In a survey conducted in Qatar in 2018, it was concluded that though Qatar is making remarkable progress in the management of waste in general, and e-waste in particular, much still needed to be done, even though the typical household in Qatar generated less electronic waste as compared to plastic waste. (Ecomena)
According to a market overview by the Qatar Development Bank, the annual e-waste generated per capita by Qatar in 2014 was 16.3kg annually, whereas the global average was 5.9kg. That was in 2014. Since then, the population in Qatar has increased at a rapid rAnnual ate. In addition, electronic gadgets are readily available which is another reason for the high e-waste generation in Qatar. It is estimated that, by 2026, e-waste generated in Qatar will increase to 45,708 tons, if e-waste management is not improved in the country.
One of the main reasons for this is that, in general, e-waste in Qatar is landfilled because people in Qatar throw it in their general trash. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of awareness when it comes to e-waste, and not enough facilities in Qatar for this purpose. Even the e-waste that is collected in Qatar is exported to Singapore without any value addition", as there are no manufacturers of these products here. This means there is no demand in Qatar for the material recovered from e-waste. Qatar does, however, have e-waste management and material recovery facilities that collect and export to countries where it is utilised.
Electronic waste, or e-waste, as it's commonly known as, is a hazard and a menace to us, our society and the environment we live in. If e-waste is not disposed off properly, the toxins and chemicals that lurk hidden in electronic devices can be absorbed into the soil, air and water around us.
According to the Recycle Coach:
"E-waste, or electronic waste, encompasses electrical and electronic equipment that’s outdated, unwanted, or broken. That means everything from smartphones to end-of-life refrigerators. Basically, anything that runs on electricity that you’ve decided to get rid of. Globally, we only recycle 10% of our e-waste, a number that’s as shocking as it is depressing. As for the 90% we don’t recycle, it ends up getting landfilled, incinerated, or illegally traded."
Examples of e-waste include TVs, copiers, fax machines, stereos, mobile phones, DVD players, gaming consoles, laptops, PCs, fridges, air conditioners, washing machines, dishwashers, batteries and so much more.
E-waste can contain harmful toxins and chemicals like cadmium, lead, mercury, polyvinyl chloride, beryllium, brominated flame retardants, etc., and release then into the environment if not discarded properly.
According to Your Story, these chemicals can cause a number of health problems like:
Yes, Qatar has a number of e-waste and battery management facilities, though most of them collect the e-waste, and then export the scrap to other countries where it is further processed and managed.
Seashore Recycling Centre has a scrap processing yard in Doha's industrial area where they process the scrap from e-waste. They have a recycling scrap collection system in certain residential areas where they place bins for registered customers. These customers place their used electronics in the bins or next to them depending on their size and Seashore Recycling Centre collects them two times a month. However, if you have a large number of appliances that you need to get rid of, Seashore Recycling Centre will collect them from your residence.
At the scrap processing yard, electronic devices go through segregation, sorting and removal of waste items. The metal parts are sent to Seashore Recycling Centre's recycling facility and the waste is disposed off.
Seashore Recycling Centre is also currently working on a project so people can directly go and drop their electronics at the recycling centre.
Power Waste Management also deals with e-waste management. They collect old and discarded electronic devices from wherever it needs to be picked up. However, they do not recycle the products but, instead, deliver to various scrap dealers who recycle the electronic devices and appliances.
According to Al Haya Waste Management collects and disposes off electronic waste. Al Haya is part of Al Haya Enviro, a company recognised and certified by MME for safe disposal of industrial and office waste.
The waste management team at Al Haya will coordinate with you and arrange to collect your discarded electronics. They will bring a van and a weighing machine. The weight of your appliances will be weighed and recorded in a water manifest, and an invoice generated. After you settle the bill for Al Haya's collection service, it will provide you all the necessary documents and certificates to prove you have met the standards for waste disposal. The discarded electronic devices are taken by the team to the Al Haya waste management facility where it is sorted, categorised and then exported to Singapore, according to guidelines issued by the MME.
The Rassas Battery Recycling Factory is Qatar's first privately owned battery recycling plant in Qatar and the first in the country to get Environmental and Industrial Licenses to treat Lead Acid Batteries in accordance with the UN BAT Norms. The broken-down components are made into billions, ingots, gypsum, lead metal grids, lead paste powder, while the plastic that is recovered is converted into recycled plastic polypropylene pellets which are used in the automotive industry and the plastic furniture industry.
In November 2019, Al Meera introduced a used battery collection initiative in collaboration with the Ministry of Municipality and Environment in many of its locations. Individuals and companies can gather their old batteries and dispose of them in these designated bins located at Al Meera branches within Bin Omran, Izghawa, Al Wakrah, Al Wakrah South, South Leabaib1, Al Khor, Jeryan, Muraikh, Nuaija, Thumama and Legtaifiya. (Al Meera FB)
These batteries are then exported by sea for regulated disposal. In this way, batteries are recycled and potentially hazardous metals that are present in them are unable to damage the environment, don't go in the landfills and natural resources are conserved. (Al Meera)
Do you recycle your waste? What do you do with your used and discarded electronics and home appliances? What more do you think needs to be done? Do let us know your thoughts n our Comments section below. Like and share the article - it keeps us going!
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