MUSCAT, DEC 17 – Be’ah — Oman’s solid waste management flagship — plans to roll out a ‘two-bin’ waste collection system across the nation in a bid to underpin the growth of a successful and sustainable waste recycling industry in the Sultanate.
The wholly government owned entity, which has the mandate to manage waste collection and disposal, is also spearheading the rollout of a ‘waste diversion strategy’, which aims to reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfalls and channelling it instead towards recycling, recovery and reuse initiatives. The company has set out ambitious targets to ‘divert’ 60 per cent of municipal solid waste from landfills to recycling and ‘waste-to-energy’ by 2020, rising to 80 per cent by 2030.
Outlining plans for the introduction of a two-bin system nationwide, be’ah’s Executive Vice-President, Shaikh Mohammed bin Sulaiman al Harthy (pictured), said: “In future, we will have a two-bin system across the country — a wet bin for general household waste and a dry bin for recyclable waste, such as paper, plastic, and on. While the dry bins will go directly to sorting and recycling facilities, the contents of the wet bins will be processed for use as feed for ‘waste-to-energy’ projects.”
Al Harthy made the comments at last week’s annual Oman Waste and Environmental Services Conference and Exhibition. The event was organised by Oman Expo in partnership with be’ah.
Citing studies conducted by experts, Al Harthy said the composition of non-organic municipal solid waste is such that it is endowed with a high-calorific value while incinerated and thus suitable for use as a fuel resource in ‘waste to energy’ projects. “A kilo of waste offers on average 10 mega-joules of heat, which is ideal for ‘waste to energy’ schemes. Be’ah is currently in discussion with the relevant authorities to implement the first waste-to-energy plant in Oman. By Q2 2018, we hope to float tenders for the implementation of the first project on a BOT basis.”
In support of its ‘waste diversion strategy’, be’ah is setting up sorting facilities in key locations around the Sultanate, said the Executive Vice President. “At least 4 — 5 sorting facilities are planned for now, one each in Ibri, Buraimi and Suhar, with one or two centres in Muscat. We are also in discussion with interested parties for the establishment of a mechanical and biological treatment facility in Dhofar which will produce Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), a high-calorific fuel harnessed from municipal waste that can be used as a fuel resource in cement plants or other related industries.” With the planned introduction of waste-to-energy schemes, Oman will be only the second Gulf country — behind Qatar — to convert municipal waste into electricity, according to Al Harthy. Waste-to-energy schemes, however, are in various stages of development in the UAE, Bahrain and Kuwait, he said.
Aside from the economic and environmental benefits associated with recycling and waste-to-energy conversion, the resultant savings in carbon emissions will also go a long way in meeting Oman’s obligations under the 2030 Paris Convention, Al Harthy added.