Tag: Recycling

Key Environmental Issues in Automotive Sector

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The environmental forecasts have recently been so gloomy that it might be tempting for some people to stop caring about the planet. Many assume that their contribution wouldn’t be enough to make a real change for the global environment and therefore they give up. The truth is, however, that the tiniest steps, if taken by all, or even the majority, could reverse climate change. What really matters is the awareness. That’s the reason why highlighting successful initiatives is important, as building positive associations with our actions will improve motivation in people across the globe.

Hopefully, with the changes we see today, most people will be aware of ecological and sustainable alternatives to most products and practices in the near future. Here are four infographics that show key environmental problems in the automotive sector, especially transport, energy production, recycling, and palm oil use, alongwith interesting facts and figures, promising news and predictions and actionable tips for everyone:

Get Green Columbus Project – An Overview


The Get Green Columbus initiative began on January 28, 2005.  Columbus mayor Michael B. Coleman issued a Green Memo that urged the city’s residents to live environmentally-friendly lives.  The memo discussed several policy frameworks that aimed to create healthier environments.

Since the Green Memo, the city of Columbus had made significant progress in becoming a more sustainable and environmentally friendly city in every area, from rehab to businesses.  For these efforts, the city has received awards and recognition.  These include a designation as the most improved city from SustainLane in 2008, the Environmental Public Servant Award from the Ohio Environmental Council in 2009, and recognition as the greenest fleet in the nation at the 2009 Green Fleet Conference’s 2009 Environmental Leadership Awards.

Collaborating with City Agencies & Community Leaders

One driving factor for the success of Get Green Columbus was Mayor Coleman’s Green Team.  This team was responsible for administering environmental policies, educating the community about the risks of not taking care of the environment, and identifying the necessary resources to implement Get Green Columbus initiatives.

Joining Mayor Coleman’s Green Team were the Environmental Steward Office (ESO), who collaborated with the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO).  The ESO functioned as an internal team of experts and green coordinators who represented each department and division within the city. On October 4, 2007, Mayor Coleman joined other elected officials in signing the Central Ohio Green Pact.  This pact aimed to

  • Produce greener public fleets
  • Create a stronger green economy
  • Collaborate with others to purchase more green products
  • Adopt sustainable land use policies
  • Build more green facilities to reduce energy consumption and waste
  • Educate and involve the community
  • Decrease emissions
  • Protect environments from climate change
  • Preserve green space and develop greenways
  • Expand and encourage mass transportation

 Implementing Recycling Strategies and Reducing Solid Waste

SWACO and the city of Columbus also initiated a recycling program that is now known as RecyColumbus.  The goal of this project was to make it easy for people to recycle their household goods. It allowed Columbus residents to place recyclable items on their curbs or drop off such items at recycling centers.  In 2009, the municipality recycled 15,126 tons of materials.

Different agencies also collaborated with the city of Columbus to recycle items and reduce waste.  Such partnerships are working together to recycle 66 percent of the waste that would otherwise go to local landfills.

Improving Indoor and Outdoor Air Quality

Another achievement of Mayor Coleman’s Get Green Columbus was the creation, adoption, and implementation of the City of Columbus Green Fleet Action Plan, a plan first issued on January 1, 2008.

The goals and targets of the Green Fleet Action Plan included:

  • Reducing fuel
  • Purchasing and using biodiesel and compressed natural gas
  • Obtaining green grants and Green Fleet Awards
  • Implementing green purchasing language

Protecting Water

Protecting water quality was another focus of Get Green Columbus.  The initiative focused on flood reduction, waterway quality, stream restoration, and several multi jurisdictional watershed planning efforts.

In 2005, the Columbus Division of Sewerage and Drainage launched Project Clean Rivers.  Several programs and services were part of this project.  All had the same goal: achieving clean water.  This project also included the Wet Weather Management Plan, a $2.5 billion strategy to eradicate sewer overflows.

Such water protections were attempts to ensure the safety of Columbus’s groundwater and its surface resources.  Also contributing to such water protection efforts were the city’s public health authorities, who annually permit and inspect sewage treatment systems on private properties.  The authorities inspected more than 300 systems in 2009 alone.

