by Hana Namrouqa | Aug 15, 2012

AMMAN — The Ministry of Environment has started the first phase of a waste sorting and recycling project at public agencies, a senior government official said on Wednesday.

Waste sorting at the source is part of the ministry’s strategy which seeks to limit random dumping of garbage and ensure its safe disposal, while maximising economic benefits at the same time, Environment Minister Yaseen Khayyat said.

“Under the project’s first phase, waste sorting and recycling will be implemented at a selected number of ministries, institutions and schools. The results will be evaluated later in order to replicate the project in the rest of the country’s public agencies,” Khayyat said in a statement issued by the ministry.

He highlighted that the government will not incur any financial burdens in implementing the project, which will be carried out in cooperation with the private sector.

“This important project seeks to protect the environment and promote sound practices. The recycling bins and the paper shredders were supplied free of charge,” Khayyat noted.

The bins and paper shredders have been distributed to the ministries and institutions participating in the project’s first phase, Environment Ministry Spokesperson Isa Shboul said.

“Under agreements signed between the agencies and the private company, the latter is responsible for collecting the sorted waste and will give incentives to institutions that amass more than one tonne of paper,” Shboul told The Jordan Times.

He highlighted that the project seeks to spread the culture of recycling in Jordan, and cited a survey, which found that public institutions generate the most waste.

Safe disposal of solid waste in Jordan remains a concern, with most of the Kingdom’s municipalities — except for Amman — disposing of solid waste in open dumpsites with no lining, management or biogas collection, according to environment experts.

On average, 2,200 tonnes of waste are collected daily in the capital and sent to the Ghabawi Landfill, which is situated some 25 kilometres east of Amman and serves the capital and the central region.

Established in 2003 at a cost of JD16 million, the 3,000sq.m landfill has the capacity to handle 2,500 tonnes of waste per day.