be’ah vows diversion of 80 per cent of municipal waste to recovery projects

Oman Environmental Services Holding Co (be’ah) — the entity overseeing the Sultanate’s solid waste management sector — says it plans to divert as much as 80 per cent of municipal solid waste away from landfills and into recovery-recycling-reuse (3R) initiatives by 2030. This represents a significant jump from its current goal of achieving a 60 per cent waste diversion by 2020, a senior executive said.
Fahad al Kharusi, Head of Business Development, said the “ambitious” target will be pursued in conjunction with a parallel effort to bring about a reduction in municipal waste generation from 1.2kg / day per capita presently to less than 1kg/day per capita by 2040.
“be’ah aims to construct and implement a long-term municipal solid waste diversion strategy to achieve a diversion rate of 60 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2030,” said Al Kharusi. “This strategy will maximise economic returns while reducing dependency on landfills and provide opportunities to power generation industries. This will also allow for a critical mass of waste to be used in a sustainable and environmentally-safe manner.”
Addressing a summit on sustainable energy resources held in the city recently, be’ah’s Head of Business Development said the twin strategies, enshrining a commitment to waste diversion and waste minimisation respectively, were at the heart of be’ah’s sustainability goals. Waste management is not sustainable if it is not combined with recycling, reuse and energy recovery, he stressed.
Oman currently generates around 2.07 million tonnes per annum of municipal solid waste, said Al Kharusi. This volume is broadly composed of food waste (27 per cent), plastic (21 per cent), cartons (10 per cent), metal and glass (6 per cent), textiles (6 per cent), paper (5 per cent) and wood (2 per cent).
In tandem with its goal to reduce the volume of municipal waste ending up in landfills, be’ah is also shutting down dumpsites that had materialised around the Sultanate over the past decades. Around 200 of the estimated 350 unsafe dumpsites distributed around the country have been rehabilitated and closed. The biggest of these dumpsites, located on the outskirts of Suhar, was shut down in the second quarter of this year, he said.
In their place, be’ah has built around 10 engineered landfills — one in each governorate. Waste collection, transportation and disposal efforts are also supplemented by investments in 25 transfer stations, which serve as logistics hubs designed to optimise collection efforts, as well as four material recovery facilities, he added.