Zero Waste in $200m Bahrain bid
Manama, August 6, 2007
A proposal to recycle Bahrain's municipal waste is one of four options being considered by the government.
The bid for the $200 million (BD75.6 million) recycling project has been put forward by Canada-based Zero Waste, which aims to recycle all of the country's waste, as well as launch nationwide waste reduction and recycling awareness programmes.
If the project is approved, it will create 785 jobs, mainly for Bahrainis, Zero Waste research and development director Dr Omar Al Halabi said.
The 270sqm recycling plant, to be located in Askar, would take about 18 to 20 months to be completed in four phases.
The project would cover an area of 500,000sqm to allow for expansion and an area for afforestation.
The plant will be able to sort 36 types of waste, including plastic, glass, metal, paper and so on. After sorting, the items will then go through various stages of recycling, such as grinding and cleaning.
'Bahrain produces 5,000 tonnes of waste every day - 3,700 tonnes is domestic waste and the rest is industrial - and zero waste is our target,' said Dr Al Halabi.
'The concept of Zero Waste is to turn waste into energy, recyclable material and to produce high quality fertiliser.
'We can turn organic waste into high quality fertiliser, which will replace chemical fertiliser.
'It will be soluble and will save up to 47pc of water needed for watering because it absorbs the water in the atmosphere, while chemical fertiliser gives out more heat, so the soil needs more water.
'We will also plant trees covering 600sqm per day in an area selected by the (Municipalities and Agriculture) ministry.'
Dr Al Halabi said 68 per cent of Bahrain's waste is organic and 70 per cent of this would be turned into gases, of which 72 per cent would be methane and 28 per cent carbon dioxide.
'Each kilo of organic material can produce one cubic metre of gas and if connected to a grid can produce 83 megawatt hours, and that's in the worst case scenario,' he explained.
The other 30 per cent of organic waste is recyclable material and includes plastic, paper, glass and so on.
He said about 80 per cent of the 32 per cent of non-organic waste could also be recycled to produce inert material that could be ground and pressed and used for construction purposes.
If the project is approved, then by 2009 the plant will also receive hospital and toxic waste.
'This would be a nationwide initiative. Many countries use this concept in part, but not under one umbrella,' said Dr Al Halabi.
Meanwhile, Municipalities and Agriculture Ministry Under-Secretary Dr Juma Al Ka'abi said 13 companies originally submitted bids proposing different techniques for the disposal of municipal waste and four of them, including Zero Waste, had been shortlisted.
Techniques being considered include incineration, anaerobic digestion, autoclave and recycling.
'We met the four companies last month with the evaluation committee to hear their presentation on how they will treat the waste,' he said.
'Atkins was our consultant for the evaluation of the bids. We are now in the process of writing a report on the assessment.
'Next month we will visit the site to see the actual plans and then with the help of our final evaluation, we will decide the best.'
Dr Al Ka'abi said the company selected and its plans for municipal waste would be announced by the end of the year. TradeArabia News Service