Paper, aluminium cans and plastic can now be recycled in Qatar thanks to a COP18/CMP8 Doha legacy project.
The first bulk recycling unit has been set up in the city centre, opposite the Ministry of Environment. The ambition is for the pilot scheme to be rolled out to become a nationwide programme.
As part of the launch, staff at the Ministry of Environment received information as part of a programme called Train the Trainer, to encourage recycling champions their employees.
In conjunction with the project, recycling bins have also been placed at various COP18/CMP8 Doha information pods around the city. The bins have different shaped lids and brightly coloured collection bags – a blue rectangle for paper, a yellow circle for cans and a green square for plastic - which make recycling fun and easy to do at home.
The move has been in response to the overwhelming community interest at the pods about wanting to increase recycling in Qatar.
Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, the President of COP18/CMP8, said: “Climate change stands as one of our single largest long-term challenges. This is why environmental sustainability is one of the four key pillars of our 2030 National Vision, and hosting COP18/CMP8 is an opportunity to invest directly in helping to move things forward.”
The bins can be found at pods in Landmark mall, Villaggio mall, City Centre Mall, Corniche Oryx, Corniche Sheraton Park, Katara, MIA Park, Souq Waqif, MOMA, The Pearl and Aspire Park.
Recycling is the process of turning used waste and materials into new products. This prevents potentially useful materials from being wasted and reduces energy use, habitat destruction and pollution from raw material extraction.
The figures speak for themselves: every ton of paper recycled saves 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of chemicals and 4,100 kilowatt hours of electricity. Plastic bottles take 700 years to begin composting and a plastic bag can take more than 100 years to decompose. However recycling some plastics requires only 10 per cent of the energy needed to create them from raw material. It takes 95 per cent less energy to recycle aluminium than it does to make it from raw materials and once an aluminium can is recycled it can be part of new can within six weeks.
The ambition of the Qatar National Development Strategy is to recycle 38 per cent of solid waste by 2016 and the community is on board with wanting to reach the target. Preserving the environment for future generations is a value shared among Qataris and environmental awareness is part of the 2030 vision.
The use of the bins and the recycling station will be monitored, along with how much waste is actually recycled and how much energy has been saved. It is hoped that this information will be used to begin a community-wide recycling programme and to set national targets for the remainder of the COP18/CMP8 Presidency.
COP18/CMP8 Doha would like to invite residents in Qatar to visit the information pods to discuss their ideas about recycling and to let them know about any recycling champions in Qatar.