Waste management making an impact in Saudi Arabia

Waste management making an impact in Saudi Arabia

Waste management making an impact in Saudi Arabia
Waste management in Saudi Arabia is now very encouraging but more needs to be done.  (Shutterstock)
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In recent years the Kingdom has made significant strides in waste management by promoting recycling initiatives.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has unveiled a plan to recycle up to 95 percent of the country’s waste — a move it claims will contribute SR120 billion ($31.99 billion) to gross domestic product, according to SPA (Saudi Press Agency).

Recycling not only helps reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills but also conserves natural resources and reduces pollution. 

By separating recyclable materials like paper, plastic, glass, and metal from general waste, we can give them a second life in which they are processed into new products.

In addition to environmental benefits, recycling creates job opportunities within the local economy. It stimulates innovation and encourages businesses to develop sustainable practices that support long-term economic growth.

Incorporating the practice of composting into your daily routine can have a significant impact on reducing organic waste and promoting sustainability. 

By separating food scraps and other biodegradable materials from your regular trash, you not only divert waste from landfills but also create nutrient-rich soil that can be used to nourish plants in your garden or community. 

Composting is a simple yet effective way to close the loop on the natural cycle of decomposition, turning what would otherwise be considered garbage into a valuable resource.

What is happening now in Saudi is very encouraging, but we still have a lot to do to reach the country’s goals to reach zero waste. 

According to Saudi Arabia’s National Center for Waste Management, the financial cost of environmental degradation caused by solid waste in the Kingdom in 2021 was estimated at $1.3 billion. 

Nearly half of Saudi Arabia’s total waste comes from three cities: 21 percent from Riyadh, 14 percent from Jeddah, and 8 percent from Dammam.

By making conscious choices to recycle everyday items instead of throwing them away, we are actively contributing to a cleaner environment for future generations.

Mohammed S. Al-Surf

“SIRC has developed a robust recycling infrastructure that includes collection centers and material recovery facilities,” Ziyad Al-Shiha, CEO of the Saudi Investment Recycling Company, announced in January. 

“These facilities are equipped with advanced technologies to sort, process, and recycle different types of waste materials.”

Recycling waste in Saudi Arabia helps promote sustainability in several ways. It reduces environmental impact by cutting the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, which in turn decreases pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

It helps conserve natural resources such as water, energy, and raw materials by reusing materials instead of extracting new ones.

Furthermore, the recycling industry in Saudi Arabia has the potential to create new jobs in waste collection, sorting, and processing, contributing to economic growth.

Proper waste management, including recycling, also helps protect natural habitats and wildlife by reducing pollution and the destruction of ecosystems.

By making conscious choices to recycle everyday items instead of throwing them away, we are actively contributing to a cleaner environment for future generations. 

So let us all do our part by incorporating recycling habits into our daily lives. Remember — every little bit counts when it comes to preserving our planet for a better tomorrow.

Mohammed S. Al-Surf is director of the carbon department at Tilad Environment; founder of the Sustainability Professionals in Saudi Arabia Network; the first Saudi to become a member of the US Green Building Council Faculty; an associate of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals; and a TRUE adviser.


 

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point of view

Russia arrests two more top defense officials

Russia arrests two more top defense officials
Updated 9 min 45 sec ago
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Russia arrests two more top defense officials

Russia arrests two more top defense officials

MOSCOW: Russia on Thursday arrested a general and a high-ranking defense official on corruption and “abuse of power” charges — the latest senior military figures to be put behind bars this month.

The Kremlin denied it was carrying out a purge of top army officials, but some of Russia’s influential military bloggers welcomed the arrest of a general they hold responsible for battlefield failures in the two-year offensive in Ukraine.

Moscow’s powerful Investigative Committee said Vadim Shamarin, deputy head of Russia’s General Staff, had been placed in detention on suspicion of “large-scale bribe taking.”

The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.

The committee alleged that Shamarin had been taking bribes for years from a factory in the Urals city of Perm, saying he had received 36 million rubles (364,000 euros) in kickbacks in return for boosting government contracts.

It said he had been placed in pre-trial detention.

Later on Thursday, the committee announced the arrest of Vladimir Verteletsky — an official from the defense ministry’s department for ensuring state orders.

