Recycling: the why,how and where in Bahrain

Info page on the environment and recycling resources in Bahrain

Why we should recycle - and how is it done

Population growth drain on our global resources

Despite the education and awareness of global warming and the need to conserve Earths precious resources people world wide continue to live as if there is no limit to our space and to our resources.

At least part of the rise in global consumption is the result of population growth. The U.N. projects that world population will increase 41 percent by 2050, to 8.9 billion people, with nearly all of this growth in developing countries.

source www.footprintnetwork.org

The population problem isn't just a matter of the number of people. People consume food, fresh water, wood, minerals, and energy as we go about our daily lives. And producing food, pumping groundwater, harvesting wood, mining minerals, and burning fuel all deplete our resource base and produce pollution.

Today humanity uses the equivalent of 1.6 planets (sourcefile: footprintnetwork.org)to provide the resources we use and absorb our waste. This means it now takes the Earth one year and six months to regenerate what we use in a year.
The United States, with less than 5 % of the global population, uses about a quarter of the world’s fossil fuel resources—burning up nearly 25 % of the coal, 26 % of the oil, and 27 % of the world’s natural gas.

Deforestation

Deforestation is the conversion of forested areas to non-forest land for use such as arable land, pasture, urban use, logged area, or wasteland.
Deforestation has many negative effects on the environment. The most dramatic impact is a loss of habitat for millions of species.
Seventy percent of Earth's land animals and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes. Deforestation also drives climate change.

Borneo


Forests cover 31% of the land area on our planet. They produce vital oxygen and provide homes for people and wildlife. Many of the world’s most threatened and endangered animals live in forests, and 1.6 billion people rely on benefits forests offer, including food, fresh water, clothing, traditional medicine and shelter

Some staggering facts:

Some 46-58 thousand square miles of forest are lost each year—equivalent to 48 football fields every minute

>If the current rate of deforestation continues, it will take less than 100 years to destroy all the rainforests on the earth.

>20% of the world’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon forest

>Almost half of world’s timber and up to 70% of paper is consumed by Europe, United States and Japan alone.

>Trees are important constituents of the ecosystem by absorbing carbon.

>The paper industry is fourth largest in producing greenhouse gas thereby majorly contributing to deforestation.

Take action

  • A lot of paper and cardboard is used unnecessarily for packing. This means more tree felling.
  • Re- use paper and plastic bags to discourage deforestation.
  • Use canvas or paper bags as another alternative.
  • Pick products which require less packaging.
  • Be creative and mail manufacturers telling them to use eco-friendly products. Show them your deforestation knowledge by highlighting certain important facts using statistics.
  • Sign effective petitions that work and help reduce deforestation.
  • Support eco-friendly companies buy buying their products that promise more durability in an inexpensive way.
  • Be active and plant trees- it can be at your homes, backyards or you can join any organization keen on stopping deforestation.
  • Reduce the consumption of beef to tone down the pressure to clear more forests for the cattle.
  • Support organizations that care about the environment at the cost of fighting back for the evergreen trees.

 

Recycling

Recycling only paper is not enough however: the recycling efforts throughout the world needs to increase drastically if we want to see a visible difference in our landfills, resources and global warming. 

Everyone today has heard of how important it is to recycle and most cities offer a recycling program, but what exactly is recycling and how beneficial is it really to us and the environment?
Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be thrown away as trash and turning them into new products.

  • Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and combustion facilities
  • Conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals
  • Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials
  • Saves energy
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change
  • Helps sustain the environment for future generations
  • Helps create new well-paying jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries
  • For every 1 ton of plastic that is recycled we save the equivalent of 2 people’s energy use for 1 year, the amount of water used by 1 person in 2 month’s time and almost 2000 pounds of oil
    By recycling 1 plastic bottle you not only save it from remaining anywhere from 100 to 1000 years in the landfill but you also save the environment from the emissions in producing new bottles as well as the oil used to produce that bottle.
    Odd as it seems there are many people who do not realize that plastic bottles our water comes in is made out of oil
    This is the same oil that is used to make gasoline. It's the same oil that is in such high demand and is not an unlimited resource.  And certainly not a renewable resource.