Promoting Green Businesses

Another green effort of Mayor Coleman was a program to recognize and award businesses that made efforts to become more environmentally responsible.  This program, called the GreenSpot Program, has been successful in serving as a public engagement model for the city of Columbus and other communities throughout Ohio and North America.

Fostering the Greening of Columbus

On February 22, 2007, Mayor Coleman agreed to the U.S. Council of Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement as part of his contribution to the Get Green Columbus initiative.  Since then, the city of Columbus has conducted greenhouse gas emission inventories of its operations.

In 2005, the Columbus operation baseline emissions reported 317,926 metric tons of carbon dioxide.  The city of Columbus has aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2 percent every year until the year 2030.

According to reports, the sources of greenhouse gas emissions in Columbus in 2005 are:

  • 31 percent from buildings
  • 37 percent from wastewater treatment
  • 18 percent from drinking water treatment
  • 12 percent from transportation

The 10-Year Action Plan

In another environmental development, on May 4, 2009, Mayor Coleman announced a 10-year action plan.  The plan contains a list of improvements as well as efficiencies to correct imbalances.  The summary report of the Get Green Columbus program discusses the

  • Continuation of green initiatives
  • Expansion of energy-saving measures
  • Creation of weatherization systems
  • Establishment of efficient lighting
  • Upgrades of HVAC systems

Other Green Memo suggestions called for the city of Columbus to plant more trees and to construct capital improvements to protect the environment.  The city succeeded in its goals to plant a total of 20,000 trees.  Reports stated that the city of Columbus planted a yearly average of 5,500 trees and lost 1,500 trees yearly, which meant that the city planted 4,000 trees every year.

Local partners worked with the city of Columbus to achieve most of the project’s goals.  One improvement was improving access to fresh and nutritious foods for residents who were in need.  Columbus Public Health organized community farmers markets throughout the city, an effort that provided fresh food to city residents.

Speaking of Columbus and plants, the city is the home of the American Community Garden Association.  It is also the location of the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, which opened the unique Community Garden Campus.  These efforts educate people about the beauty and usefulness of plants and protecting them, issues important to Get Green Columbus as well.

Final Words

Get Green Columbus illustrate that teamwork and collaboration can make good things happen for a city and its residents.

Hiring a Professional Rubbish Removal Company – Why and How


With the age of technology and convenience, human beings have gotten used to creating waste at an unbelievable pace. While we should be doing that responsibly since we cannot completely avoid it, we need experts to remove the pile of unwanted material we accumulate over time. If you are wondering why you should hire a rubbish removal company and how exactly you go about hiring them when you finally make your mind up, this blog can come to your rescue.

First thing first, below are some of the advantages of hiring expert company to remove rubbish piled up in your premises:

Advantages of hiring an expert rubbish removal company


Companies often invest in training their employees to do the projects of rubbish removal as smoothly and as efficiently as possible. The training generally involves differentiating between various types of rubbish and what to do with each of them individually, i.e. employing correct methods, making them experts in handling the rubbish.


Sorting, picking, removing, disposing and cleaning the premises, all are covered under this one. Isn’t it obvious why people hire them at first place: to steer clear of a tough job for which there are professionals!


Most companies, if they have cared enough to get into this line of business, hold valid license to recycle the waste efficiently. (If they do not, you must not get into agreement with them for the removal service). You see, waste management is their core competency with all their equipment and gadgets which you must make use of.

Health and safety concerns

Depending on what kind of and how much rubbish you have, there could be such concerns if you are thinking of doing a removal job on your own. There could be health hazards you may not know, apart from getting allergies, cuts and bruises while removing the waste and junk. Moreover not having a training of disposal and waste handling can put you at legal risk as well.


If you have hired a nice company and negotiated well, it’s likely you have paid cost-effectively for a job well-done. They being expert at what they do, save your time which could be efficiently use for some other productive task, all the while saving you the cost involved in investing in other rubbish removal methods.


Hiring a company that deals in rubbish removal is also great for environment. You might be contributing to polluting it by keeping the rubbish on your premises longer than needed. As unhygienic as it could get, it also invites pests like rats. You do not want that, do you?

