No more dumpsites

MUSCAT, Nov 19 – Traditional dumpsites in the Sultanate will be eliminated by early next year as part of the new approach to waste processing.
According to a senior official at the Oman Environmental Services Holding Company (Be’ah) the dumpsites are hazardous and need to be closed permanently. “They are a major cause of concern. Already more than 200 dumpsites have been closed and steps are ahead to close the remaining in the early months of 2018. They will be replaced by engineered landfill sites,” said Essam Yahya al Sharji, acting head of Corporate Affairs Department, Be’ah. He said there has been a significant change in Oman’s approach to managing waste.
“There is a big transformation in the recent years. The country had more than 380 open dumpsites receiving more than 5,000 tonnes of municipal waste on a daily basis. More than half of them have been closed,” he told Observer. The transfer of managing municipal solid waste to the private sector is a key step in Oman’s strategy to transform the country’s waste into economic and environmental benefit, he said.

Be’ah has developed a national strategy for industrial waste management and is in the process of establishing national integrated waste management facilities. “As far as rise in the quantity of industrial waste is concerned,” Essam (pictured) said, “It is a global phenomenon. What we require to have is a right solution like integrated waste management facilities”. These will consist of a thermal treatment plant, a physical and chemical treatment plant, a solidification plant and disposal facilities, which will be developed in phases. According to Be’ah, the Sultanate produces around 1.5 million tonnes of industrial waste per year, of which more than 1.2 million tonnes are slag and fly ash from mining industry.
About 90 per cent of Oman’s current industrial hazardous waste is generated by industries operating within the industrial port and the nearby industrial part in Suhar and the North Cost.
Waste from hospitals and clinics accounts for around 4,500 tonnes per year.
Treatment plants were established and an integrated hazardous waste facility is to be established by 2020. Services were restructured and for the first time were outsourced to private operators.
The company is now focusing on specific diversion targets of 60 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2030.
Established in 2007, Be’ah is a government company mandated to carry out waste management and environmental protection activities across the whole of Oman.
Be’ah strives towards a vision to preserve the environment of a beautiful Oman for the future generations.

SAMUEL KUTTY