EGYPT – The Ministry of Environment has announced plans to build 31 waste treatment and recycling plants by 2024 in a bid to combat climate change.

The Ministry says that the plants will be spread over four governorates, namely Cairo, Sinai, Alexandria, and Qalyubiya.

These facilities, eight of which will be delivered in the first half of 2023, will help reduce waste pollution and develop the circular economy in Egypt’s major cities.

The project includes the development of a “solid waste management complex” in the 10 Ramadan industrial zone, located near the city of Cairo.

The initiative aims to recycle the 14,000 tonnes of waste produced daily in and around the Egyptian capital.

The Egyptian government is also planning to build four waste sorting stations in the Sinai governorate, which hosted the 27th UN Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP27) in November 2022.

In addition to sanitation, this investment will help promote the wildlife and plant potential of this region, which is increasingly affected by water stress.

The project is jointly piloted by Yasmine Fouad, the Egyptian Minister of Environment, Ali Abu Sunna the CEO of the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), Mustafa Murad, the Head of the Central Department of Air Quality at the Egyptian Ministry of Environment and Mohamed Hassan the World Bank’s Project Manager in Egypt.

The involvement of the private sector in the fight against waste pollution is a major boost for the North African country.

A few months ago, the Egyptian government launched a tender for the construction of four solid waste treatment and recycling plants with a total capacity of 600 tonnes per day in the governorates of Gharbia, Dakahlia, and Kafr el-Sheikh.

At a total cost of US$94.57 million (€87m), financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU).

The objective is to improve the management of this waste in order to ensure the quality of the water of the drain which flows into the Mediterranean Sea through the Nile Delta.

Bekia drives waste recycling in Cairo

Meanwhile, Technology startup Bekia is enabling people in Cairo to exchange their household waste for cash and food.

Founded in 2017, the company has developed a digital platform to collect household waste, plastic bottles and other waste from people in exchange for a fee or food, metro tickets as well as medicine. The waste collected is then processed into granules by Bekia’s 25 employees.

The initiative is mainly implemented in Cairo and aims to improve sanitation and air quality in the Egyptian capital.

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