For the looks of it

You don’t want your area to resemble a junkyard, be it your home or office. But your place might mimic the same with all that waste lying around. Hire a removal company to keep up the appeal of the place. It should belong to you not to the junk (and leave bad impression on relatives/friends/clients!)

Now that you know what value hiring a rubbish removal company can add to your life, here are some genuinely useful tips to know before hiring them and handing over your assignment.

How to ensure hiring the best rubbish removal company

If you are worried as to how to hire the best in the industry, below are some tips to do so with confidence, by:

Determining the types of rubbish

Choosing the best company to assist you with the removal of your rubbish undoubtedly starts with determining the kinds of rubbish you have accumulated. Otherwise you will end up blind calling from the list of the companies you find on the net and getting disappointed later if they do not offer the service you need. Is it residential, commercial, leftover building material waste/rubble rubbish, or just plain junk?

Getting to the places to know more

Apart from family and friends, there’s the Internet. Everything you need to know could be located there. The better the company, the more it should have invested in maintaining a good site. All the necessary sales pitch should be there. The multiple ways to reach and connect with them easily determines how easy is to reach them. Their blog, videos, and testimonials along with social pages can tell you more about them.

Listing and sorting rubbish removal companies

The above process helps you in finalizing the companies when you look for them. Good news is that a single company can provide several services, just on different days. So you need not look for several companies for different kinds of rubbish you have.

Also, make attempt to reach them and observe how promptly they respond your mail or phone. After all customer service begins here. Next, they would be asking about the kind of rubbish you want to be removed and your location to know if they serve there before giving free no-obligation quote.

Authenticating the service provider

Opting for a licensed waste carrier is very important. Only these people know to dispose of junk in designated landfills, scrap yards and recycling plants. Most companies would be eager to show you proof of their authorisation for the asked service.

Additionally, see if they are associated with the likes of Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List, to ensure their credibility. Also always ask if the company offers Transfer Notes while removing commercial waste to track the final destination where your rubbish goes. Keep the copies of the note safe.

Determining the price

If everything is as it should be, you have to pay only for what you get. Roughly knowing about the quantity of junk (in cubic metre or yardage, whatever goes!) can help you estimate and compare the rates from different companies. The companies not offering to give an estimate like that are a sure no-no.

Being cautious

Since such services are needed only once in a while, you should be on your guard for anything suspicious. There are companies that would want to take benefit of your ignorance by imposing strange and unforeseen charges that essentially should be a part of their service, like parking and loading fees.

Ask them a fee breakdown beforehand and if that’s all they are going to ask and don’t let them slap charges when the work is done. Also, beware of any attempts to charge based entirely on variables you can’t control like time or manpower.

Checking for cleanliness- before and after

How well they keep their trucks and how far they go in cleaning up your place after removing rubbish can also be a determining factor for you to hire a company. Images of them at work on their website can tell you a lot. And how well they have done their past projects can tell you about the other aspect. Be all eyes and ears.

Ensuring that the company is insured

Just be sure of this. Generally, this piece of information is not usually needed but being prepared for every casualty is a good thing. Hiring a non-insured company is like inviting disaster. For a certain peace of mind, knowing this is very important before going with signing the contract.

Knowing about their recycling policy

Rubbish taken away from you is not always treated the way you might prefer. It could simply end in a landfill or could go to places to be salvaged as much as is good. However, if you feel responsible for your rubbish, be sure to review recycling policy of the rubbish removal Bournemouth companies. Some of them might actually work with scrappers, recycling facilities and NGOs that need donation. You might actually feel good about being associated with such a company.

Key Factors Driving the Waste Management Industry

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The amount of wastes that humans create every day and their potential impact on the environment have been matters of concern for the government and the community for long. There is a dire need to find a sustainable solution to this issue. Proper waste management methods which would be cost-effective, scientifically better, financially viable, environment-friendly, and socially acceptable to people are the need of the hour.

Waste management refers to the collection, transportation, disposal, and monitoring of wastes. It is imperative due to its many benefits which include protection of the environment and the health of the population, resource recovery, overcoming of an epidemic, and elimination of fire hazards due to the accumulation of hazardous substances.

