'55 per cent of Bahrain’s waste is organic'

MORE than 55 per cent of the waste in Bahrain is organic, revealed an expert.

Leftovers represent about 44pc of the total household waste, added Manal Bucheery, who is an agricultural and environment activist, writer and researcher.

She was speaking at a seminar on ‘Green Solutions for Leftovers’ organised by the Alwane Bahrain Society as part of a community campaign, ‘Women in the Environment’.

The campaign highlights the role women play in the conservation of the environment in Bahrain, promoting their awareness of basic environmental issues and encouraging them to spread this awareness within their families and society.

It includes virtual seminars and other related activities with the aim of benefiting 1,000 Bahraini women.

The GDN reported last week that Bahrainis wasted the most food among all Arabs.

According to the UN Environment Programme’s Food Waste Index, at an average of 132kg per person, the dumped food cost Bahrain a whopping BD94.9 million last year.

People in Bahrain threw away 146,000 tonnes of food last year, it said.

According to Bahrain’s Conserving Bounties Society, food waste in Bahrain is estimated at more than 400 tonnes per day, with the number surging past 600 tonnes during Ramadan.

The GDN reported last year that the overall quantity of waste dumped at Askar landfill topped 1.02m tonnes.

Domestic waste was the fastest-growing, reaching 444,755 tonnes, which represents 44pc of the overall waste.

Trade and industrial waste made up 27pc, reaching 275,480 tonnes; followed by construction waste at 239,254 tonnes or 24pc; and agricultural waste, 55,947 tonnes or 5pc.

“Even though we are an Islamic country, and Islam instructs us not to waste any food, we still produce more than 55pc of organic food waste,” said Ms Bucheery, who is the recipient of Supreme Council for Women President Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa Award for Agricultural Innovation 2019.

“Leftovers represent about 44pc of the total household waste highlighting the negative environmental impact of wasting food on the economic and social level,” she added.

Ms Bucheery said the current situation calls for adopting better food habits under the principle, “buy no more than you need”.

“Many tips were given on this concern including the need to make a specific shopping list of the most important purchases, to buy food, especially fruit and vegetables, in quantities as needed,” she said.

“People should not be tempted by discount offers, cook a certain amount so we don’t waste anything, and donate the leftovers instead of throwing them into the trash.”

The seminar also included a detailed explanation on how “compost” can be made from leftovers at home.

Composting is an easy way to recycle and involves decomposing everyday kitchen waste or plants (such as wood chips/particles, wood, straw or hay, tea and others) into a rich soil known as compost with the effect of a mixture of microbes that are ubiquitous and fit for certain conditions that need to be available.

Alwane chairman Ammar Awachi emphasised the importance of this seminar in encouraging women to make environmentally friendly purchases and raising awareness among women about the importance of reducing household waste.

He added it also helps with recycling and lowering pollution risks, and emphasised the importance of women’s role as mothers in cultivating a culture of environmental preservation for their children.

Alwane media and environment committee president Khalid Moussa added that the choice of recycling food and the use of leftovers in the campaign stems from the critical role played by women.

The campaign’s activities will include the issues of climate, sustainability, biodiversity, agriculture, and landscape irrigation.

The Active Leaders for Women Advancement in the Near East (Alwane) is a Bahraini forum of leaders committed to the advancement of women’s leadership by using innovative technologies and engaging young, new voices.

The society has been set up by Women Campaign International (WCI).

The GDN reported in January that a new landfill and a hi-tech waste-to-energy complex are among 180 initiatives being studied by the government as part of a futuristic plan to tackle waste.

Bahrain has initiated 29 ‘rapid action’ plans, 90 short-term projects, 27 medium-term policies and 34 long-term strategies to manage waste.

Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Minister Essam Khalaf said each phase would result in lesser waste being dumped in Hafeera Landfill near Askar – which now stretches to 2.83km.

Mr Khalaf said Bahrain may set up a green-waste recycling plant by 2040, while getting 52pc of all general waste recycled.

 

Source: https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/938894

 

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