    Today the most common products recycling programs are paper products, cardboard, plastic, glass and aluminum.

    Taking just a moment to put your newspaper, soda can and glass spaghetti jar in the recycling bin will save everyone years in environmental harm, from needing production of new materials, over crowded landfills and the depletion of our natural resources.

    By not recycling at least our glass or aluminum we increase the demand  of power usage, water and oil usage and landfill usage; glass takes up to 4000 years to decompose in a landfill yet can be recycled indefinitely.

    Recycling can be done at home as well as in conjunction with city programs.  Many scrap yards pay for scrap metal including the soda cans and soup cans we use every day

    Get Creative by reusing materials

    Many useful items can be made from our everyday trash; the cardboard tubes left over from paper towel and toilet paper can make useful storage containers for our extra extension cords and prevents a tangled mess in the Christmas lights.

    If your going to throw these out don't just throw it in the rubbish bin, put it the recycling bin

    Start today

    Recycling is a very environmentally green activity; however, there are ways that you can make it greener as well as building a strong beginning if you do not currently recycle.
    Spread the word

    Share what you know. If you notice abundant trash in your neighborhood start spreading the word about your experience with recycling and if there isn’t already one in place strive to get a city recycling pick up program started

    The fact is many of our resources as well as our Earth is not renewable and we have to start taking control of the world we live in by beginning with our selves

    Paper and Carton recycling

    Each ton (1000 kilo's) of recycled paper can save 17 trees,1600 liters of oil, 2.2938 cubic meters of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 26500 litres of water.

    This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution
    To recycle paper you need sweet water and for this reason paper and carton collected in Bahrain is send abroad.
    Mainly India
    The 17 trees saved  can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. Burning that same ton of paper would create 1500 pounds of carbon dioxide.
    Recycling paper is the process of taking used paper products and creating new paper products from them

    The process of recycling paper is pulping to separate the fibers, screening to remove contaminates and large pulp fibers

    They clean it by mixing the pulp in a cleaning solution and spinning at high speeds then passing air through the slurry to create a foam that the ink left in paper and other contaminates will stick to and be removed, bleaching and finally the paper can then be made
    Paper plates and paper towels, computer and copy paper and even toilet paper can be made using recycled materials.

    What is saved by using recycled materials to make paper versus raw materials is first and most obviously forests but also energy and landfill space as well as air and water pollution.

    Approximately 90% of paper pulp is made from wood and over 40 percent of the wood harvested goes to making paper products

    Many paper companies raise trees for paper production; however, only about 16 percent of paper pulp is from these farmed trees

    It is estimated that recycling about half of the world’s paper could save about 20 million acres of forest.

    Eliminating just the paper taken to the landfills would nearly double the landfill life; yet many homes and offices still dispose of their paper refuse in the daily trash.
    In Bahrain there are several places where paper and carton can be dropped off. Most supermarkets have containers too and some compounds have paper recycling projects and mosques collect paper too for making new Qurans
    You can take the initiative to help reduce this waste by recycling and reducing your usage of paper products by using used scrap paper for notes, bringing a ceramic cup for your coffee and using cloth towels for clean ups instead of paper towels.

    Instead of printing off the office e-mails or office memos, do all of your editing before a document is printed and use smaller font with smaller margins to fit more words on each page thus reducing the amount of pages needed.


    If your printer has the option you can also print on both sides of the page. Most importantly though, make sure the paper you use finds its way to the recycling center instead of the landfill

    For locations of recycling containers go to the recycle where page

    Plastic Recycling

    Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kill as many as 100,000,000 sea creatures every year! 

    Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator

    Recycling a single plastic bottle can conserve enough energy to light a 60W lightbulb for up to 6 hours


    Demand for plastics outstrips supply 3 times over

    25 recycled PET bottles can be used to make an adult's fleece jacket

    Mechanical recycling is the process of recycling plastics by:
    • sorting
    • shredding
    • washing
    • melting
    • pelletizing

    • Sorting is mainly done automatically with a manual polish; 
    • Plastic is either melted down directly and molded into a new shape, or shredded into flakes then melted down before being processed into granulates


    What type of plastic can be recycled and what do the symbols mean
    Click on the picture to enlarge it

    Remember - the best bag for your shopping is a strong, reusable bag

    This is because taking a disposable, single use bag when not needed is unsustainable and a waste of precious resources.