Growth in Waste Management Industry

The market for waste management is witnessing a significant boom in recent years. This growth is driven by unprecedented growth in all kinds of wastes taking place due to the rise in industrialization, growing urban population, and the rise in environmental awareness. The growing adoption of recycling techniques and the development of innovative technologies and advanced waste collection solutions also fuel the growth of the market.

However, lack of awareness of the impact of unattended solid wastes in the developing regions across the globe restrains the industry growth. According to the research firm, Allied Market Research, the waste management industry is expected to reach $435.0 billion by 2023 from $285.0 billion in 2016, experiencing a CAGR of 6.2% from 2017 to 2023.

A recent trend in the waste management industry is the development of novel and innovative technologies in the space, which are helping in the efficient collection and processing of wastes. Another recent trend in the ecosystem is the adoption of strategies such as partnerships, mergers, and acquisitions by companies with an aim to expand their presence globally and grab a greater market share.

One of the recent collaborations is that between PETCO Kenya, the PET recycling company based in South Africa and Mr. Green Africa, a recycling firm in Kenya to increase the collection of PET bottles. Another one is the extension of partnership by Covanta, a waste management company based in the U.S. with the Town of Huntington, New York to continue with its support for waste management.

PETCO Partners with Mr. Green Africa

In November ’18, PETCO Kenya entered into a strategic partnership with Mr. Green Africa to provide funding with the aim of expediting the PET bottles collection process. The funding enables the former company to support infrastructure for waste collectors that service the latter’s trading centers by providing waste collection tricycles. The waste collection capacity of the collectors which is an average of 40 kgs a day, will increase to between 300kgs to 500kgs under the new partnership.

These collectors have been using sacks to collect post-consumer bottles, which is not only straining on their physical bodies but also limiting in the quantities they can collect per day kilograms. John Waithaka, the Chairman of PETCO Kenya said, “PETCO is committed to increasing the amount of plastic collected from the current levels to 70% by 2030. This partnership with Green Africa is one of the many partnerships we will be rolling out in the coming months to help us achieve this goal.”

Covanta and Town of Huntington Extend Partnership

In November ’18, Covanta announced its collaboration extension with the Town of Huntington for the supervision of the Huntington Resource Recovery Facility. The facility is an energy-from-waste facility that processes about 1,000 tons of municipal solid waste each day, produces 25 megawatts of renewable energy, and recycles over 7,000 tons of metal annually.

According to Chad Lupinacci, Supervisor of Town of Huntington, the extension of their partnership with Covanta provides their community with a great solution to waste management. It helps preserve their valuable natural resources while generating clean energy. He feels that the collaboration is a blessing for their residents as they both aim to achieve a more sustainable community. Rick Sandner, Vice President and General Manager of Covanta’s New York/New Jersey region said, “The Towns of Huntington and Smithtown have developed a leading waste management system that includes energy-from-waste for any residual waste that remains after recycling. We are proud of our work in providing safe, reliable waste disposal and a source of clean energy, and look forward to serving these communities for many years to come.”

Eco-Friendly Waste Disposal Methods


Even the fastest growing economies often fail at effectively managing the massive quantities of waste generated. Whether you’re a homeowner cleaning up after a renovation project, or a construction company with ongoing site waste management requirements, it’s important that you’re familiar with eco-friendly ways of disposing of the waste. Let us have a quick glance at popular eco-friendly waste disposal methods.

Salvaging on site

It’s no secret that the construction industry is held accountable for a lion’s share of worldwide energy usage, but also generated waste material. However, many construction materials can be recycled and reused on site.

For example, by re-milling old timber and lumber, you can make new floors, panelling, doors and windows. Drywall scraps can be used for wall patches, but also mixed up with soil as a nutrient-rich food source for plants. Common metals like copper, aluminium and steel can be smelted and reformed into new products. Crushing concrete and masonry gives you extra material for pavements, roads and driveways, similarly to clay bricks, which have a lifespan of more than 200 years.


Reusing the waste is directly related to generating less of it. For example, instead of throwing them away, you can still use your shopping bags. The same goes with relish and condiment jars, which can be used for storing items in your workshop.


