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

AMMAN – According to Environment Ministry Secretary-General Mohammad Khashashneh, about 10,000 tons of solid waste are produced every day at 20 landfills across the kingdom.

On average, a person in Jordan produces between 0.9 and 1kg 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. Amman produces 4,000 tons of solid waste every day,” Kashashneh told The Jordan Times.

He pointed out that the waste is sorted, with waste from the commercial sector (shopping centers and shops) such as paper and cardboard being relegated to a different category.

“Ten percent of the waste generated does not end up in landfills because the sorted waste is either correctly or informally sorted by waste collectors who collect 5 to 7 percent of the waste volume. Three percent are sorted correctly,” said Kashashneh.

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The Ghabawi landfill is the largest in the kingdom, he said, noting that it generates 40 to 45 percent of Jordan’s waste volume. The second largest is the Ekidar landfill in the north, serving Irbid and Mafraq.

“Both landfills are engineered landfills, where waste is properly buried in lined cells to allow the leachate to drain out [highly contaminated liquid] water produced from waste does not seep into the external environment,” added Kashashneh.

The landfills of Mafraq, Karak and Balqa are also being converted to engineered landfills, he said.

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

He emphasized that the existing amount of landfills is enough for the kingdom.

According to Kashashneh, about five megawatts of electricity will be generated from biogas collected from old cells at the Ghabawi landfill. This number covers half of the electricity needs of the municipality of Amman.

“This should also be implemented at the other landfills, but it will take time. It is part of the Global Methane Pledge, which aims to reduce global methane emissions by at least 30 percent by 2030,” he added.

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Kashashneh said there is a national e-waste disposal program, managed in cooperation with UNDP, which will set up five e-waste collection centers: two in the capital, one in Zarqa, one in Irbid and one in Aqaba.

“Some e-waste is exported because there are companies that collect this type of waste. We encourage this type of business to benefit from waste content within the framework of requirements issued by the Ministry of Environment and international commitments to deal with climate change,” Kashashneh said.

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