The Peninsula

The State of Qatar pays great attention to preserving the safety of environment and achieving sustainable development, where the ministry concerned has developed integrated plans and programs that will treat all forms of waste with a need to benefit from it in order to preserve the environment and natural resources.

The Qatar National Environment and Climate Change Strategy which has been launched recently relies on developing waste management infrastructure and improving the consumption of materials such as construction, food and the industrial sector.

According to the Strategy, Qatar has made some headway in recent years such as with the launch of the Domestic Solid Waste Management Center and waste sorting pilot by Qatar Foundation 

Qatar has also put in place ambitious aims to achieve its strategy which includes account for 100 percent of all wastes, achieving 15 percent material recycling rate of municipal wastes and using 35 percent of circular procurement in public infrastructure.

Qatar has four waste relay stations (West Doha Station, Dukhan Station, Industrial Area Station and South Doha Station) that receive waste from the Energy Department and transfer them to waste treatment centres or landfills.

Speaking to The Peninsula, Dr. Mohammad Saif Al Kuwari, an environmental expert, said that the issue of recycling is one of the important topics at the time, and countries have given it a special priority in their current policies. 

He also noted that the benefit from recycling and wastes requires scientific research projects in order to benefit from this waste in a healthy, and useful manner as well.

Al Kuwari explained that waste, whether medical or industrial, has a negative impact on the environment, whether on air quality or the marine and terrestrial environment.

Giving and an example, he said, “We conducted a study to take advantage of Rawdat Rashid to benefit from construction waste, which is estimated at 40 million tonnes, where 25 million tonnes of waste can be used.”

According to a report issued in March this year, the Center for Waste Management had recycled large quantity of wastes into usable materials such as organic fertilizer, biogas, electricity, iron and plastic in 2020. The center produced 30,202 tonnes of green manure; 33,180,890 cubic meters of biogas and 268,776 megawatt of electricity from waste management and recycling. 

The center has also produced 5,315.06 tonnes of plastic materials; 13,631.84 tonnes of iron; and 5,315 tonnes of iron-free materials. During the period of study, the Department of Waste Recycling and Management also issued 14,501 electronic permits to remove waste of all kinds including 5,404 permits to remove construction waste; 8,273 permits to remove solid and organic waste; and 824 permits to remove tires; and 111 paper permits to remove the organic waste that is sent to the Center for Waste Management.

In addition, 419,000 tonnes of recycled construction materials were produced in Rawdat Rashid Landfill last year. A total of 47 plots of land were allocated for establishing recycling factories, which will have a positive and significant impact on increasing the recycling rate, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030.

These efforts come within the framework of working to raise public awareness about the importance of recycling, and to reduce the use of one-time materials that pollute the environment.

As examples of recycling initiatives, the Ministry of Municipality and Al Meera Consumer Goods Company in 2019 launched an initiative for the recycling of used batteries as the battery-recycling is very important to prevent the potentially hazardous metals, they may contain, from damaging the environment, reduce waste from going to the landfills, and conserve natural resources.

The initiative was launched at Al Qatifiya branch of Al Meera to be expanded further to other branches subsequently.  The initiative included 48 branches of Al Meera branches in the country out of 51 branches and comes in the framework of the Ministry’s goals and is represented by the Recycling and Waste Treatment Department to achieve the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030 and the Ministry’s Sustainable Strategy 2018-2022.

The Ministry of Municipality said that Qatar’s National Development Strategy Goals 2018-2022 include encouraging and supporting the private sector to pursue recycling projects for all types of wastes; devising a plan to manage solid waste which would emphasise country’ recycling strategy and handle hazardous waste and substances.

Raising the percentage of the utilisation of recycled materials to 20 percent by the end of 2022 and recycling 15 percent of all generated waste by the end of 2022 are also part of strategy.

The Ministry also approved sanctions in the Al Afja Industrial Recycling Lots which include oil recycling, battery recycling, paper recycling, tyre recycling, scrap recycling, plastic recycling, wood recycling, glass recycling, food waste recycling, animal waste recycling, construction waste recycling and medical waste recycling.

It also aims to develop a waste management system and promote environmental awareness by shedding light on the most recent waste management methods which seek produce energy, fertilisers and recyclable materials.

To achieve same goals, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) launched this year a recycling pilot program at selected sites in Hamad bin Khalifa Medical City.

The ‘Waste Wise’ program not only encourages staff, patients, and visitors to use state-of-the-art bins to recycle paper, aluminum, plastic, and other waste, it’s also seeking to change habits and behaviors related to recycling.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), of the total amount of waste generated by Healthcare activities globally, about 85 percent is general, non-hazardous waste, much of which can be recycled.

The goal is to reduce the amount of general waste sent to landfill by facilities by 10 percent in 2021 and by 15 percent by November 2022. For the first phase of this four-phase program, bins have been installed in selected areas of HMC. By the start of the FIFA World Cup in 2022, patients and visitors can expect to find these innovative bins in all of HMC facilities.

The Waste Wise new recycling bins have been installed in high density areas – lobbies, reception, cafeterias etc., staff designated areas or visitors/patient areas. The new waste system enables HMC to monitor how much was is recycled with tallies being kept for each month