‘Out of 20,000t of waste only 3% is recycled’
July 04 2013 10:54 PM

John Irvine: “Our next phase of the development is to speak with the government…The government here has great aspirations”

By Salman Siddiqui/Staff Reporter

Out of the estimated 20,000 tonnes of waste generated in Qatar, only 3% of it is recycled, while 4% is incinerated, a leading expert said yesterday.
Addressing the Construction Waste Management Forum, John Irvine, managing director Averda, also revealed that a new government policy to regulate the waste management industry in Qatar is expected to roll out soon in the coming months.
Averda is a leader in the waste management industry in the Mena region. The company was established more than 35 years ago and provides a full spectrum of environmental services, including city cleaning, collection, composting, recycling, land-filling and waste water management.
Its portfolio comprises of companies and projects in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Oman, Qatar, Morocco, Republic of Ireland and one representative office in United Kingdom.
“We have over 150 clients here in Qatar,” Irvine said adding that the company has had a presence here since 2009.
“Our next phase of the development is to speak with the government…The government here has great aspirations. Legislation and policy making does take time. I think we will see new policy [to regulate the waste management industry] coming in place over the next three to four months,” he said.
He said that the industry wants clear guidelines from the government. “Where to put certain types of waste, what the treatment should be and make sure that my industry understands the implications of these conditions, which will force us to adhere to these guidelines.”
He said that the main opportunity for waste management companies like Averda was the massive infrastructure projects that are set to complete by 2022. But while with opportunities, come cost. “A pertinent question is : are the clients ready to bear the cost of waste management services?
“We need to let our clients understand that we’re here to deliver a service. Service always has a cost, whether it is of landfill charges or dedicated recycling centers.
“These costs are dictated by legislation and policy, even though the opportunities for growth as an industry are untold. But with growth comes problems, so we have to make sure that the legislation is in place prior to the growth,” he added.

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