Official: New, sorely needed recycling policies in Qatar afoot

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A mere 3 percent of the 20,000 tons of waste generated daily by Qatar’s construction industry is recycled, while 4 percent of it is incinerated, the head of a leading regional recycling company has said.

Cognizant of its dismal recycling record, Qatar is getting set to establish new government policies to manage waste disposal here, added John Irvine, managing director of Beirut-based Averda.

Gulf Times reports Irvine as saying:

“The government here has great aspirations. Legislation and policy-making does take time. I think we will see new policy (to regulate the waste management industry) coming in place over the next three to four months.”

Notably, Averda was commissioned by Qatar in December of 2012 to manage a pilot recycling program for a year following the UN Climate Change Conference, COP18.

But the program, which involved placing bins in major malls and popular hangouts like Souq Waqif, has faltered due to bureaucracy, with paperwork and budgets still waiting to be sorted out, an Averda official previously told Doha News.

Legislation?

Ministry of Environment officials have also been talking about standardizing waste disposal practices for more than a year, but official protocols have yet to be released.

Meanwhile, the Qatar National Development Strategy has set an ambitious target for the country to recycle some 38 percent of the its solid waste by 2016.

Despite years of delays, with a new Emir at the helm of Qatar’s government – and a new Minister of Environment – it’s possible that more attention will be placed on recycling. But for that to happen, companies must be willing to bear the added cost, Irvine said:

“We need to let our clients understand that we’re here to deliver a service. Service always has a cost, whether it is of landfill charges or dedicated recycling centers. These costs are dictated by legislation and policy, even though the opportunities for growth as an industry are untold.”

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by epSos.de

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