Organisations come together to highlight effective management practices of solid waste
In line with the environment pillar in Qatar’s National Development Strategy 2011 to 2016, the Solid Waste Interest Group (SWIG), one of the interest groups under Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), was officially inducted into the organisational framework in a ceremony titled, Waste not Want Not – Solid Waste Practices in Qatar, held at the InterContinental hotel, Doha. Announcing this, QGBC, a non-profit, membership-driven organisation, revealed that with senior representation from a broad range of companies, SWIG is involved in all aspects of solid waste in the built environment.
Dr Sarah Clarke, Coordinator at QGBC-SWIG, reportedly emceed the event, while Dr Alexander Jovcic, Waste Management Coordinator, Qatar Shell GTL Plant spoke about initiatives on the subject at the facility in Ras Laffan Industrial City.
In the context of the two entities – QGBC and SWIG – joining hands, Dr Alex Amato, Chairman of the Research and Innovation Committee, QGBC, commented: “Irreparable environmental damage is one of the consequences of ineffective solid waste policies associated with unsustainable construction techniques. One of QGBC-SWIG’s aims is to help companies formulate and implement comprehensive solid waste management strategies through collaborative research, education and practical action.”
Fawaz Bader Alsada from the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning, Beaches and Island Division, added: “We are delighted to be part of such an initiative and support the work of the good example QGBC-SWIG has set in this respect. Through QGBC’s guidance in educating the public about the origins of the solid waste and green building practices in waste management, we aim to prevent future degradation of Qatar’s precious natural resources.”
The official induction ceremony of the interest group was ushered in with presentations on local success stories in the solid waste management frontier.
Enrico Balugani, Technical Manager, Qatar Plastic Products Company, recounting the company’s success story, shared plastic production techniques designed to reduce waste to near zero, while Abdulrahman Khalil Jawhari, Vice President, Special Projects at The Pearl-Qatar, spoke about the technology used on the island to dispose of solid waste safely, as also recycling initiatives
QGBC-SWIG member Ronnie Anderson, Business Development & Qatar Branch Manager, AMEC Black Cat, presented the findings of an analysis of solid waste collected during a beach cleanup effort, supported by the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning, Beaches and Island Division, for the protection of the mangroves at Al Wakra, on November 18. He reported that of the 2,400 kilograms of waste collected, 27% and 51% were industrial and construction waste, respectively. He also pointed out that the waste contained extremely hazardous materials, such as used engine oil, car batteries, spent gun cartridges and a corroded canister containing phosphorous.
As an aside, the announcement also revealed that the Education Committee chaired by Mohamed Jaber, Head of Electrical Engineering, KEO, is driving sustainability programmes industry-wide through training initiatives like Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS) workshop from January 23 to 25, 2012, in the wake of the LEED training workshop, held between December 12 and 14.