It starts with waste separation, as recyclable products are often mixed up with non-recyclable ones, or ones suitable for composting. Many people are already recycling, with communities showing their environmental initiative by providing separate bins for glass and PET, but are you up to date with what can be recycled nowadays?

Even with a high percentage of household waste being recyclable, the statistic are still discouraging. For example, in a developed country like Australia, where environmental awareness is high, only about 20% of all plastic packaging is recycled.

Professional removal

Separating your household waste into separate bins and disposing of daily rubbish responsibly is one thing, but when faced with a large amount of waste, such as from major remodelling project, downsizing, or moving house, most homeowners don’t know what to do.

Luckily, developed countries like Australia have an extensive network of commercial waste removal companies, like the one for professional junk removal in Sydney. It operates an efficient team for removing household rubbish, lawn trimmings, demolition, and e-waste, while the company’s policies ensure that whatever can be recycled, will be.


This method involves combusting waste as a means of removing their base components with extreme heat. It’s another way of destroying your waste while still being environmentally responsible. However, this doesn’t mean you can build a bonfire in your backyard and dump whatever will burn, meanwhile choking your entire neighbourhood with the noxious smoke. Municipalities often have strict policies and regulations for waste incineration, so you should look into these before it’s too late.

Waste to energy

Even after reusing and recycling, some waste still remains. Instead of burying organic waste, you can use it to generate energy. Plants that use anaerobic digestion can do a great deal of work here, as they take care of anything that rots and turn it into biogas and farm fertiliser.

A modern air pollution control system is essential for all MSW incineration facilities.

A country that has been doing a great job in generating energy from organic waste is Sweden. They convert 100% of their organic waste to clean energy, even going to extents of importing waste from neighbouring countries for energy production.


While waste can be disposed of in a number of ways, it’s always important to give a chance to eco-friendly methods, as they make less of an impact on the environment. Apart from helping the nature regenerate its sources, the disposal methods listed here are directly involved in creating a healthier environment for ourselves.

7 Reasons Why You Should Support Eco-Friendly Local Businesses


As consumers become more eco-conscious, there is growing demand for businesses to offer ‘green’ products and services. Eco-friendly businesses are now popping up all over the place, helping to benefit local communities socially, environmentally and economically. The benefits of buying locally are generally far greater than what you’d get from buying at national shopping chains. Here are 7 great reasons why you should support eco-friendly local businesses.

Reduce Your Environmental Impact

An abundance of waste products continues to fill our landfills and harm our environment. It’s more important than ever for businesses to be vigilant about recycling efforts to keep this planet clean for future generations. As a consumer, you hold the responsibility to be conscious of the products you buy, use and dispose of.

Not all products and packaging are recyclable or environmentally friendly. Shopping at local eco-friendly businesses is a sure way to lower your environmental impact. These businesses make it a priority to use responsible sourcing and manufacturing to create their products. When more people buy these locally made eco-products, these businesses will become stronger, and in turn, the products will become more accessible.

Get Products with Character

In addition to its positive environmental impact, locally-made products have a level of uniqueness that aren’t necessarily found in big national chains. While chain stores often stock products that reflect national demands, a local eco-friendly store is more likely to focus on the interests of the community.

Products from local producers allow customers to share the special characteristics of a local area with friends around the world. There’s something special about buying local products you can’t get anywhere else.

Improve the Local Economy

When you spend money at a local business, a significant amount returns to the local community. This income helps to foster economic growth and local development, benefitting everybody in your community.

Preserve the Community Well Being

Local business contribute to the heart of your community. They help to sustain vibrant town centres and connect all the people that live there. In addition to helping the economy, many local businesses make it a point to give back to charity, which benefits local organisations. By supporting these businesses, you are contributing to the greater good of your community.

There are unending environmental benefits of buying locally

Get Quality Products that Last

When you buy from local eco-friendly businesses, you know you’ll be getting quality products that last. Eco-friendly products are made to be sustainable and durable, giving you much more value for your money. It makes more sense to invest in eco-friendly products than to waste money on trendy products that will eventually need to be replaced.