It said Verteletsky had “been charged with the abuse of his official powers” and has also been placed in detention.

Investigators accuse Verteletsky of taking a bribe in relation to a government contract in 2022, the first year of Moscow’s offensive.

It said the alleged offense had cost the state “over 70 million rubles” (706,000 euros).

Critics and opposition figures have for years said Russia’s military is riddled with corruption, although its leaders have rarely faced any serious probe or retribution.

The issue burst to the forefront amid failures in the Ukraine offensive, with Wagner paramilitary head Yevgeny Prigozhin accusing Russia’s military bosses — then-defense minister Sergei Shoigu and chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov — of corruption on an almost daily basis, saying it hobbled Russia’s combat capacity.

Prigozhin died last year in a plane crash just two months after launching a bloody mutiny in a bid to remove the pair.

The arrest of Shamarin, who was head of the General Staff’s communications directorate, is the latest in an apparent crackdown on some of Russia’s top military officials.

But the Kremlin denied it was mounting a purge.

“The fight against corruption is an ongoing effort. It is not a campaign. It is an integral part of the activities of law enforcement agencies,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

Putin removed Shoigu earlier this month in a surprise reshuffle, replacing him with economist Andrei Belousov.

A deputy defense minister, Timur Ivanov, and head of the ministry’s personnel, Yuri Kuznetsov, also have been arrested in the last few weeks for bribe-taking.

And Ivan Popov, an ex-commander who was sacked after he criticized Russia’s military leaders for a high casualty rate in Ukraine, was arrested earlier this week.

Some Russian military bloggers welcomed the arrest of Shamarin, saying it was communications breakdowns — caused by a lack of equipment due to corruption — that were behind Russia’s military failures in Ukraine.

“Bribery in the military and security services is state treason,” military blogger Anastasia Kashevarova said in a post on Telegram.

Amid the reshuffle and arrests in Moscow, Russian forces in Ukraine have made their most significant advances on the battlefield in 18 months, with a new major assault on the northeastern Kharkiv region.


Saudi squad announced for the upcoming World Cup, Asian Cup qualifiers

Saudi squad announced for the upcoming World Cup, Asian Cup qualifiers
Updated 12 min 49 sec ago
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Saudi squad announced for the upcoming World Cup, Asian Cup qualifiers

Saudi squad announced for the upcoming World Cup, Asian Cup qualifiers

RIYADH: The Saudi squad for upcoming World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers has been announced by coach Roberto Mancini.

— More to follow.

 


Four dead, 21 injured in Spain restaurant roof collapse

Four dead, 21 injured in Spain restaurant roof collapse
Updated 17 min 24 sec ago
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Four dead, 21 injured in Spain restaurant roof collapse

Four dead, 21 injured in Spain restaurant roof collapse

PALMA, Spain: The roof of a restaurant in Spain’s popular tourist island of Mallorca collapsed Thursday, killing four people and injuring more than 20 others, local rescuers said.

“There are four dead and around 21 injured,” the rescuers said, adding that some of the injuries were serious.

Local media said the two-story building was in the Playa de Palma area to the south of the Mediterranean island’s capital Palma de Mallorca.

Firefighters, police officers and ambulances rushed to the scene, according to images published in local media.

Mallorca is one of Spain’s Balearic Islands, whose pristine waters and beaches attract more tourists than all Spanish regions after Catalonia.

More than 14 million tourists visited the islands last year, according to official figures.


Trump says he will quickly free US journalist but Russia denies contacts

Trump says he will quickly free US journalist but Russia denies contacts
Updated 32 min 14 sec ago
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Trump says he will quickly free US journalist but Russia denies contacts

Trump says he will quickly free US journalist but Russia denies contacts

WASHINGTON: Donald Trump boasted Thursday he would quickly free jailed US journalist Evan Gershkovich from Russia if he wins the presidential election, but Moscow denied discussing the case with the Republican candidate.

Trump, who has frequently voiced admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin and has voiced skepticism over US support for Ukraine, said the Moscow strongman “will do that for me, but not for anyone else.”

“Evan Gershkovich, the Reporter from The Wall Street Journal, who is being held by Russia, will be released almost immediately after the Election, but definitely before I assume Office,” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform.

