.

“While dis­cus­sions are un­der­way to ex­pand the pro­cess­ing ca­pac­ity of the DSWMC, another op­tion would be to de­velop a sec­ond pro­cess­ing fa­cil­ity in the coun­try. But with all ba­sic in­fra­struc­ture al­ready in place at the DSWMC, this op­tion would be a more costly so­lu­tion,” Kumar feels.

Kumar also points out that res­i­dents of Qatar have the re­spon­si­bil­ity of gen­er­at­ing less do­mes­tic waste and us­ing re­sources sus­tain­ably so as to keep their sur­round­ings lit­ter-free.

Alarm­ing growth

When Prime Min­is­ter HE Ab­dul­lah bin Nasser bin Khal­ifa Al Thani vis­ited the Do­mes­tic Solid Waste Man­age­ment Company (DSWMC) at Me­saieed in April this year, he was briefed about the amount of waste be­ing gen­er­ated in the coun­try and also the need to ex­pand the ca­pac­ity of the cen­tre, which is op­er­ated by An­twerp-based waste man­age­ment company Kep­pel Seghers, to meet the chal­lenge.

The prime min­is­ter, who was ac­com­pa­nied by En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter HE Ahmed Amer Mo­hamed Al Hu­maidi, and oth­ers, has asked his Cab­i­net col­league to pre­pare a re­port on how to meet the in­creas­ing de­mand for waste man­age­ment.

Later, the Kep­pel Seghers rep­re­sen­ta­tives also sub­mit­ted pro­pos­als to the gov-

“There should be no rea­son to worry as this is a nat­u­ral de­vel­op­ment, con­sid­er­ing the amount of con­struc­tion that is tak­ing place in the coun­try in view of var­i­ous in­fra­struc­ture projects. What the gov­ern­ment should look at are ways to dis­pose of this solid waste.”

MICHAEL NAGY En­vi­ron­ment Statis­tics Ex­pert Qatar Statis­tics Au­thor­ity “While the gov­ern­ment is look­ing to re­duce this out­put by en­cour­ag­ing waste min­imi­sa­tion and re­cy­cling ef­forts, in­vest­ments in ad­di­tional pro­cess­ing fa­cil­i­ties will likely be nec­es­sary.”

NAREN­DRA KUMAR Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor Nis­pana In­no­va­tive Plat­forms

ern­ment to in­crease the plant's ca­pac­ity – from 2,300 MTs per day to 5,000 MTs per day. The project cost was put at around QR2 bil­lion. “The do­mes­tic waste gen­er­a­tion is grow­ing at the rate of 10% per year and the gov­ern­ment is con­scious about the prob­lem,” says Ste­fan Kipp, Re­gional Di­rec­tor for MENA, Kep­pel Seghers.

The DSWMC was set up in 2011 with an in­stalled ca­pac­ity of 2,300 MT per day but the do­mes­tic waste gen­er­ated is more than 2,700 MT per day at present.

The cen­tre has waste sep­a­ra­tion and re­cy­cling fa­cil­i­ties, an en­gi­neered land­fill, a com­post­ing plant that can gen­er­ate 800 tonnes of green waste per day, and a 1,500 tonnes-per-day Waste-to-En­ergy (WTE) in­cin­er­a­tion plant that can gen­er­ate about 48.4 MW of power. Of this, 15.4 MW is con­sumed by the Cen­tre and the re­main­ing power is sup­plied to Kahra­maa.

Con­struc­tion waste

En­vi­ron­ment Statis­tics Ex­pert at Qatar Statis­tics Au­thor­ity (QSA) Michael Nagy feels that there should be no rea­son to worry as this is a nat­u­ral de­vel­op­ment, con­sid­er­ing the amount of con­struc­tion that is tak­ing place in the coun­try in view of var­i­ous in­fra­struc­ture projects.