Create Local Jobs

When you buy locally, you’re helping businesses to stay profitable and promoting growth within the company. A growing business can afford to hire additional employees, creating more job opportunities for the people in your community.

Get Personalised Customer Service

Local eco-friendly businesses tend to have a smaller client base compared to big national retailers. This means they are likely to go above and beyond to add more value to customer service. Local business owners make an effort to get to know their repeat customers and learn about their needs and preferences.

When you shop locally on a regular basis, you end up enjoying a personal connection that you may not get at your typical large retail stores. Overall, eco-friendly businesses provide a better shopping experience, both for you and for the planet.

As part of her efforts to live a sustainable life, Cloe makes sure to support local eco-friendly businesses in her city. After all, to quote Ralph Bicknese, “Sustainability is about ecology, economy and equity”. You can check out more of Cloe’s work on Tumblr.

Waste Management at Army Installations

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Waste management at army installations demands an integrated framework based on the conventional waste management hierarchy of 4Rs – reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery (of energy). Waste reduction (or waste minimization) is the top-most solution to reduce waste generation at army bases which demands close cooperation among different departments, including procurement, technical services, housing, food service, personnel. Reducing office paper waste by implementing a policy to duplex all draft reports.

Army installations are unique due to more than one factor including strict discipline, high degree of motivation, good financial resources and skilled personnel. Usually army installations are one of the largest employers in and around the region where they are based and have a very good influence of the surrounding community, which is bound to have a positive impact on overall waste management strategies in the concerned region.

Waste disposal methods for army based is dependent on size of the population, location, local regulations, budgetary constraints and many other factors. It is imperative on base commanders to evaluate all possible options and develop a cost-effective and efficient waste management plan.

The key factors in the success of waste management plan in army bases are development of new technologies/practices, infrastructure building, participation of all departments, basic environmental education for personnel and development of a quality recycling program.

Due to large fraction of recyclables in the waste stream, recycling is an attractive proposition for the armed forces. However, environmental awareness, waste collection infrastructure, and modern equipment are essential for the success of any waste management strategy.

Food waste and yard waste (or green waste) can be subjected to anaerobic digestion or composting to increase landfill diversion rates and obtain energy-rich biogas (for cooking/heating) and nutrient-rich fertilizer (for landscaping and indoor gardening). For deployed forces, small-scale waste-to-energy systems, based on thermal technologies, can be an effective solution for disposal of combustible wastes, and for harnessing energy potential of wastes.

Landfill diversion is achieved when the waste is either not generated in the first place, or when the potential waste is recycled or re-used. As a result, the material never actually becomes a waste. Separation is a critical part of waste diversion. Separation is probably most efficiently conducted at the point of generation. However, post collection separation is also feasible.


With increasing militarization, more wars and frequent armed conflicts, protection of the environment has assumed greater significance for military in armed conflicts as well as peacetime operations. Sustainable management of trash is a good opportunity for armed forces to promote environmental stewardship, foster sustainable development and generate goodwill among the local population and beyond.

Scrap Recycling in Saudi Arabia


Scrap recycling industry is one of the major contributors to economic growth globally, and the cross-border trade of recyclable materials. Scrap recycling plays an important role as rapid industrialization does not have to depend completely on exploiting natural resources. This results in more demand and opportunities in the international scrap market.

The major hurdle faced by scrap recycling industry in Saudi Arabia is unpredictable and sudden change in regulations by the government. Scrap materials are under strict movement control; import/export tariffs, commodity licensing/certification, inspection and quarantine which pose major challenges to exporters and recyclers.

Commodities like battery scrap, lead plates, lead oxide, rains, reels, rubber tubes, etc. are not allowed to be imported due to the nature of cargo. Tough market conditions coupled with regulatory hurdles have led the scrap recycling sector in Saudi Arabia to be reeling under margin pressure.

The Saudi Arabian Government created Scrap Metal Centers (SMCs) near major industrial hubs and scrap yards were shifted to these locations. SMCs promoted by the Government are equipped with shredders, separators, etc.

