Recycling in Qatar: our environment is our future

Looking after our planet and the environment we live in is of utmost importance and should be a priority for all of us, and one of the best ways to protect the environment is to recycle solid waste matter that is recyclable.

Let’s talk about recycling in Qatar, and various recycling facilities that are available within the country for your residential or business recycling needs.

What is recycling

According to the ‘The Amazing World of Science’ process of taking useful discarded items for a specific next use. These discarded items are then processed to extract or recover materials and resources or convert them to energy in the form of useable heat, electricity or fuel.”

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Waste Hierarchy

The waste hierarchy consists of the three RRRs, which have further been described by the ‘Conserve Energy Future’ ,

The three R’s – reduce, reuse and recycle – all help to cut down on the amount of waste we throw away. They conserve natural resources, landfill space and energy. Plus, the three R’s save land and money communities must use to dispose of waste in landfills. Siting a new landfill has become difficult and more expensive due to environmental regulations and public opposition.

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Environmental preservation in Qatar

Qatar cares about its environment and is going all out to ensure it protects the environment, especially with the steady incline of its industrial growth, its ever-growing economy that is one of the fastest in the world and the growth of its population. This equates to large amounts of waste matter which may be in the form of industrial and municipal waste, construction and demolition flotsam and jetsam. It would not be wrong to say that, today, Qatar’s yearly solid waste production is more than 2.5 million tons, which equals to approximately 7,000 tons a day (now, that’s a lot).

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Recycling is a big focus of Qatar’s agenda to protect the environment and has already identified that better waste management is a necessity. To achieve better waste management, the government of Qatar is trying to decrease the amount of waste that is produced by industries, commercial sites and households and also recycle whatever can be recycled.

Qatar is encouraging organisations to export their recycled items and all manufacturing companies to adopt the use of recycled products and material. It is also running different public awareness campaigns and activities to encourage recycling within the general public and to see recycling as a duty that must be performed, improving collection networks and placing recycling dustbins at strategic locations around the country. Through awareness, locals and expats are learning about the 3Rs and getting together to reduce waste generation and participate in recycling so waste.

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1. Construction and demolition solid waste

According to the Qatar Second National Development Strategy 2018-2022 (NDS-2) which aims to conserve the environment and sustainability, “construction waste can be recycled to make use of them as construction materials, which reduces the cost of imported raw materials, preserves the environment for future generations, and reduces the logistical burdens of import and transportation.”

2. Domestic (or municipal) solid waste

Domestic solid waste is generally made up of organic matter that includes food and kitchen waste, garden trimmings and other garden waste, and inorganic matter that includes paper, metals like drink cans, bones, wood, plastics, glass, fabrics, leather, home dust, etc. In Qatar, domestic solid waste makes up the second largest source of waste after construction waste. Total solid waste (construction, domestic and others) generation increased from eight million tonnes in 2008 to 12 million tonnes in 2013, but then declined to 9.8 million tonnes in 2014 and continued to decrease to 7.7 million tonnes in 2015, reported Qatar Peninsula.

3. Hazardous waste

Although hazardous waste is often associated with bio-medical waste, according to ECO Mena (Alisha Kamran), Qatar’s definition of hazardous waste, in accordance with the Basel Convention, includes any type of waste that is harmful to the health of humans or the environment. If waste has characteristics that make it flammable, toxic, corrosive or flammable, it is hazardous waste. Hazardous waste is usually produced in households in small amounts and in commercial and industrial services in larger amounts, when transforming raw materials into usable products.

Hazardous waste in Qatar includes, waste water treatment plant, sludge, hydrocarbon filters, incinerator ash, contaminated soils, and chemicals, cytotoxic waste, placenta, histopathology waste, contaminated heap filters, contaminated solid metal instruments, contaminated pillows and blankets, expired medicines and narcotics (expired pharmaceuticals), contaminated medical supplies, used needles, sharps, etc.

4. Electronic waste

electronic waste (e-waste) is made up of electronics and electrical devices or their parts that have been discarded and are no longer in use. This is probably the fastest growing waste and is also very hard to get rid of because, more often than now, they are are made up of toxic substances that may include, cadmium, copper, lead, copper, etc.

E-waste includes, but is not limited to washing machines, fridges, food processors, dishwashers and other domestic appliances, computers and its accessories, printers, photocopiers, ink cartridges, mobile phones, etc.

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Waste Transfer Facilities in Qatar

There are five waste transfer stations in Qatar – South Doha, West Doha, Industrial Area, Dukhan and Al Khor – to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the limited space Umm Al-Afai landfill. These transfer stations are fully-equipped and have a material recovery facility that separates recyclables that include glass, paper, aluminium and plastic.

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Recycling facilities in Qatar

1. Mesaieed Integrated Domestic Solid Waste Management Centre

Mesaieed is one of Qatar’s leading industrial areas and is also a major focal point in environmental initiatives thanks to its integrated solid waste management centre that deals with domestic waste and recycling of products. The plant has been operating since 2011; 95% of the waste they receive is recycled or converted into energy.

2. Al Haya Enviro

Al Haya Enviro is an ISO 14001:2004 certified waste management company in Qatar, providing a comprehensive, innovative range of waste management and recycling services to some of Qatar`s biggest businesses. With Al Haya, you can be sure your waste will be taken care of legally, environmentally and with minimal disruption to your business. Established in 2003 in order to provide comprehensive services in the field of waste management and reutilisation of waste.

Its services include e-waste recycling (computers, phones, computers and accessories, printers, copiers and ink cartridges), hazardous waste recycling, office waste management, used oil recycling, hydrocarbon recovery, waste to compost services, marine services and water treatment chemical distribution in Qatar.

3. Al Hodaifi Group (Recycling)

Al Hodaifi Group (Recycling) is the second tyre recycling plant in Qatar and its first industrialised one. Based in Umm Al Afai near Doha, the factory has been set up by Germany’s Amandus-Kahl and is capable of processing 1.6 million tyres of all types every year. The tyres are ground to produce different grades of rubber granules, steel and nylon. The ground tyre material can be used in new tyres, soles for footwear, floor coverings and waterproof materials, as well as in sewage treatment and in irrigation solutions. It can also be mixed with asphalt which improves the lifespan of the road and reduces noise by 50%.

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