“What the gov­ern­ment should look at are ways to dis­pose of this solid waste,” he says, adding that con­struc­tion waste poses no threat to the en­vi­ron­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to Nagy, the mid-term re­view of the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Strat­egy in 2013 has iden­ti­fied new chal­lenges and pri­or­i­ties to achieve the tar­gets.

“While data on waste to support ro­bust ev­i­dence-based pol­icy and reg­u­la­tory con­sid­er­a­tions for waste man­age­ment is still a chal­lenge, the gov­ern­ment is work­ing in mul­ti­ple part­ner­ships for sus­tain­able waste man­age­ment through in­vest­ments in ed­u­ca­tion, cut­ting-edge re­search, fron­tier tech­nolo­gies and ca­pac­ity build­ing,” Nagy says.

Rais­ing aware­ness of Qatar's pop­u­la­tion on the im­por­tance of re­duc­ing waste and in­creas­ing re­cy­cling to pro­tect the envi-

ron­ment and main­tain qual­ity of life, be­sides pro­mot­ing new pat­terns in con­sump­tion and pro­duc­tion, are other pri­or­i­ties iden­ti­fied dur­ing the re­view, he adds.

Con­crete re­cy­cling

Another ex­am­ple of what can be done with the grow­ing solid waste, which is par­tic­u­larly rel­e­vant to Qatar as it pre­pares for the FIFA World Cup, is con­crete re­cy­cling, an in­creas­ingly common method of util­is­ing the rub­ble gen­er­ated from ren­o­vat­ing or de­mol­ish­ing ex­ist­ing con­crete struc­tures.

In fact, the Pub­lic Works Au­thor­ity (Ashghal) has al­ready re­cy­cled 31 mil­lion cu m of ex­ca­vated ma­te­rial in its projects up to Septem­ber 15 this year in­stead of send­ing the waste to quar­ries.

Though Qatar is a front run­ner in the GCC when it comes to con­vert­ing waste to en­ergy, there are some ex­cel­lent ini­tia­tives by the Min­istry of Mu­nic­i­pal­ity and Ur­ban Plan­ning to en­sure a lit­ter-free Qatar.

As far as re­cy­cling is con­cerned, the fly ash gen­er­ated as a re­sult of in­cin­er­a­tion

KIPP SAYS, "WASTE IS A BUR­DEN AND THE GOV­ERN­MENT HAS TO PAY TO GET IT CLEARED BY THE COM­PA­NIES.”

of 1,500 MTs ev­ery day can be re-used as con­struc­tion ma­te­rial. Be­sides, th­ese prod­ucts can also be ex­ported to other coun­tries where there is such a de­mand.

“The main chal­lenge in re­cy­cling the waste is to find a mar­ket both lo­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally. There is over­all po­ten­tial for re­cy­cled prod­ucts such as steel, alu­minium, pa­per and plas­tic prod­ucts and the gov­ern­ment has to take a decision on the is­sue,” Kipp says.

Chief En­gi­neer and Un­der­sec­re­tary As­sis­tant in the Gen­eral Ser­vice Af­fairs wing of QSA, Sheikh Faleh Nasser J Al Thani, says that the gov­ern­ment has been mon­i­tor­ing waste man­age­ment and the coun­try is on the right track as far as the goals set by the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Strat­egy (2011-16) to in­crease waste re­cy­cling from the ex­ist­ing 8% to 38% by 2016. “We are also pro­vid­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and en­cour­ag­ing pri­vate com­pa­nies to en­gage in waste man­age­ment prac­tices and also gen­er­ate power,” he says

“The main chal­lenge in re­cy­cling the waste is to find a mar­ket both lo­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally. There is over­all po­ten­tial for re­cy­cled prod­ucts such as steel, alu­minium, pa­per and plas­tic prod­ucts and the gov­ern­ment has to take a decision on the is­sue.”

STE­FAN KIPP Re­gional Di­rec­tor, MENA Kep­pel Seghers

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