In the UAE, major recycling clusters and free zones are situated in Jebel Ali. However there has been no coordinated effort to create a common scrap recycling cluster in GCC. Recycling sector in UAE is getting more organized while things are at nascent stages in Saudi Arabia. The number of companies operating in recycling sector is increasing steadily in UAE. Bee’ah’s MRF in Sharjah, one of the largest worldwide, has significantly improved recycling situation in the country.

On the other hand, recycling in Saudi Arabia is dominated by informal recyclers who operate under lot of constraints. Currently, KSA has no material recovery facility in any part of the country, and most of the collected garbage in sent to landfills/dumps for disposal.

Scrap recycling in Saudi Arabia is expected to improve marginally within the next 5-10 years. Lack of effective laws/regulations, lack of infrastructure (recycling centers, MRFs etc) and lack of public participation are the main reasons behind low recycling percentage in the oil-rich Kingdom.

Recycling of E-Waste: An Easy Guide


You may think that you can just toss any old printer, monitor, or smart phone in the trash—but that would be a mistake. Those items are called e-waste, and they are an ever-growing problem in our landfills. Take this number as an example: We throw away 11.7 million tons of e-waste—each and every year. And the amount of tech we’re using is growing, which means the amount of monitors, printers, laptops, desktops, and other devices that we’re tossing is growing too.

It’s not only the landfills that are suffering because of that e-waste. All those tricky and hard-to-assemble devices have big and small amounts of items that shouldn’t even be in the landfills to begin with. Take batteries, to name just one: They contain heavy metals and toxic materials, which can eventually end up in the water supply. Cell phones are made with hazardous materials including arsenic and lead, which will also contaminate the soil and groundwater if not disposed of properly.

Every item like that has its own specific ways that those materials can be recovered. Many of them must be taken to a specific spot in your municipality that will help dispose of them properly so they can be taken apart and recycled. Get to know what those e-waste guidelines are with this graphic.


Click to Enlarge Image

Recycling Electronics


For more information, please email Salman Zafar on salman@cleantechloops.com or salman@ecomena.org

Menace of Used Lead Acid Batteries


Lead-acid batteries are used on a mass-scale in all parts of the world. Lead-acid batteries contain sulphuric acid and large amounts of lead. The acid is extremely corrosive and is also a good carrier for soluble lead and lead particulate. Lead is a highly toxic metal that produces a range of adverse health effects particularly in young children.

Recycling of Used Lead-Acid Batteries (ULABs) is a profitable business in developing countries. Many developing countries buy ULABs from industrialized countries (and Middle East) in bulk in order to extract lead. ULAB recycling occurs in almost every city in the developing world where ULAB recycling and smelting operations are often located in densely populated urban areas with hardly any pollution control and safety measures for workers.

Usually ULAB recycling operations release lead-contaminated waste into the environment and natural ecosystems.  More than 12 million people are affected by lead contamination from processing of Used Lead Acid Batteries in the developing world, with South America, South Asia and Africa being the most affected regions.

The problems associated with recycling of ULABs are well-documented and recognized by the industry and the Basel Convention Secretariat. As much of the informal ULAB recycling is small-scale and difficult to regulate or control, progress is possible only through cleanup, outreach, policy, and education.

For example, Blacksmith’s Lead Poisoning and Car Batteries Project is currently active in eight countries, including Senegal, the Dominican Republic, India, and the Philippines. The Project aims to end widespread lead poisoning from the improper recycling of ULABs, and consists of several different strategies and programs, with the most important priority being the health of children in the surrounding communities.

It is essential to stop the export of used lead-acid batteries to developing countries.

There is no effective means of tracking shipments of used lead-acid batteries from foreign exporters to recycling plants in developing world which makes it difficult to trace ULABs going to unauthorized or inadequate facilities.

An effective method to reduce the hazards posed by trans-boundary movements of ULABs is to encourage companies that generate used lead batteries to voluntarily stop exporting lead batteries to developing countries. These types of voluntary restrictions on transboundary shipments can help pressure companies involved in recycling lead batteries in developing to improve their environmental performance. It may also help encourage policy makers to close the gaps in both regulations and enforcement capacity.

For more information, please email Salman Zafar on salman@cleantechloops.com or salman@ecomena.org

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