Any development has its side effects and the biggest side effect of today’s emerging cities is piling up of daily waste and its proper disposal. The Sultanate of Oman takes maximum care in clearing day-to-day debris from residential areas to keep its cities clean, but there are many sources that cause immense pressure on the system when it comes to waste management.
According to a recent data, the country generates more than 2 million tonnes of solid waste each year, which is equivalent to more than 5,000 tonnes of municipal waste every day. One should keep in mind the numbers and the fact that these numbers are talking only about solid waste. The total waste creation must have been much more causing a herculean task for those involved in its management.
The main constituents of solid waste are primarily recyclables like, paper and cardboard, plastics, metals, glass, constriction waste etc. The technological revolution has added a constituent in the form of electronic waste.
Oman Environmental Services Holding Company ‘be’ah’ has the responsibility to manage various kinds of waste management in the country. It has characterised the waste as green, electronic, construction and demolition, old vehicles, expired tyres, and waste lead acid batteries, to work on waste management and their proper disposal.
It is comparatively easy to manage green waste as the components here are waste from parks like dead and broken trees and grass. Still there are efforts to adopt the best practices so there is no harm to the environment.
Management of electronic waste is one of the most difficult tasks. Due to growing consumption of electronic goods in the civilised society, the amount of electronic waste is more than double in five years.
The government has been working on better plans for e-waste management, as e-waste has potential to cause damage to the environment.
For construction waste, be’ah has already identified sites to receive construction and demolition waste in all governorates of the country.
The World Bank’s report on waste management reflects global concern on the issue. In its report, the World Bank raised concern over the global challenge and called for immediate intervention from the governments.
“Solid waste management is a universal issue affecting every single person in the world. Individuals and governments make decisions about consumption and waste management that affect the daily health, productivity and cleanliness of communities. Poorly managed waste is contaminating the world’s oceans, clogging drains and causing flooding, transmitting diseases via breeding of vectors, increasing respiratory problems through airborne particles from burning of waste, harming animals that consume waste unknowingly, and affecting economic development. Unmanaged and improperly managed waste from decades of economic growth requires urgent action at all levels of society,” the report said.
The world body calls for “systems with a suitable number of vehicles, establish efficient routes, set targets for diversion of waste, track progress and adapt as waste generation patterns change. With accurate data, governments can realistically allocate budget and land, assess relevant technologies and consider strategic partners, such as the private sector or nongovernmental organisations, for service provision.”