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Municipal waste services now cover 100% of Oman’s population: be’ah

Tahwa landfill
Tahwa landfill

BUSINESS REPORTER


MUSCAT, Sept 25


Municipal solid waste (MSW) management services provided by Oman Environmental Holding Services Co (be’ah), via a number of specialist service providers, now cover 100 per cent of Oman’s population, according to the state-owned entity.


As many as six leading local and international waste management firms have been licensed by be’ah as contractual service providers to handle the complete spectrum of services in their respective licensed areas in the Sultanate.


These services range from bin and fleet supply, waste collection, transfer and final disposal, to allocation, maintenance and regular sterilisation of bins. Between them, they operate a 3,340-strong workforce that forms the manpower handling waste collection across the country.


“be’ah efficiently manages three waste types: municipal, healthcare and hazardous. Before the decommissioning of traditional dumpsites, these waste types were dumped together and buried in pits, burnt and left exposed to the environment. This waste attracted scavengers, created an unhealthy environment, and contributed to soil, water and air contamination in the area,” said be’ah in its latest report.


“These traditional dumping grounds, which were over 300 in number, were also a breeding ground for pests besides being a source of various infections as they received all waste types and had no provision for their safe disposal. The continued and varied risks to public health, the local ecosystem, the environment, and the economy from such legacy practices called for prioritising damage control using innovative, far-sighted and sustainable measures,” it stated.


As a first step in the sustainable management of solid waste, be’ah began closing all traditional dumpsites. Making gradual and focused progress, it systematically began decommissioning such sites as soon as the nearest engineered landfill or transfer station became operational.


The company also began identifying the various waste streams and devised strategies to extract value before they were disposed.


By the end of 2020, ten new engineered landfills were in operation at key locations around the Sultanate. An 11th engineered landfill is also under construction.


Complementing this network are 15 waste transfer stations, which are already operational, with a further five under construction.


Eng Tariq al Amri, CEO – be’ah, commented: “be’ah has been aligning each of its strategies, initiatives and projects concerning waste management and the environment in accordance with domestic and international best practices. With the need for an international standard waste management infrastructural set-up largely addressed, the emphasis is now on gradually shifting the current linear economy model to a circular economy model by leveraging the Fourth Industrial Revolution to create sustainable communities. These communities will, in turn, support Oman’s economy and further improve the quality of life. For this, the Company will continue to collaborate with stakeholders at every level.”


Eng Ahmed Hamed al Subhi, Chairman of the Board of Directors, added: “The waste management infrastructure that we see today, starting from engineered landfills, transfer stations, treatment facilities, coupled with high-level of professionalism, ethics, operational capability and environmental awareness are just a few examples of the achievements be’ah has accomplished. We at be’ah see a promising road ahead and our focus will be on preserving company successes and scaling up to provide world class services across the Sultanate.”


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