MUSCAT, Nov 15 – Thousands of old trash bins have been found junked in an open area in the heart of the Muscat Governorate, an ugly sight visible on the main express road leading to the Seeb slaughterhouse. Also found dumped at the site are hundreds of cars and used tyres. Blaming the authorities, locals and residents within 2-3 km of the area say this could pose health and environmental problems. “We asked Muscat Municipality to look into the matter a few years ago. But, unfortunately, we haven’t received any reply from them.” In the last few years, the area has witnessed a high growth of urban population. The presence of a slaughterhouse nearby and trading of livestock in old vehicles have turned the place into a mess.
An environmental expert said: “Scrap may not be a hot commodity right now, but it is a hot topic. The scrap-processing market has changed dramatically with many vendors going out of business. Scrap prices have declined significantly, while its vendors are trying to renegotiate contracts in the hope of securing more acceptable terms.” Tough times are likely to continue for the scrap companies this year too. “The market might look up if the global demand for metal increases, but it is unlikely the scrap prices are going to improve any time soon,” he added. Meanwhile, the expert suggested that to avoid health/ environmental effects, such waste should be “managed in an appropriate manner” as soon as possible.
YAHYA AL SALMANI