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An Integrated Waste Management In Kuwait With Recycling Of Waste To Revenue Resource

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Kuwait, being one of the richest countries, is among the highest per capita waste generators in the world. Each year more than 2 million tons of solid waste is generated in the tiny Arab nation. High standards of living and rapid economic growth has been a major factor behind very high per capita waste generation of 1. 4 to 1. 5 kg per day. The total land area of Kuwait is around 17, 820 sq. km, out of which more than 18 sq. km is occupied by landfills. All kinds of waste, including municipal waste, food wastes, industrial wastes, construction and demolition debris etc are dumped at Sulaibiyah, Kabed, Al Qurain, Shuaiba, Jleeb Al Shuyoukh, West Yarmouk, Al Wafra and many. Groundwater contamination has emerged as a serious problem because groundwater occurs at shallow depths throughout the country. Apart from these factors oil field operations also produce enormous quantities of waste from drilling, production, transportation and storage processes; an estimated 1, 847, 000 tons of solid and semi-solid waste is generated annually from Kuwait oil company facilities in Ahmadi and Wafra operations alone. Recycling is not very popular in Kuwait, but there are people who believe it is important to preserve our environment. About 76%of Kuwait’s waste is recyclable and the raw materials produced by the recycling plants can be sold to gain a revenue of $134 million USD annually, whereas the non-recyclable materials will be sent to sanitary landfill. This study clearly demonstrates the recycling process to convert the waste to wealth.

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Waste generation is increasing dramatically in Kuwait. The increase in waste generation adversely affects the environmental, financial, and social situation. Most of the waste in Kuwait is dumped in insanitary landfills in an uncontrolled manner. Landfills occupy the extensive land area. In small countries such as Kuwait, the scarcity of land is a challenge and is the main motivation for the study. The main objective of this paper is the investigation of current solid waste management practices in Kuwait. Recent literature on solid waste management in Kuwait has been reviewed and data analyzed on the total amount of solid waste generated in Kuwait. The results show a rapid increase in the total amount of municipal solid wastes and significant changes in their composition. These are related to the increased population in Kuwait and the lavish spending. The total solid waste generation has reached 1. 4 kg per capita per day. Landfills in Kuwait are not managed properly and they have had a long-term bad effect on the local environment because they produce poisonous liquids that contaminate fresh water.

Types of waste

Most people think that waste is worthless material to be thrown away and that it cannot be reused for useful purposes. This indicates the inattention of people to waste as a great resource. In fact, waste is leftovers that can be valuable once separated into recyclables and non-recyclables. This study mainly discusses solid waste, which is classified according to its resource and material types. Sources of solid waste include household, industrial, construction and demolition, commercial and agriculture waste.

In this study, we are going to discuss how to separate recyclable waste and non-recyclable waste and methods to convert the waste into something useful and profitable.

Current waste management in Kuwait

At present, all wastes are randomly dumped into landfills without considering safety and environmental precautions from the point of collection and transportation to the last step of final cover in a landfill. At present, the first steps are the collection and transportation of waste, which is done once or twice a day by 4-5 workers by means of trucks. These steps involve poor practices by municipalities and contractors because no segregation of materials is performed and the waste is delivered directly to the disposal sites. Finally, the collected waste goes to recycling, treatment or disposal. Unfortunately, there are only a few recycling companies in Kuwait and these deal with a small portion of the discarded materials. The other, larger, portion of the waste goes to treatment or disposal, depending on the type of material being dumped.

Proposed method

All buildings in Kuwait should maintain a proper waste disposal system. Kuwaitis and expats should carry a certain responsibility towards the country. We need to take care of Kuwait no matter where we come from. If we visit the residential areas in Kuwait, we will see how badly the garbage bins are maintained. They are just littered, stinking on the road. Based on the law, a garbage bin must be kept in a suitable place and must be secured in front of the building and covered. But they are not taken care of. We have laws but they are not being followed because the laws have no teeth to bite violators. So the government should be able to really implement the law, like making sure that the garbage bin is not be littered on the road; it must be inside the building and properly maintained. The municipality should spend more money on educating people, especially on how to maintain their surroundings and the environment. Cleanliness should begin at home and so let’s see what all initiative we should take in the garbage disposal.

Garbage disposal

A garbage disposal can be classified mainly into the following types,

  • Wet: Biodegradable kitchen waste like fruit/vegetable peels, tea leaves, coffee powder, eggshells, meat and bones, food scraps; also leaves and flowers. Can be composted.
  • Dry: Paper, plastic, metal, glass. Can be recycled. (Paper can also be composted. )
  • 80 %: of our garbage falls into these two categories.
  • Reject: Broadly, anything that isn’t biodegradable or can’t be recycled. Includes diapers (human waste contains bacteria and pathogens; composters don’t generate enough heat to break those down), sanitary pads (most brands will have a combination of natural and synthetic material), bulbs (toxic coatings), and e-waste.

Segregating waste at home

  • 1 bin for wet waste. Don’t use plastic bin liners. If you can’t get compostable bin liners, use newspaper.
  • 1 bag for dry. Important: rinse biodegradable matter off dry waste — e. g. Takeaway food containers — otherwise it becomes difficult to recycle and will be rejected by recyclers. Wrap sharp items like broken glass in a newspaper or a box before discarding, or it can cause injury to you, your house help, garbage collectors or rag-pickers.
  • 1 bin for reject. Label your dustbins clearly, so that it’s easy for family, guests and house help to remember what goes where.

