MUSCAT: Sparta Group, a Canadian green energy and environmental services firm, is setting up what it bills as the first e-waste recycling project in the Sultanate of Oman – an initiative designed to harness economic value from the prodigious amounts of electronic waste generated annually in the country.
Toronto-headquartered Sparta Group – also known as Sparta Capital – announced in a statement on Wednesday that its environmental services division, ERS International, is currently establishing the “advanced e-waste recycling facility” at a site in Salalah (Dhofar Governorate).
Covering an area of around 9,000 m2, the well-equipped facility will have a processing capacity of around 225 tonnes per annum in the first year, with a doubling of capacity envisaged every subsequent year.
E-waste covers a broad cross-section of office and medical equipment, home appliances, communications and Information Technology devices, home entertainment systems, and electronic utilities.
For want of recycling facilities in Oman, e-waste is currently stockpiled either for eventual safe disposal or until time that processing plants come into operation locally. However, some quantities are shipped out to processing plants in the region.
But if suitably processed and recycled, e-waste can open up what amounts to a multi-billion dollar economic activity in the Middle East. A report published by the United Nations last year has encouraged Gulf and Arab countries to explore recycling opportunities centring on the recovery of valuable metals and recyclable components for the massive amounts of electronic goods and appliances made redundant annually by offices and households in the region.
Conversely, not recycling these stockpiles can adversely harm the environment, imperil groundwater resources, and also impact sustainable development goals, it has warned.
In a statement, John O’Bireck, Sparta President, said: "We are very excited to be the first to process e-waste in Oman on an industrial scale. Advanced electronics recycling is desperately needed around the globe and we're confident that we will be able to start with processing at least 500,000 pounds (equivalent to 225 tonnes) in Oman, in our first year of operation. We expect to double up each subsequent year."
According to Sparta, the new plant will feature “ultramodern technology that will be operated under strict policies to ensure privacy for customers and efficiency throughout the processing of waste”.
An app will also be launched to enable e-waste generators to request a pickup of their electronic waste, the company said, adding that the Salalah facility is slated for launch in Q1 2023.
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