Amman produces 4,000 tons of solid waste per day — Ministry of Environment

AMMAN — About 10,000 tonnes of solid waste is generated every day at 20 landfills across the Kingdom, according to the Secretary General of the Ministry of Environment, Mohammad Khashashneh.

On average, a person in Jordan produces between 0.9 and 1 kg of waste per day, with cities producing more waste than villages, Khashashneh noted.

“The amount of waste produced depends on the population of each city. In Amman, 4,000 tons of solid waste is produced per day,” Kashashneh told The Jordan Times.

He said waste is sorted, with waste from the commercial sector (malls and shops) such as paper and cardboard being relegated to another category.

“10% of the waste generated does not go to landfill, the sorted waste being sorted correctly or informally by garbage collectors, who collect 5 to 7% of the volume of waste. Three percent are sorted correctly,” Kashashneh said.

The Ghabawi landfill is the largest in the Kingdom, he said, noting that it receives 40 to 45 percent of Jordan’s waste volume. The second largest is the Ekidar landfill, located to the north, which serves Irbid and Mafraq.

“Both landfills are technical landfills where the waste is properly buried in lined cells, so that the leachate [highly contaminated liquid] produced from waste does not seep into the external environment,” Kashashneh added.

Mafraq, Karak and Balqa landfills are being renovated to become technical landfills as well, he said.

“Under the new strategy, only eight dumps will remain, while the rest will become transfer stations. The Balqa landfill will be transformed into a transfer station where waste will be collected, sorted and transported to other landfills for treatment. This is applied on the ground in several landfills in the north,” Khashashneh continued.

He pointed out that the existing amount of dumps is sufficient for the Kingdom.

According to Kashashneh, about five megawatts of electricity is generated from biogas, which is collected from old cells at the Ghabawi landfill. This figure covers half of the electricity demand of the municipality of Amman.

“It is supposed to be implemented in the other landfills as well, but it takes time. This is part of the Global Methane Commitment, which aims to reduce global methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030,” he added.

Kashashneh said there is a national electric waste management program run in cooperation with UNDP, which will establish five electric waste collection centers: two in the capital, one in Zarqa, one in Irbid and one in Aqaba.

“Part of the electrical waste is exported, because there are companies created to collect this type of waste. We encourage this type of business to benefit from the waste content as part of the requirements issued by the Ministry of Environment and international commitments to address climate change,” Kashashneh said.

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