Segregating garbage in shopping centers

Shopping centres in Dubai are provided with municipality approved containers to segregate waste as part of the authority’s aim to promote recycling in the emirate. “We have to intensify our efforts to promote the culture of recycling and reuse, and have many technologies to recycle things and reduce overall waste generation”, said Abdul Majeed Saifaie, director of the Waste Management Department at Dubai Municipality. A similar procedure had to be followed in Kuwait and the Municipality should start distributing recycling bins to shopping centers and a special team from the Waste Management Department of Kuwait Municipality should carry out inspections to ensure the new directions are properly carried out and that all participants are adhering to the required standard.

Collection methods

Our suggested method for the collection process is the same as the current method, which is used by private firms that contract with the city government to collect the waste from all regions in Kuwait and to deliver it to the active landfills. This option is efficient, economical and makes the management efforts easier and more flexible.

Transportation of waste

The final operation before recycling and disposal is transportation. Selecting a suitable method requires an understanding of the following:

  • The distances between the transfer stations and the city are approximately 45 km, 87 km and 55 km for the South 7th Ring Road, Al-Jahra and Mina Abdullah landfills, respectively.
  • Transportation should be controlled to achieve a constant rate of waste flow to the plant and to avoid leakage of raw materials from the transferred solid waste.
  • The time required for the collection and transportation of solid waste should not exceed either the period of time for the waste to rot and start releasing odours or the period for fly breeding (to avoid disease transmission).

Trucks are chosen to be the transportation method due to their availability, the low price of fuel in Kuwait and the short distance between the waste resource and the plant’s location.

General disposing & recycling waste to wealth

So far we have seen the types of waste, the need for recycling the waste, how to segregate the waste from home, shopping centres and streets. The procedure for collecting the garbage and transporting to the desired location for recycling and disposal. Now let us get into the topic of how to convert the waste to wealth.

  1. Waste that cannot decay and be reused by nature is considered as inorganic waste Most of the waste collected from households, restaurants, hotels are organic and biodegradable i. e. they can decay.
  2. E. g. : Paper, plastic, metal, rubber, textiles etc. E. g. : kitchen waste, yard waste, vegetable market waste, animal waste etc.
  3. Recycling: The above inorganic waste can be recycled to produce amazing range of new and reusable products. Recycling: can convert the wet waste into compost.

Research on converting waste to wealth : Making candles, crayons, bio-diesel, oil pastels and soaps from used cooking vegetable oil

In our day to day life, we use more litres of vegetable or cooking oil for frying and cooking. And the used oil is sometimes reused once (when used more than twice it is dangerous for health) and then poured into the sink. Instead of pouring it into the drain, why not collect and recycle it into something useful? We notice many are still unaware of how to handle oil left over from cooking (particularly using the deep fried method). Some just poured it down the drain, toilet bowl or sink. They don’t realize the oil can congeal in pipes, causing blockages. Worst, the oil can float and spread out in water, affecting oxygenation. In Kuwait, there are many hotels, restaurants, coffee shops and food centeres, and hence when used oil is dumped into the Arabian Sea it forms a layer and in turn, affects the aquatic system. Our research shows a single liter of oil can contaminate a million liters of water. This is hazardous to aquatic life. The better way is to send the used cooking oil to companies with the technology to process and dispose of it properly. There are numerous restaurants, flats, villas and hotels in Kuwait which drain a lot of used cooking oil to sink. The Kuwait municipality can decide some centers for collecting the used oil cans from the houses, hotels, coffee shops, restaurants, associations, organizations and transport it to the desired location for recycling. We should also educate our fellow people the danger of consuming used cooking oil and the importance of recycling.

Current scenario: The market for Used Cooking Oil (UCO) collection is relatively young but is growing at greater heights. It is very popular in Europe especially in transforming UCO into biodiesel. Biodiesel is a form of alternative fuel made from either vegetable oil, animal fats or waste cooking oil. The process of converting these products into Biodiesel is called Transesterification. Upon combustion, Biodiesel absorbs the same amount of carbon dioxide as it releases in the environment, and is thus described as ‘carbon neutral’. Vegetable oil that has been used to cook French fries at McDonald’s fast food outlets across Europe and UAE are being converted into fuel for lorries in the regions first biodiesel factory. McDonald’s uses more than 20, 000 litres of oil a year, the quality of which is very predictable. A factory in Dubai takes waste oil from McDonald’s kitchen, heats it and adds chemicals to turn it into a fuel that can power specially adapted lorries. Bio fuels – yet another liquid gold. In the gulf, the harsh climate makes the development of biofuels difficult while subsidized oil and gas resources are a disincentive to the industry. An Abu Dhabi company has struck a deal with the world’s second – largest restaurants chain to convert the oil used in all the 80 of it’s UAE kitchens into environmentally friendly fuel at a factory in Dubai. The venture represents the GCC’s first step into a biofuels market that is expected to account for 27% of transport fuel worldwide by 2050. Since biodiesel can be used as a direct replacement for diesel fuel in most diesel powered vehicles, this means that you can make Biodiesel anywhere from $0. 75/gallon to $1. 50/gallon depending on the cost of materials required to make it. That beats buying fuel at the pump!

Instead of your hard-earned cash going to fund foreign oil producing nations that in many cases hate us, you get to keep your money on our shores–and use it to fund OUR economy! Talk about a great benefit! Also, by using vegetable oil, you’re helping to support our farmers who grow the seed-crops that vegetable oil is made from.

18 May 2020

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