garbage bags are loaded on to trucks for disposal or recycling behind the Omar Makram Mosque in Tahrir Square, February, 12, 2011 – Wikimedia/Sherif2982
CAIRO – 2 October 2018: The rubbish that has long polluted the Egyptian streets will be completely removed within three months until the comprehensive cleaning system is applied, spokesman for the Ministry of Local Development Khaled Kassem said.
Kassem told Al-Shorouk Newspaper that governors will submit the final studies on the comprehensive cleaning system, pointing out that this system will be applied after the National Waste Management Holding is established and a garbage law, which will be discussed by Parliament in the upcoming round, is issued.
He added that the comprehensive cleaning system aims to collect the piles of rubbish and transfer them to treatment and recycling plants.
An estimated 44.8 percent of Egyptian households dispose their garbage by dumping it onto the street, while 55.2 percent dispose it through private companies and garbage collectors, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
Hence, Egypt has launched several initiatives to recycle wastes and to solve the garbage problem.
Previously, Environment Minister Khaled Fahmy announced on May 31 that Cairo governorate is supplied with equipment worth LE 300 million to implement the new system of waste management which started in Kafr Al-Sheikh.
Egypt's Cabinet has approved recently the implementation of the new system in Kafr Al-Sheikh, Gharbiya, Qena and Assiut governorates, in collaboration with local authorities, the German Construction Bank and the European Union (EU).
As part of the new system, the Cabinet has also approved to establish a waste treatment plant in Cairo’s Al-Wafaa Wal Amal.
Furthermore, Fahmy has participated recently in the new national initiative called, “Enough Plastic Bags”, by distributing 4,500 non-woven bags as alternatives to traditional non-recycled plastic bags. About 4,500 eco-friendly biodegradable plastic bags – bags that decompose through living organisms – have been circulated since the launch of the initiative.
The Ministry of Environment launched the EU-funded initiative on June 5, 2017, targeting Egypt’s strong dependency on plastic bags and aiming to reduce their use due to the negative effects they have on the environment and the economy.
The head of the Environmental Affairs Agency declared that Egyptians use about 12 billion plastic bags each year. The use of non-biodegradable plastic bags causes severe problems to the Nile River and the seas; hence, it negatively affects environmental tourism and diving.
On the sidelines of the International Day for Biological Diversity and World Environment Day (WED) celebrations, the Egyptian Ministry of Environment issued a public invitation for an iftar gathering (the meal Muslims eat to break their fast) on June 1 in Wadi Degla protectorate.
Additionally, Shehata al-Moqadis, head of the Garbage Collectors union, inked a memorandum of understanding on May 21 with an Italian company to build a waste recycling plant.
“The new project aims at running a waste-to-energy plant with a capacity of 600-1100 tons per day that can be used to generate electricity or to produce gas,” Moqadis said in press remarks.
He further called on the government to support the budding project by sponsoring the purchase of the produced electricity so that it can be applied into different sectors, which will ensure the sustainability of the project.
The project presents plenty of opportunities for the government and municipalities to get rid of solid food leftovers, he added. “Large amounts of electricity will expectedly be extracted akin to the same amount that is generated from the high dam in Aswan.”
The Italian side shall be committed to undertake technical studies meant for the station, and the financial studies needed to obtain the loan floated to the company for the construction of the waste-to-energy plant.
It also will be entrusted with supervising the construction works and providing in-site workers with job trainings.
The project aims at segregating solid, organic waste such as plastic and aluminum that can be converted into biogas to be used in different sectors and to be processed to produce electricity according to the amount of organic waste available.