CAIRO – 22 August 2018: Parliament member Shereen Farrag said that Egypt imports separated waste, pointing out that Egypt imported waste worth LE15 billions for recycling factories.
Egypt imported garbage for LE 5 billion from January 1 to April 30, which marks a 20 percent increase compared to the same period in 2017, Farrag said in a telephone interview with dmc channel.
A total of 60 kinds of waste are allowed to be imported to Egypt, but in 2017 ministerial decisions allowed the entry of new types of waste, including hazardous waste, Farrag noted.
Earlier in August, the MP submitted an urgent request to the prime minister and ministers of local development, environment and industry, demanding an explanation for that huge amount of garbage being imported at a time when Egypt annually produces about 17 million tons of solid waste, and 30 million tons of agricultural waste.
The Egyptian government is seeking to find solutions to the increasing accumulation of garbage in some streets, sometimes by collecting waste from homes through garbage collectors or by hiring private foreign cleaning companies.
"In 2017, Cairo governorate launched a project called “sell your garbage”, aiming to establish kiosks in different neighborhoods where people are encouraged to sell their cans, plastic bottles, paper and cardboard instead of throwing them away. It started with two kiosks in Heliopolis district in Cairo. Other kiosks are being prepared in other locations in the governorate.
The initiative raised a great deal of controversy and uncertainty. The garbage collectors, who inherited this job for over 70 years, say it negatively affects their livelihood, while the government insists it is socially, financially and environmentally beneficial and will not harm anyone.
Parliamentarian Farrag also told Egypt Today that the project will not have any negative effect on garbage collectors but will rather protect their rights, which “are currently being abused by boss-men of the garbage industry.”
“Garbage collectors will actually be dealing with the kiosks the most, making more money than they do on their own,” Farrag said, stressing that no one has been harmed by the initiative so far and that the problem was only created by the boss-men who do not want people or garbage collectors to know the real value of their garbage.
CAIRO - 19 April 2017: "The bag of trash is how we get by; we eat and drink from its takings. We suffice ourselves with it and we do not ask for anything." Meet El Nokrashi Sedki, one of a million garbage collectors, known as zabaleen, in Cairo, whose livelihoods depend solely on the lifecycle of a trash bag.
The parliamentarian listed five main advantages of her idea "sell you garbage":
1- Creating an immediate motive for Egyptians to understand the value of garbage; citizens must receive a prompt incentive in order to be motivated for any idea.
2- Creating small-sized projects and providing job opportunities, while producing economic benefit for the country.
3- Integrating new employees in the government, so that they can become good citizens and pay their taxes, instead of working outside the system.
4- Eradicating the phenomenon of garbage scavengers.
5- Providing enough material for recycling factories that are currently demanding to import garbage to satisfy their needs.
29 September 2017:When global warming became a hot topic of conversation, many environmentalists explored ways of reducing pollution. Recycling is commonly known as reusing material. Although people might be unaware that they are actually recycling, it actually plays a big role in our lives beyond sustainable development.
Recycling affects more than just the environment; it plays a huge role in the economy. For businesses, buying a nearly perfect recycled material is more cost friendly than buying refined material.
Additional reporting Yasmin Hassan and Nour Eltigani