(MENAFN - Arab News) President of the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) Prince Turki bin Nasser will launch a garbage sorting project for recycling in Jeddah today.
"Saudi Arabia is losing annually approximately SR 40 billion for its lack of garbage recycling projects while other countries in the world are making huge profit from such projects," Deputy Executive Director of the Saudi Environment Society (SES) Majidah Abu Ras said in a statement yesterday.
The project sorting garbage at source will be executed by the Jeddah Municipality in collaboration with the SES.
Executive Director of SES Prince Nawaf bin Nasser, Jeddah Mayor Hani Abu Ras and Majidah Abu Ras will attend the inaugural event.
Majidah said the project aims to sort garbage at houses and other sources before they are thrown to the common waste bin.
"The SES has made an integrated program to create awareness among the public about the need to sort their waste at home and about other environment-friendly habits," she said, stressing the need for people's cooperation.
Director General of Cleaning in the Jeddah Municipality Sami Khalaf said his directorate has established centers for collection of sorted waste at different places in the city. The centers are made of unbreakable fiber glass, which are tightly closed to prevent insects, bacteria and moss entering it besides preventing foul smells from leaking out.
The project is designed to recycle glass bottles, plastic substances, magazines, newspapers, aluminum substances and iron waste to manufacture a number of useful products, he said.
The municipality will supply special bags free of charge to residential buildings. The bags with different colors will be used to collect different types of garbage. "The project's success depends primarily on the citizens' collaboration to sort their garbage at home and putting them in bags of different colors. The waste will be collected by special trucks," he said.
Assistant Director General for Cleaning in the municipality Ayman Al-Zahrani also underscored the importance of people possessing a civic sense to cooperate with municipal efforts for the success of the project.
He also wondered at the aversion of most private businessmen to invest in waste recycling projects.
"Sorting waste at source is a major factor in the success of the recycling industry because sorting at the recycling plant is a costly affair and may lead to the failure of a project," he said.
Unsorted garbage collection in the present form makes it impossible to separate wanted and unwanted materials, he added.
According to a recent study of the Arab League, negligence of waste recycling results in the loss of SR 75 billion in Arab countries annually.
The study also said the waste in Arab countries could produce 14 million tons of paper which has a market value of SR 8 billion, 1.8 million tons of iron worth SR 500 million and 75,000 tons of plastic worth SR 5 billion.