Coinciding with the National Environment Day 2024, Egypt’s Minister of Environment Yasmine Fouad joined Major General Ashraf al-Daoudi, Governor of Qena some 575km south of Cairo, to lay two foundation stones for plants concerned with disposal of rural solid waste. One was for a mechanical and biological treatment plant to recycle solid waste; the other for a sanitary landfill in the region of Quos, Qena.
The project which falls under the Ministry’s Egyptian National Solid Waste Management Programme (NSWMP), costs some 10 million euros, and is being executed in cooperation with development partners that include the EU, the German Development Bank (KFW), and the Swiss Cooperation Authority (SECO). Representatives of the development partners attended the laying of the foundation stone ceremony.
Dr Fouad stressed that Egypt is taking serious steps towards sustainable waste management, through cooperation with development partners. This, she confirmed, is in line with the directives of the political leadership. She also pointed out to the global growing interest in the issue of climate change, and to Egypt’s diligent efforts in this regard. This includes linking the reduction of global warming emissions to the integrated and safe management of waste through recycling, treatment, and safe disposal, she explained.
During the ceremony of laying the foundation stone, a detailed presentation was given about the project and the measures of its implementations. The criteria for selecting the landfill site were reviewed in accordance with national and international standards. The project consists of three burial cells that include all the infrastructure requirements, in proportion to the volume of waste expected in the future, and the standards for protecting the surrounding environment, including how to maintain the safety of the soil, the management of the water use system, and the control and monitoring system.
The sanitary landfill project is located about 13km from the city of Quos, outside the residential area. It aims to safely dispose of local solid waste after treating it in order to preserve the health and hygiene of people and the environment. It consists of three burial cells, evaporation lakes, a weighing scale, a tire washing unit, and administrative buildings. The total capacity of the landfill is 1.3 million cubic metres, equivalent to a virtual life of approximately 15 years, and the landfill can be extended to a height of 5-10 metre, which increases the life of the first cell to 7 years.
The Minister of Environment said that the biological and mechanical treatment plant project in Quos stretches over an area of 18 feddans [one feddan equals 4,200 square metres], and has the capacity to deal with 450 tons per day, meeting the needs of the governorate of Qena until the year 2040. The plant includes an integrated line that consists of three parts: a system for sorting and retrieving waste for recycling; an organic fertiliser production system (compost); and a system for producing energy alternatives for use in cement factories. The waste generated from the Quos region and neighbouring cities will be transferred to the factory for treatment, and the rejected waste will be transferred to the sanitary landfill.
According to the Minister of the Environment the establishment of the treatment and recycling plant and the sanitary landfill in Quos answers environmental, economic and social needs through treating, recycling and burying waste safely, and accordingly reducing pollution by improving the quality of air, water and soil in the region. This, she explained, would reflect on public health and the preservation of natural resources, and would result in increasing the conversion rate to reach 85 per cent, in accordance with the Egyptian Code of Design Principles and Implementation Conditions for Waste Management Systems. It would also positively reflect on extending the life of sanitary landfills.
Speaking of the economic dimension, Dr Fouad said the waste would be recycled and used in other industries, and energy will be generated by producing alternative fuels; this should reduce reliance on fossil fuels. In addition to the production of organic fertilisers.
The project, Dr Fouad said, answers a social dimension too, since it helps create new job opportunities. Since its inception in 2019 NWSMP has helped provide 800 job opportunities.
In addition to the development partners, the Quos project is being implemented in cooperation with the political leadership, the Cabinet and with a great contribution from the Ministry of Local Development, Dr Fouad said.
The Quos project comes as part of the State’s plan to develop local solid waste management systems in various governorates, with an eye to improving the level of service and public hygiene. It comes within the framework of establishing the infrastructure for the waste management system, including recycling factories, intermediate stations, and sanitary landfills in the four governorates located within the scope of work of NWSMP: Qena and Assiut in the south, and Gharbiya and Kafr al-Sheikh in the Nile Delta. Dr Fouad pointed out that NWSMP is also targeting to change the people’s culture towards dealing with waste.
NWSMP has been active since 2019, and has achieved a lot on the grounds, especially after the Waste Law was passed in 2020, the Minister said.
31 January 2024