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Wednesday , September 28 2022

Crying over ruins of Arhiya

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Almost all countries in the world, including developed ones, suffer, albeit to varying degrees, from the problem of dealing with waste, especially the dangerous ones. Usually waste is disposed off in one of the following ways:

Burying it, for certain period of time or for many years, let’s say for until next generation. It is the least expensive but unethical and environmentally unfriendly; burning it, and the pollution it causes to the environment; exporting it to another country so that it can dispose off it in the way it sees fit, and this is also not ethical as the problem remains on the ground; throwing it into the seas and oceans and this has a devastating effect and recycling as much of it is possible and use it in an economical and appropriate manner.

If we tried to deal with tens of thousands of tons from the used tires which are dumped in Arhiya area, for example, using the last method of recycling, we will find that the issue is not that easy especially in a country where decisions are delayed.

The re-export process often requires the presence of 3 parties — a local authority specialized in dealing with recycling of materials and the solid waste in particular, two, an intermediary trader who sometimes is not necessary and a buyer or importer of the raw material.

The local agency gets the tires locally, cuts them into small sizes, and ships them to the buyer, often in large vessels or medium-sized ships. The problem is the low price, worldwide, for used rubber. No one is willing to pay more than $20 per ton, at a time when the cost of shipping is only $35 per ton, let alone the cost of collecting, storing, cutting, and delivering it to the port, consequently it requires the intervention of a third party, the state, to either pay the difference to the local manufacturer, in addition to a small profit rate, so that it can continue the recycling process otherwise it does the job which is often not practical.

The state can cover what it pays to the local manufacturer by collecting a simple tax, which is calculated accurately, on every tire, sold or exchanged, and uses the amount to support the recycling industry and shipping of this material otherwise the mountains of old tires will remain in place with a high probability of the situation worsening. The subsidy principle can be applied to other materials, especially those requiring large, specialized and expensive machines, labor and large storage areas.

The government can either cooperate with existing successful recycling companies or make a feasibility study of establishing a public joint stock company to undertake this task. Collecting and disposing off waste in general is a matter that is getting more difficult day by day, and the way to bury it under the ground, as is the case now, will bring terrible consequences for future generations.

In fact, I don’t know who cares about the fate of future generations if we are indifferent to the health and future of current generation.

 email: a.alsarraf@alqabas.com.kw

By Ahmad alsarraf