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Red tape, proper planning dearth delays ‘shifting’ of huge tire dump

PAI succeeds in getting rid of 50 pc tires: Al-Taqi

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 28: The crisis of tires still persists in Arhiya area due to the intertwining of specializations among the state bodies and the routine that hinders solutions, reports Al-Qabas daily. After the wrong study conducted by Kuwait Municipality about the quantity of tires and the appropriate way to dispose of them disrupted the start of implementation of the smart city project in South Saad Al-Abdullah area, which is considered as a dream for more than 35,000 Kuwaiti families, the concerned authorities are looking for a way out of the crisis and a final solution.

Millions of tires cover a vast area of the Arhiya desert.

A Municipal Council member Maha Al-Baghli explained that the mistake that led to the delay in handing over the rest of the land is the statistics and the report on the quantity of tires issued by Kuwait Municipality to the Environment Public Authority (EPA). It initially estimated the quantity to be 15 million tires, when in reality there were more than 60 million tires.

On the sidelines of a tour of the area of tire collection and recycling in Salmi area, she said, “The companies that have contracted with the Environment Public Authority during the last period have succeeded in transferring about 20 million tires within the concluded agreement. Currently there are about 40 million tires, which requires the intervention of other companies or contracting with previous companies again”.

Al-Baghli highlighted that the Municipal Council has allocated a land in Salmi area for EPA to dispose of tires, and another for the establishment of recycling and cutting factories. She said there is currently one factory, and work is underway to license other manufacturers, adding that she wishes the Public Authority for Industry will quickly accomplish this process.

Al-Baghli said, “Kuwait Municipality called for handing over the private sites as soon as possible to the relevant authorities to contribute to the disposal of tires and avoid the risk of burning them because this would cause multiple environmental problems.”

A committee was recently formed by the Council of Ministers consisting of the EPA, PAI and the municipality to complete the procedures for transporting and disposing tires, in preparation for their delivery to Public Authority for Housing Welfare, as this is expected in the mid-2020/2021”.

In turn, the Director General of the Public Authority for Industry Abdul-Karim Taqi said the authority, before EPA took over the Arhiya tire site, had succeeded in cutting 48 million tires, which is more than what was cut in 17 years.

Taqi stressed that it is not possible for any country to cut such high quantity, especially in light of the modest capabilities and bad weather, indicating that the government’s initiative was without a financial cost, as the reliance on the private sector was to fully invest in cutting tires and transporting them to an area 95 kilometers from the site. He added, “The authority has succeeded in getting rid of 50 percent of the tires in Arhiya area by shredding them, which is something that is counted for us despite our lack of specialization in the subject of cutting”.

Taqi said PAI has maintained Arhiya site without any problems and fires, and there are safety contracts and surveillance cameras, adding that the area has delivered a high-level of readiness to EPA to complete the work required of the state. In addition, the leaders of PAI and members of the Municipal Council, during their visit to the tire recycling site in Salmi area, affirmed the great efforts exerted to remove the tire cemetery in the process of speeding up the pace of work to deliver it to PAHW.

They highlighted the problems that EPA is currently experiencing to complete the transportation and unloading of tires at the site. Participants in the tour discussed a set of information about tires and how to dispose of them, pointing out that 35 percent of the tires on Arhiya land is not suitable for recycling or for export, as the next step for EPA would be to export them abroad. They indicated that it is necessary to move now through the Kuwait Municipality and His Highness the Prime Minister to publish an official announcement regarding the quantity of tires in existence and their export to the Gulf Cooperation Council countries that are in need of them in some industries, such as Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, as well as India, which has expressed its desire to obtain tires.

They suggested that the tires can be used for establishing secondary roads between farms and stables in Wafra, Abdali, Jahra, Sulaibiya and Kabd, and the materials that are produced from the recycling process can be used for paving works. Director General of PAI Abdul Karim Taqi affirmed that transporting tires from an area without finding proper treatment increases the problem. He indicated that the area in Salmi dedicated to tire recycling requires the completion of procedures for the establishment of factories dedicated to recycling. Taqi called on the relevant government agencies to create organized sites to collect tires on a daily basis under the supervision of an institution that has experience in managing the matter, which could be either Kuwait Municipality or EPA. During a recent tour, the officials of the concerned authorities summarized the solutions for ending the problem of tires.

They were –

1. Dismantle the entanglement of responsibilities among the state authorities

2. Eliminate bureaucracy that delays implementation of solutions

3. Develop an urgent plan to export tires

4. Utilize tires in road projects

5. Develop a plan to utilize tires for industrial purposes

6. Adopt an advanced mechanism to speed up the cutting and transportation process

7. Establish more recycling factories.

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