|22 January, 2020

Bahrain to draw up a comprehensive landfill strategy

Comprehensive strategies would reduce waste dumped at the site to only 2%

A comprehensive strategy is being developed to significantly reduce the amount of waste buried at the country’s landfill site.

Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Minister Essam Khalaf said the plan was to recycle, reuse or incinerate 98 per cent of the collected waste, with only 2pc being buried at the Hafeera Landfill in Askar.

He told MPs during Parliament’s weekly session yesterday that the cost of burying waste and levelling the ground was around BD1 million.

“We are working on comprehensive strategies that would reduce waste dumped at the site to only 2pc,” said Mr Khalaf.

“This can be done through re-engineering Hafeera with its lifespan now extended to six years instead of the original two years, and by introducing incineration, recycling and reuse.

“Even the 2pc, which is ashes, will eventually be used as ash concrete to build bridges at a later stage – we are currently working on all of this.”

Around 1.6m tonnes of waste was dumped at the landfill site last year – a drop of about 400,000 tonnes from 2018.

Domestic waste was at the top of the list with 546,822 tonnes, which is 36pc of the waste collected between October 2018 and September last year.

Construction waste came in second at 487,940 tonnes, which is 31pc, followed by commercial and industrial waste at 397,544 tonnes (25pc), and agricultural waste at 127,350 tonnes (8pc).

Meanwhile, in response to a parliamentary question Mr Khalaf said around BD10m was collected as infrastructure tax since its introduction in 2017.

He said levies totalling BD14.6m have been issued between January 2017 and September last year, while BD9.5m was collected.

Under the 2015 Infrastructure Cost and Development Law, a levy of BD12 per square metre is issued on all developments in a bid to fund infrastructure projects such as roads network, sewerage systems, electricity and water schemes. The tax aims to support the state budget by collecting money from property developers to fund infrastructure within undeveloped areas.

The levy is also applied on Bahraini nationals and expatriates who tear down their rundown homes and rebuild new residential properties.

MPs also approved a proposal to build a sports museum and referred it to the Cabinet for review. It has been backed by the Youth and Sports Affairs Ministry and the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities.

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