By Hana Namrouqa

AMMAN – The Ministry of Environment on Monday launched an awareness campaign on the proper use and disposal of hazardous waste generated by car wash and oil change stations.

The month-long campaign targets car wash and oil change stations in seven densely populated governorates, where the number of these facilities is growing, Environment Ministry Spokesperson Isa Shboul told The Jordan Times yesterday.

The USAID-funded campaign will raise awareness about safe management of hazardous waste, particularly oil and industrial water produced by these facilities in Amman Irbid, Zarqa, Salt, Ajloun, Jerash and Mafraq, he said.

Under the campaign, the ministry will provide car wash and oil change facilities, as well as small- and medium-sized plants, with recycling bins for separating hazardous cardboard, plastic and metal waste, according to Mohammad Khashashneh, director of the ministry’s hazardous substances and waste management directorate.

A total of 280 recycling bins will be distributed in seven governorates under the first phase of the campaign, in addition to 420 packages containing personal safety tools for workers at car wash facilities and another 420 for employees of oil change stations, according to a ministry statement.

The packages will contain goggles, gloves, masks and a safety outfit designed in accordance with technical standards for workers dealing with hazardous substances.

“The equipment will protect workers against physical injury, inhalation or exposure to hazardous substances,” Khashashneh noted.

Underscoring the country’s critical water situation and the shortage of water resources, he noted that Jordan is one of the most water-deprived nations in the world, which necessitates protecting its surface and groundwater resources from pollution.

To this end, Khashashneh noted that the ministry will also establish a pilot project for the treatment and reuse of water generated by car wash stations with the aim of promoting the concept of water conservation.

He added that posters highlighting the need to prevent pollution by car wash stations will also be distributed as part of the campaign; in addition, oil change stations will be supplied with special tanks to collect and store oil to avoid spillage.