“He will be HOME, SAFE, AND WITH HIS FAMILY.”

Trump said that the United States “WILL BE PAYING NOTHING” — a likely jab at President Joe Biden’s deal last year to free Americans from Iran that included the transfer of Iranian oil revenue that had been frozen by South Korea.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, asked about the remarks, said, “There aren’t any contacts with Donald Trump.”

“Regarding (US-Russian) contacts on the matter of incarcerated and convicted individuals, we can say that these contacts must be carried out in total secrecy. This is the only way they can be effective,” he said.

Gershkovich, 32, has been held in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo prison for more than a year after he was arrested while on a reporting trip to Russia.

He is the first Western journalist since the Soviet era to be arrested by Moscow on spying charges — accusations that he, his employer and the US government reject.

The US ambassador to Russia, Lynne Tracy, visited Gershkovich in prison on Thursday.

He “maintains a positive attitude, awaiting the start of the court process for a case about a crime that he did not commit,” the US embassy said in a statement on platform Telegram.

“We once more urge the immediate release of Evan Gershkovich.”

The Biden administration said in late 2023 that it made a “significant proposal” to Russia to free Gershkovich, likely as part of a prisoner swap, but that Moscow rejected it.

US intelligence concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump in his upset defeat of Hillary Clinton, including through social media postings.

Trump angrily denied his victory was the work of Russia and, at a famous news conference with Putin, appeared to accept the Russian leader’s denial of interference.

Putin in the latest election cycle has said he prefers Biden, comments met with skepticism by many Russia watchers who believe Putin’s intention may be to use his notoriety to boost Trump.


G7 officials play down expectations on details of loan for Ukraine

G7 officials play down expectations on details of loan for Ukraine
Updated 33 min 49 sec ago
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G7 officials play down expectations on details of loan for Ukraine

G7 officials play down expectations on details of loan for Ukraine
  • Using Russian assets for Ukraine not simple, G7 chair says
  • Agreement on Ukraine loan seen ‘in principle’
STRESA, Italy: G7 finance chiefs are not expected to agree on details of a loan for Ukraine at their meeting in Italy starting on Friday, several officials said, leaving much work ahead in coming weeks or months to secure more financing for the war-torn country.
The United States has been pushing its allies to agree to a loan backed by the future income from some $300 billion of Russian assets frozen shortly after Moscow invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said the loan could amount to some $50 billion, but that no amounts have been agreed. Other G7 officials involved in the negotiations voiced caution, citing thorny legal and technical aspects to be hammered out.
“With great difficulty we have found a compromise for the use of the interest (already accrued),” Italian Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti told reporters, referring to a deal already struck by the European Union.
“The problem is how the legal basis for this can be used for future profits.”
Giorgetti, who will chair the meeting as Italy holds the G7 presidency this year, said finding a solution “will not be simple,” and added that several central banks had expressed reservations over the US proposal.
Finance ministers and central bank chiefs from the Group of Seven industrial democracies — the US, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada — are meeting in the northern Italian lakeside town of Stresa on Friday and Saturday.
One European official said the communique at the end of the meeting would probably include an agreement on a loan in principle, but no details.
“I don’t think there will be any numbers,” the official said when asked about the $50 billion figure.
“There will be no decisions on the matter taken at Stresa,” another European official said.
German Finance Minister Christian Lindner also said many questions remained open and he did not expect the G7 to reach any concrete decision at the Stresa gathering.
In that case, officials will continue to negotiate in the hope of making progress by the time G7 heads of government meet in the southern Italian region of Puglia on June 13-15.
Yellen, at a news conference on Thursday, said she expected a “general agreement on the concept” of using the earnings from Russian assets to provide Ukraine with significant financial support beyond 2025.
A key condition for European Union countries, where most of the assets are held, is to not confiscate the asset principal and harness only the earnings.
Giorgetti said a loan backed by future income from the frozen assets would meet with Russian retaliation, and stressed any deal must have a “solid legal basis,” echoing comments made this week by Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki.
Under the proposal being discussed, the loan would be disbursed to Kyiv in one lump sum, Giorgetti said, and could possibly be issued by the G7 countries directly rather than through a global financial institution such as the World Bank.