    Either ban flimsy plastic bags completely or make the customers pay for them money could be used to set up green areas all around Bahrain.


    Demanding that recyclable bags be replaces with bio-degradable bags will not reduce litter or the amount of waste in our landfills. It will however diminish recycling efforts. As they  make the plastic weaker and so can only be used for limited products, and are more difficult to sell to manufacturers.

    The biodegradable  plastic currently on the market will only degrade in a professionally-managed large-scale composting facility.

    They will not breakdown in the natural environment, in a home composting device or in a landfill.

    How do they recycle industrial waste (machinery made of plastic)

    Almost all kind of plastic machineries can be remolded be it an auxiliary machinery, used plastic blow machinery, used plastic molding injection machinery, used plastic printing and lamination machinery, used plastic processing machinery etc. All of these can be recycled, re-built and re-used.

    The most obvious benefit to this method is the fact that all plastic is recyclable, not just matching forms.

    But criticism rises from the energy costs of rotating the drums, and heating the post-melt pipes

    On the page recycle where you find the number of the company in Bahrain that collects plastic for recycling, they take all types.
    Now littering on Bahrain's roads could carry fines of up to BD300 if a new draft law is passed by parliament.


    The temptation to ‘litter’ is usually motivated by disrespect to the law and its enforcement as well as ignorance and arrogance in our attitude, thinking that municipalities will clean our mess.

    The local authorities in Bahrain have now taken cognizance of the situation. Now littering on Bahrain's roads could carry fines of up to BD300 if a new draft law is passed by parliament. The National Cleanliness Law was approved by the Capital Trustees Board last week and includes tougher punishments for dumping waste, leaving animal faeces on the streets, and disposing of medical or hazardous substances in public. The new law will give more judicial power to the municipal officials to penalize the offenders.


    Under the existing law which is almost three decades old, offenders are fined only BD10 for littering. However, if the new rules are implemented, then fines for minor offences will range between BD100 and BD300 and for serious offences will be between BD500 and BD1,000.


    The Capital Trustees Board chairman has very rightly mentioned that ‘Dumping and littering have become a habit for a number of people and it needs immediate action, especially with fines not matching the offences. The fines once imposed will be monitored by the Capital Trustees Authority, and Bahrain's three other municipalities.
    And still the Shura Council needs more time to debate the issue
    FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE RATIFY THE LAW
    The Manama Municipality has already recruited volunteers from the general public wearing campaign badges to approach violators, get their details and report them as authorized Cleanliness Trustees

    Amongst the trustees' duties is also to log offenses by recording the vehicle registration number, type of plate and place where the offense took place, and the date and time and irregularities perpetrated

    The information could also include the name and address of violating institutions.

    Bahraini citizens over 18 years are still being invited to volunteer by contacting the municipality on 17277364, 17259964 or 17240007

    They can also fax 17254260, e-mail [email protected] or mail PO Box 20006. Volunteers will undergo a two-hour training.

    So what about the other governates of Bahrain do they also fine anyone found littering


    It's strange to realize that in our mere 720km2 Island group every governate can have his own rules about such a important issue.


    A 10bd fine is nothing, what any one caught should be doing is cleaning up for a month as community service, that would make them really realize what littering does and how long it takes to clean up after the careless many.


    Many men picking up litter manually in Bahrain most still do not even have pickup sticks or gloves. Which means that they could easily catch any type of disease



    Aluminum and metal recycling

    A used aluminum can is recycled and back on the grocery shelf as a new can, in as little as 60 days.

    That's closed loop recycling at its finest!

    Used aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled items but other types of aluminum, such as siding, gutters, car components, storm window frames, and lawn furniture can also be recycled.


    Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours or the equivalent of 1.9 liters of gasoline.

    An aluminum can that is thrown away will still be a can 500 years from now

    There is no limit to the amount of times aluminum can be recycled.

