CAIRO: Qalyubia Governor, Mohamed Abdel Zaher announced Monday the establishment of the largest factory for waste disposal in Arab El-Aliqat village, covering 4,000 meters at a cost of 6.2 million EGP, Albawabh News reported.
Abdel Zaher said construction has been completed and the factory is ready to produce solid fuel from waste. Huge amounts of waste can be turned into solid fuel, which can be used in cement production as an alternative to fossil fuels, he said.
“The factory has been established in accordance with the cooperation agreement signed with the German branch of Lafarge Cement and the German Agency (GIZ) to help the governorate eliminate solid waste, and to provide energy in light of Egypt’s ongoing fuel crisis,” Abdel Zaher said, adding that the new factory will serve the governorates of Qalyubia, Giza, Helwan, Behira, Damietta and Gharbia.
However, Lafarge was implicated, along with two other cement companies, in a scandal involving the illegal importation of coal in Egypt, amid an ongoing battle between the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Industry over the importation of coal. Minister of Environment Laila Iskander has taken legal measures against the three companies.
Yet alternative fuel sources continue to grow as a necessity in Egypt, and head of the Slums Development Unit in the Governorate, Mohamed Talaat Ghali told Albawabh News Monday that the production of alternative fuels is scheduled to start next August. Production is set to begin with the capacity of 40 tons per day, he stated, adding that the factory would receive at least 250 tons of waste per day, and would use the new alternative fuel instead of electricity and diesel.
“The factory covers area of 8 acres in the Abu Zaabal region,” he added, noting that an intermediate station will be built at a cost of 5 million EGP, equipped with huge containers and equipment to collect waste.
The new complex includes 7 incinerators and accommodates all hazardous medical waste from all the hospitals in Qalyubia and the neighboring governorate, to eliminate them in a safe and healthy way, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, Zakaria Abdel Rabbo told Albawabh News Monday.
As a part of its effort to overcome Egypt’s solid waste problem, the Ministry of Environment has already given major consideration to this issue when it inaugurated the Egyptian Forum for Solid Waste Management on March 9, in order to exchange knowledge and social visions in the field of solid waste management.
“We are in urgent need of developing some basic waste sorting at home,” Minister Iskander stressed on Jan. 28, adding that the initiative could be deemed successful very simply by implementing waste-sorting practices at home.
Former head of the Central Administration for Media at the Ministry of the Environment Haitham Kamal told The Cairo Post that Egypt needs now more than ever to develop an advanced system for recycling solid waste, rather than letting it go to waste or worse. He added that Egypt’s solid wastes are a huge “wealth” that we should use to reduce our need to import materials from abroad.
The total amount of waste in Egypt is estimated at 22 billion tons, to which 70 million tons are added annually, according to a 2013 study issued by the National Center for Social and Criminological Research, which also added that Egypt’s waste is the richest all over the world as it includes organic material, of which one ton is estimated to yield energy worth 6,000 EGP (U.S. $850).