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Nov 16, 2017

Solid Waste Generation and Collection in Jordan

By: Basem Abusneineh, Operations Manager at Bee'ah UAE.

Waste management is a global concern nowadays. The challenges are increasing in the developing countries due to the lack of proper waste management. Most countries in the Middle East, including Jordan, are trying to improve their waste management systems with the fast increment in population.
Municipal solid waste generated in Jordan was more than 2 million tons as in 2015. With the latest census, it was found that the solid waste generated per capita is 0.99 Kg per day in the urban areas and 0.87 kg per day in the rural areas. While population is expected to double in the coming two decades, rate of the solid waste generation will double as well.
The high generation of solid waste in Jordan has affected the whole waste management cycle. Collection, for instance, became a great challenge especially in the highly populated areas. However, about 90% of waste generated in Jordan is collected from the urban areas and 70% is collected from the rural areas. In most of the areas, collection is done once daily. More strategies must be applied to overcome this issue and to reach the 100% collection rate in the nearest future.

Jordan has a long way to go until reaching the desired integrated waste management system. Nevertheless, it is moving in the right direction and the coming few years are promising in this field.

Figure: Actual and estimated amount of solid waste generation in Jordan

Nov 10, 2017

Lebanon: Is Incineration really the answer ?

By Nour Kanso

Lebanon has been heading the news regionally and internationally and not because of its famous landmarks or its favorable weather but because of its waste crisis. It’s truly sad how a beautiful country with so much potential suffers from a problem that can be easily solved and yet its been two years with no clear and transparent plan but divided opinions and conflicts.

The topic of incineration as a only solution to a long lasting crisis has been a debatable option between the public , NGOs, institutions and the government. One is for and the other is against. In a recent conference at AUB’s Issam Fares Institute, an associate professor said that “Incineration is an extremely expensive technology that requires a lot of investment in environmental protections”.

Incinerators emit several pollutants based on the type of the waste , which causes health deterioration and environmental degradation. Most dangerous pollutants emitted are particulate matter, dioxins and furans, CO,NOx,SOx and metals. The process of combustion present a significant risk to environment and public health. More importantly , the main impact on health is the higher occurrence of cancer and respiratory symptoms; other possible effects are congenital abnormalities and hormonal defects. In regards to environment, global warming, acidification, photochemical ozone or smog formation,
eutrophication, and human and animal toxicity are all possible outcomes of incineration. As such, an economical and environment-friendly technologies should be adopted otherwise we are on a dangerous path of endangering human, animal , and plant life and other resources.

The reason why the government sees incineration as an attractive option is because it eliminates the need for landfills as well as generating electricity which helps in providing more energy to household especially that the country suffered from a lot of electricity cuts during summer. Nevertheless, Lebanon doesn’t have the adequate infrastructure, regulatory authority to monitor the emissions of the plants, qualified staff to understand the complexity of this process. Moreover, the country doesn’t have the labs necessary to measure and monitor some of the more dangerous byproducts.

Overall , incineration does not align with Lebanon’s waste composition as its mostly organic and is not source separated and therefore much eco-friendly options can be adopted and exercised starting with sorting at the source and moving to recycling and composting.


Sharma, R., Sharma, M., Sharma, R., et al. (2013). The impact of incinerators on human health and
environment. Reviews on Environmental Health, 28(1), pp. 67-72. Retrieved 10 Nov. 2017, from doi:
Daily Star. (2017).Experts warn against waste incineration. Retrieved from:

Oct 11, 2017

Tackling packaging waste in the domestic sphere using a retailer’s customer loyalty scheme

Dr Ramy Salemdeeb provides an overview of his research, which is being showcased at the 2017 ISWA World Congress in Baltimore (USA) this week.
I still remember the day I first came up with the idea introduced in this blog. It was a sunny Saturday morning at my local retail store and I was packing up my shopping bags. As I headed home towards the exit, the cashier stopped me to hand a receipt and a couple of vouchers which I didn’t check until later that evening. It was only when I sat down with a cup of tea that night that I then checked both vouchers: the first offered me extra points for buying a retailer’s branded porridge, a product I've bought several times in the past, whilst the second promised to triple my points if I bought another of my favourite cooking sauces. In the age of big data, targeted marketing is nothing new, but I hadn't realised until now the extent of influence retailers now have on our personal shopping habits. The experience has also led me to one thought in particular: how could we use targeted marketing to help improve environmental awareness?
Britons produce up to 25 million tonnes of domestic waste each year, of which one third can be categorised as packaging waste. Although we are well aware of the environmental benefits of recycling, vast quantities of waste are still disposed of in landfills due to consistently low recycling rates in our homes. This could be attributed to the transient view of waste in our minds: its disposal and collection seemingly leave us free of any further personal responsibility. We have a tendency to overlook its importance, and ironically, the issue itself ends up thrown out with our rubbish. In order to reverse these attitudes, two vital steps must be taken: the introduction of regular reminders to the public of waste output as a direct result of their daily shopping habits, and the establishment of a sustainable and affordable tool that has the ability to change their habits and encourage a more positive attitude towards waste.
Our proposed idea, presented at the 2017 ISWA World Congress in Baltimore (USA) , introduces a new indicator that reflects packaging waste output from the products purchased in a consumer's regular shopping trip. This metric, printed on the till receipt as shown in the figure below, serves three main functions: (1) to make individuals aware of the exact quantities of packaging used in each of their purchases; (2) to allow retailers to monitor the public's response and enable them to further plan, design and implement interventions to tackle packaging waste output; and (3) to act as an effective tool to study consumer behavioural changes.
In our poster presentation, we introduce the concept, outline the methodology and illustrate its application using a hypothetical case-study in order to show how this approach could be used to trigger behavioural change. This innovative concept tackles the issue of packaging waste in two ways:
1.     It acts as a visual reminder to consumers of their packaging waste output and the potential environmental benefits associated with recycling their purchased items. The box below shows examples of personalised messages which could be sent to customers.
Message 1: The energy saved by recycling the packaging of products you purchased today would equate to 2 hours of powering a 11w lightbulb
Message 2: The energy saved by recycling your favourite juice cartons would equate to 3 hours of extra battery life for your Smartphone.
Message 3: Recycling the aluminium cans you purchased today could generate enough electricity to watch your favourite TV channel for up to 5 hours.
2.     Retailers will gain access to invaluable data to help them understand their customers’ attitudes towards recycling. This data could then be analysed to yield important insights into customer behaviours and preferences, which could then be used as part of further customer reward schemes.
Dr Ramy Salemdeeb would also like to thank Dr Adam Read and Israa Abushaban for contributing to the research.