    In Bahrain you find a lot of really poor laborers that scavenge the streets for aluminum cans to supplement their meager income

    Some of them go  so far as to rip open garbage bags in residential areas in their search for cans, or go to recycling skips removing them.

    There are many shops in Bahrain that buy them up as it is one of the easiest to recycle and many are found along the roads of Bahrain, throw out of cars by those to lazy to put a small bag in their car for waste.

    Be kind and if you already separate your waste  put the cans in a separate bag or open box or maybe give them to any person that you see who collects them to get a few extra fills.
    Litter dropping experiment bahrain by compukhalid March 2015


    The man behind the idea later wrote online: “Amazingly, two hours were needed for the first person to stop and say something.”
    V
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    Recycling of metal items is also very easy

    There are many scrap collectors that drive around and remove any metal objects that have been dumped in the street or deserted area.

    Many people don't think twice about loading their car with broken items and just unloading it (illegally) anywhere, they should realize that one persons trash is another persons treasure.

    Any broken items in our household made from metal or aluminum are stored till we have a decent amount, the kids then call one of the scrap-collectors and sell it to them for extra money.

    They like buying up old cars for a few dinars that can not be used anymore, strip it and sell the metal shell.

    In Bahrain there are quite a few companies buying up big and small quantities find the details on the recycle where page.

    Glass recycling

    The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials

    A modern glass bottle would take 4000 years or more to decompose -- and even longer if it's in the landfill.
    Mining and transporting raw materials for glass produces about 385 pounds of waste for every ton of glass that is made

    If recycled glass is substituted for half of the raw materials, the waste is cut by more than 80%

    Modern glass containers are manufactured using very precise, complex and highly controlled technology.

    However, the raw materials used are simple and abundant and the basic process was in fact first used by the Egyptians around 3000 BC!
    Click on image to enlarge
    There are four main ingredients: 

    • cullet (recycled glass) 
    • sand
    • soda ash
    • limestone
    As much recycled glass is used as possible as this enables the other materials to melt at a lower temperature.

    The color of the glass is controlled by the iron content and the addition of minor coloring agents.

    Even though basic ingredients are used in vast quantities, accurate weighing and mixing to achieve precise proportions is absolutely critical. This procedure is carried out electronically in the batch house which supplies the mix to the furnace.

    A typical furnace within the glass container industry will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year producing around 300 tons of glass a day! This production of glass is continuous with furnaces' lifetime being  approximately 10 years.


    Up to 90% recycled glass is mixed with raw materials and fed into the furnace where the recycled glass remelts and becomes pure and pristine again.

    This cycle can be repeated an infinite number of times and the quality of the glass will never deteriorate. Each time bottles and jars go round this cycle they generate environmental benefits:

    • 345 kwh of energy is saved for every ton recycled glass used
    • 225 kg of CO2 is saved for every ton used
    • 1.2 tons of raw materials quarrying is saved for every ton used
    • 1.3 m3 of landfill is saved for every ton used
    100% of recycled glass can be used to make new glass bottles and jars, without any loss in quality. Glass containers made with high levels of recycled glass are as pure and clear as those made solely from virgin raw materials

    While the primary end product of recycled glass is new glass bottles and jars, there are some other uses for recycled glass, including:

    • Fiberglass production (second most popular use of post-consumer glass behind beverage containers)
    • Frictionator for matches and ammunition
    • Abrasives in sand-blasting
    • Ingredient in concrete and highway reflective paint
    • Ceramic tiles and picture frames around the house
    • Providing additional sand to beaches that have been depleted by erosion

    Landfill space calculated :

    Type of waste
     
    Conversion factor (CF)
    (Tons per cubic meter)
     Rock and stone
     1.2
    Glass (cullet)
     0.75
    Concrete and/or mortar
     1.3
     Mixed construction and demolition
     1.2
     Plaster
     1.0
     Paper and/or cardboard
     0.6
     Wood
     0.7
     Vegetable matter including food and bark
     0.75
     Household
     0.27
     Street sweepings and litter
     0.2
     Sewage
     1.0