Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly stressed the need to speed up the implementation of the project, which he described as “important projects”, noting that the project aims for a healthy and clean environment, achieving an economic return and producing usable electric energy.
Madbouly stressed that the Egyptian government is working in full swing in this file, referring to the decision to set the prices of electric energy supplied to electricity distribution companies from electricity production plants used for municipal solid waste or from biogas extracted from safe sanitary landfills.
The Egyptian Minister of Environment, Yasmine Fouad, reviewed the advantages of the program for converting waste into electrical energy, including reducing the amount of waste that is buried in sanitary landfills, and providing land areas that are allocated for the establishment of sanitary landfills.
She pointed out that this project will avoid the presence of accumulations within the governorates that lead to environmental damage and the issuance of emissions, as well as the production of electric power suitable for self-use at the station and for connection to the network.
She explained that coordination has been made with the governorates of the first phase that were selected to implement projects that convert waste into electrical energy to determine the coordinates of the candidate sites.
On the other hand, the head of the Egyptian Waste Regulatory Authority, Tariq El-Araby, reviewed the results of the evaluation of companies applying for qualification, whether local or foreign; As 8 Egyptian companies were qualified in the field of converting municipal solid waste into energy, in preparation for contracting, and a draft contract model for the project of the municipal solid waste into electric energy project was completed.
On the parallel side; The Egyptian Cabinet approved the Prime Minister’s draft decision to issue the executive regulations of the Waste Management and Organization Law.
The provisions of the executive regulations of the Waste Management and Organization Law came and included provisions related to the implementing agencies for waste management and their competencies.
The regulation singled out a special section for non-hazardous waste, including municipal waste, demolition and construction waste, agricultural waste, as well as industrial waste.
Within the framework of the solid waste system, Egypt established a fixed intermediate station in Derb Negm in Sharkia Governorate, at a cost of 25 million pounds, and is currently working on establishing a construction waste recycling plant.
Waste is not a burden
Professor of waste treatment technology and environmental studies at the Egyptian National Research Center, Dr. Enas Abu Taleb, said that the Egyptian state “does not consider waste as a burden at the present time, but rather deals with it as a source of wealth.”
Abu Taleb, who held the position of CEO of the Environmental Affairs Agency from February 2020 to July 2021, refers to the Waste Regulatory and Management Authority of the Egyptian Ministry of Environment that works on judicial, procedural and legal controls for the establishment of waste recycling companies, and the integration of the informal sector “scavengers” with the sector the official.
Egypt established the Waste Regulation and Management Authority in 2020, which is responsible for organizing and planning integrated municipal waste management processes and preparing models for specifications and specifications for the implementation of integrated municipal waste management services.
The former CEO of the Environmental Affairs Agency explained that waste recycling in Egypt has been happening for a long time, but “informally” as “scavengers” collect plastic, re-sort and recycle it, but in a random and unsafe manner.
She stressed that waste is collected according to intermediate stations, which are specific places through which waste is collected at a fulcrum where sorting is carried out, and then from the intermediate stage to the various recycling plants.
And she continued, “All waste is currently recyclable according to what will be recycled, and there are other wastes that cannot be recycled, such as mercury waste, and are hygienically buried, and disposed of in a safe manner.”
According to the World Health Organization, mercury and methylmercury are toxic to the central nervous system, and inhalation of mercury vapor can have harmful effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs and kidneys, and may be fatal.
And about the impact of recycling waste in an unscientific way, the professor of waste treatment technology says that this process results in emissions that harm the health of citizens and cause dangerous diseases, if they are buried and leaked, so waste recycling is dealt with very carefully.
She added, “The plastic waste must also be recycled in a scientifically correct way, because if it is recycled otherwise, it will result in air and water emissions.”
Abu Talib believes that after the enactment of the Environmental Law in 1994, the National Research Center began organizing convoys for factories and industrial zones to educate citizens and factory owners, and to activate environmental laws in 2009, awareness began to become more effective and the matter became more organized.
She pointed out that “the Ministry of Environment has established monitoring stations for air and emissions at the level of the Republic, and to take measures against those responsible for air pollution and emissions.”
And she added, “With the start of the implementation of the road and bridge network, the time traveled by car has decreased, and thus emissions from car exhaust have decreased, in addition to improving the quality of gasoline and natural gas-powered cars.”
While the professor of solid waste treatment technology at the Egyptian National Research Center, Hanan Abdel Rahman, believes that the waste crisis in Egypt begins with the Egyptian citizen and his behavior, and the state alone will not be able to eliminate this phenomenon.
In exclusive statements to “Sky News Arabia”, she suggested that the citizen himself be stimulated through initiatives and offers in exchange for classifying the resulting waste between plastic, paper, and other waste.
She revealed that Egypt has many burial sites for burying hazardous waste, and it is known through a “leaching test” to prevent it from leaking to the surface of the earth and harming human health.
She emphasized that these cemeteries are designed in a way that is protected in the ground, which prevents their leakage, and even that that is leaked is taken and treated, and is buried in their own burial grounds.