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Construction partly blamed for 13% hike in Bahrain waste

The construction industry's annual waste surge of 46% was one of the three factors raising the overall output of waste in the kingdom

Construction waste in Bahrain increased by nearly 50% [representational image].
Construction waste in Bahrain increased by nearly 50% [representational image].

Construction material has been singled out as one of three drivers behind Bahrain's waste increase.

Building materials were one of the industry that contributed to a 13% increase in the volume of waste generated by Bahrain during the first six months of the year.

Pressure is increasing on all countries to cut waste and become more green and sustainable, but the latest figures from Bahrain's Ministry of Works, Municipalities Affairs, and Urban Planning show the country generated more waste than it did last year.

READ: Emaar's Dubai hotels to cut food waste with data analytics tech

Bahrain disposed of one million tonnes (t) of waste between January and June 2018, higher than the 885,000t of waste generated during the same period a year earlier. 

Construction waste increased by 46% year-on-year hitting 497,000t, up from 341,000t in the first half of last year, according to the Estedama Centre.

Growing waste in Bahrain was caused by "the rise in construction, industrial, and trade-related waste in addition to public parks," the undersecretary for municipalities affairs Dr Nabeel Abul Fateh, was reported by Bahrain's state news agency to have said.

The government ministry noted that household waste and other types of domestic waste declined during the same period, although the total amount was not disclosed.

In a statement issued on 5 July, he said that domestic waste and other types of waste decreased over the first half of this year, compared with the same period of last year. 

Surplus building materials, such as concrete, bricks, glass, steel, plastic, and wood, are significant contributors to construction waste globally, but firms are getting smarter when it comes to using materials more efficiently, as this can help them operate more energy- and cost-efficiently.

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), for example, wants everything it produces to become a by-product for another industry. Last year, the UAE smelter was able to increase its amount of recyclable waste by nearly 25% compared to 2016.

Additional examples of recycling and upcycling in the construction industry include treating liquid waste, which can be used for organic farming or irrigation. Similarly, carbon dust, a by-product of aluminium smelting, can be used as an alternative fuel in the cement sector.

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Construction Week - Issue 749
Sep 15, 2019