CAIRO: A protocol to recycle cement dust by incorporating it into road construction was signed Tuesday between Alexandria Portland Cement and The Arab Contractors companies in the presence of Environment Minister Khaled Fahmy.
A ministry press release documenting the signing said the agreement not only makes use of cement dust—a byproduct of cement production—but also helps the environment, as cement dust left unused can have negative health effects and would otherwise just be buried underground.
Ibrahim Hussein, the former head of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency in Upper Egypt, told The Cairo Post Tuesday that cement factories are one of the biggest polluters in Egypt, in no small part due to cement dust.
Hussein said the dust and other ingredients used in cement production can cause congenital pneumonia—usually in factory workers—but also sometimes in residents living near factories and disposal sites.
Fahmy said in press statements Tuesday the new protocol ensures cement dust will be recycled into road pavement, which he said was environmentally friendly and negated its potential ill health effects.
Hussein agreed, telling The Cairo Post that recycling the dust and using it in other industries will minimize the hazards of improper disposal measures. Burying the dust he said often pollutes the surrounding land and makes it unsuitable for living and agriculture.
He also said using the dust in the manufacture of cement tiles used in paving roads will minimize the cost of the pavement process.
Hussein added the tiles could be exported in the future to create a new source of income.
The agreement is expected to provide road projects with between 150 to 300 tons of cement dust daily, according to the Environmental Ministry statement.
It added that in Cairo alone, 3,000 tons of cement dust was produced daily in cement production, and disposing of it properly will minimize pollution.