Bahrain's first recycling plant on way
Manama, June 15, 2014
Plans have been drawn up to establish Bahrain's first recycling complex near the country's landfill site in Askar.
The facility will be divided into different sections to recycle paper, glass, plastic and agricultural waste among others, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
However, it is still unclear whether private investors, selected through tenders, will be assigned to build each section or will be pulled into the project after the government completes construction.
Northern Municipality director-general Yousif Al Ghatam told the GDN the project was still in the planning stages and will be implemented in phases.
"The government is shifting from dumping at Hafeera, which could be full within the next few years, which is why urgent alternative measures are being taken," he said.
"There are recyclable materials that are of interest to companies and they can be separated, sorted and cleaned for recycling by companies rather than be buried.
"Around 35 per cent of dumped waste is paper while plastic comprises 30 per cent, which is unfortunately being buried in the landfill rather than reused through recycling."
Al Ghatam, who is also National Cleanliness Committee chairman, said recycling companies will be tasked to handle any materials they want, while the rest will be dumped.
"We have not yet finalised details yet," he said.
"It will happen but details are still unclear on whether we will build small factories and then rent them out to companies to operate or give out land to companies to build the factories and operate them.
"If we choose the latter, then it will save the government huge amounts of money and it is a likely option as there are many interested companies, but individual categories will be offered through contract and the best will be selected.
"The government can't bury everything and it has to limit what goes into the landfill."
Two months ago, a private company was awarded a tender to recycle tyres, but it was not clear whether the service would be available at the complex.
Plans for an incinerator were last year shelved by the government despite a contract being signed with French company CNIM in 2009 after concerns from the Southern Municipal Council that no environmental impact studies were made.
Environmentalists earlier warned that the landfill will be completely full by 2016 after the government carried out the transfer of decades worth of dumped waste to the site in Askar.
Scores of trucks were mobilised for weeks to transport debris and rubble amassed from digging work in the Buhair Valley following a massive fire that broke out on May 19 last year.
Fires simmered in the valley for around a year as methane gas escaped from an old and toxic illegal dumpsite after work started in the area to construct government housing units. - TradeArabia News Service