By Nawara Fattahova

KUWAIT: Various institutions and companies are trying to spread awareness on protecting and preserving the environment through waste management. We have started seeing colorful trash bins to separate waste in some shopping malls and other places. Al Hamra tower and shopping mall in Kuwait City has placed trash bins for four types of waste - plastic, glass, paper and mixed waste. These containers are placed in the shopping mall, as well on the floors of the business tower.

Montaha Al-Jouhar, Sr Officer - House Keeping at Al Hamra Real Estate Company, said they launched this project in 2017, and the containers were placed in 2018. "In the beginning, people were not very cooperative and didn't care much, but today, after more than three years, visitors and employees of Al-Hamra Tower are more committed to separating waste in these different bins, and we have noticed their positive response," she told Kuwait Times.

"We sent informative messages to employees to segregate their waste, so they are more responsive than the mall's visitors. Since I began working here, I have been very keen to apply waste management, and we are not done yet. We deal with different recycling companies that collect the waste from Al-Hamra free of charge. We just spend on the containers and the colorful trash bags. We aim to spread awareness on protecting the environment through recycling," added Jouhar.

Many recycling companies in Kuwait shut down during the pandemic and even before that, as waste management isn't profitable and they couldn't survive. Enviroserve Kuwait is one of the companies that works in this field, and they have containers for collecting electronics and metals at two locations: The Scientific Center and Jabriya Cooperative Society.

They also deal with companies and banks, from where they collect electronic, plastic and paper waste. "From individuals, we currently only collect electronics and metals, but will soon add paper and plastic. We collect electronic waste from individuals for a fee of KD 5. We collect waste from the Scientific Center and Jabriya Co-op once a month. Many people still don't segregate waste and throw mixed garbage in special containers, which makes it impossible to place these containers on public roads," stressed Judi, Business Development Officer at Enviroserve Kuwait.

"When we were founded in 2018 through the support of the National Fund for Small and Medium Enterprises, we were supposed to receive a plot of land, but this hasn't been realized till today. We don't have full recycling in Kuwait, but we do shred electronics, while difficult parts are sent to Dubai. To manufacture new products, we need a melting plant, which needs a bigger space and land, which is not available," she explained.

They mainly collect the waste and sort it. "We sell some materials to certain companies, which they recycle and resell. We also produce some material from the shredding process such as copper, plastic, aluminum and metal. But it's not 100 percent pure. We sell these raw materials in Kuwait. Some materials are not recycled in Kuwait such as glass, wood and others. We also deal with partners to recycle paper and cardboard, as well as plastic. We hope that people will get used to separating household waste," noted Judi.