Water availability in the Arab region is a critical issue as the region has 5 percent of the world’s population having access to merely 1 percent of the world’s total water resources. According to United Nations estimates, around 12 Arab countries suffer from severe water shortages. The per capita availability of renewable water resources is less than 500 m3 per year. In order to resolve this critical situation, many projects in the Arab Strategy for Water Security (2010-2030) support efficient management and use of water resources. Read more
The high rate of population growth, urbanization and economic expansion in the Middle East is not only accelerating consumption rates but also increasing the generation rate of all sorts of waste. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Kuwait rank in the top-ten worldwide in terms of per capita solid waste generation. The gross urban waste generation quantity from Middle East countries has crossed 150 million tons per annum.The world’s dependence on Middle East energy resources has caused the region to have some of the largest carbon footprints per capita worldwide. The region is now gearing up to meet the challenge of global warming, as with the rapid growth of the waste management sector. During the last few years, UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have unveiled multi-billion dollar investment plans to Improve waste management scenario in their respective countries. Read more
Electronic waste (or e-waste) is the fastest growing waste stream, and its disposal is a major environmental concern in all parts of the world. More than 50 million tons of e-waste is generated every year with major fraction finding its way to landfills and dumpsites. E-waste comprises as much as 8% of the municipal solid waste stream in rich nations, such as those in GCC. Globally only 15 – 20 percent of e-waste is recycled while the rest is dumped into developing countries. However, in the Middle East, merely 5 percent of e-waste is sent to recycling facilities (which are located in Asia, Africa and South America) while the rest ends up in landfills. Read more
Plastic water bottles are a common feature in urban life in the Middle East. The availability of water bottles is common and the cost is affordable by all sections of the society due to which its use and misuse has increased manifolds with time. People also provide it for free in mosques and other public locations. It is because of its easy availability that people misuse this resource considering it free, taking a bottle, sipping it, consuming partly and leaving it at the venue or throwing it in garbage bins. Read more
Glass and bottles are a large component of waste due to their weight and density consisting of bottles, broken glassware, light bulbs and other items. The glass bottle use is not much declining due to rising consumers, high consumption and introduction of a variety of soft drinks and juices. Glass recycling is at a minimum in the Middle East due to lack of segregation, awareness and economical reasons. Management of glass bottles is a major challenge as it takes millions of years to degrade glass naturally. Read more
During the exploration and production of oil, huge amounts of drilling wastes are produced in the form of mud and cuttings. As per conservative estimates, around 0.37 kg of drilling wastes is generated for every barrel of oil produced. The American Petroleum Institute (API) has estimated that approximately 1.21 barrels of total drilling wastes are generated for every foot drilled. Read more
With recent reports on the staggering amount of plastic waste floating in our oceans, rivers and lakes, it is high time we start doing something about this problem. Recycling is good, but for many reasons, it is not the answer to the global plastic pollution. We must all learn how to reduce the amount of plastic waste we are producing in the first place. Here are my five favorite ways to reduce your personal plastic footprint.
Bring Your Own Bag
Egypt has been suffering from severe water scarcity in recent years. Uneven water distribution, misuse of water resources and inefficient irrigation techniques are some of the major factors playing havoc with water security in the country. Being more or less an arid country, Egypt is heavily dependent on rain in other countries to support its rapidly growing population and development. The River Nile is the lifeline of the country as it services the country’s industrial and agricultural demand and is the primary source of drinking water for the population. Read more
This is a guest post by Applico head of platform Nick Johnson. Nick and Alex are co-authors of the book Modern Monopolies (Macmillan, Spring ’16).
There’s a goldmine in your backyard–more specifically, in your garbage.
Believe it or not, waste management is a $1.4 trillion industry globally. U.S. waste management companies account for nearly $100 billion in annual revenue.
Even in your garbage, the cream rises to the top. Two firms dominate the industry–Waste Management and Republic Services–while just eight companies account for about 50 percent of the industry’s annual revenue in the U.S. However, this concentration at the top doesn’t tell the whole story. Most of that $100 billion in U.S. waste management revenue comes from waste collection, which accounts for about 55 percent of the total. Waste disposal, treatment and recycling make up the remaining 45 percent. Read more
Cairo, being one of the largest cities in the world, is home to more than 15 million inhabitants. Like other mega-cities, solid waste management is a huge challenge for Cairo municipality and other stakeholders. The city produces more than 15,000 tons of solid waste every day which is putting tremendous strain on city’s infrastructure. Waste collection services in Cairo are provided by formal as well as informal sectors. While local authorities, such as the Cairo Cleanliness and Beautification Authority (CCBA), form the formal public sector, the informal public sector is comprised of traditional garbage-collectors (the Zabbaleen). Read more