Recycling in Cairo on Al Jazeera

Filed in Blog, Videos by on July 26, 2010 7 Comments
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Recycling in Cairo

Recycling in Cairo

Al Jazeera English, the 24-hour English-language news and current affairs channel, is headquartered in Doha, the capital of Qatar. The organisation is the world’s first global English language news channel to be headquartered in the Middle East.

They’ve recorded a series of 8 programmes looking at how we deal with waste around the world and we were featured on the European issue. You can watch on the following:

  • Sky Digital, Channel – 514
  • Freesat, Channel – 203
  • Freeview, Channel – 89

Today’s programme features Cairo in Egpyt. Although they have one of the most efficient recycling systems in the world, where 80% of their waste is recycled and sorted by hand; it comes with a human cost.

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (7)

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  1. From a trustworthy source, i now obtain news of my favorite re=purpose stars.
    Al Jazeera seems the right medium to expose the emerging consciousness surrounding better waste management. i’ll be watching for you..

  2. John says:

    I can’t access the Al Jazeera programme, but I’ve just watched your contribution to Newsmaker from Michigan, pretty impressive stuff, compliments to both of you. Now the world is getting to hear about the possibilities of zero waste. I think though that the average American will take a little longer to come to terms with their wasteful lifestyles, given as they are so attached to consumerism.

  3. Grandma Green says:

    This set of reports for Al Jazeerah promises to be thought provoking stuff indeed. A global news channel highlighting waste issues throughout the world has great power and immediately illustrates the breadth of international communication. A small family in a small village in a small rural county of England can make a difference and can, amazingly, reach world news reports for so doing. The Greens are doing their bit for the planet and well done for that.
    However, it would appear that there are no ‘Greens’ in Cairo who are able to choose to help in their locality but only those who circumstances force them to slave away in intense heat and filth, risking exhaustion and disease in order to ‘live’. The Zebbaleen have no choice, no dignity and no voice yet it is they who enable Cairo to boast an 80% recycling rate. This cost must be too great. I look forward to discovering how other areas deal with the waste problem: it seems that waste issues are proving to be as ethical as they are environmental.

  4. Jane says:

    A New Zealander I met working in the UK went for a short visit to Egypt. It was interesting to hear her first impressions comment that there were carrier bags flying and lying everywhere. The UK several years ago was drowning in these too. You will also hear of other countries in the developing world where plastic bags are banned because they block drains and create stagnant pools of water just right for mosquitoes to breed in. What damage we have done with our profligate lifestyles!

  5. Mrs Green says:

    @nadine sellers: Now I’m concerned that they are not going to show the whole series on their website, however I have been promised a dvd of our programme; so I should be able to share that at some point. It’s a shame it’s not all being aired on their site as I was rather enjoying it.

    @Grandma Green: Thanks Grandma Green; certainly the 3 programmes I have seen have shown us other, more ethically challenging issues to waste and recycling. It’s been a real eye opener, and as you say, WE have a choice while sadly, many do not …

    @Jane: I know Jane; and the carrier bag is only used for a few moments before becoming litter – it seems so wrong and thoughtless of us.

  6. Erkay says:

    I understand that Cairo has a major problem with its proposed treatment strategy.

    Presumably like the comments made relating to Beijing (Carol and Karel) the same comments should be related to Cairo.

    It is a waste to dump such a valued resourse of biodegradable material in Municipal Solid Waste to land fill when this can be so readily converted to transport fuels like bioethanol as being adopted in Malta. And to think that by using this process – which to me looks like an ideal one using the genesyst gravity pressure vessel – see the article in the Institution of Chemical Engineers of March 2008 Under Pressure Under ground – and you will see what I mean.

    And to think that this bioethanol can be made for relatively nothing compared to importing oil.

    Go for it Cairo and Egypt. If you did this throughour Egypt and you said that you had 20 million tonnes of Municipal Solid Waste then you could produce almost 3,000 million liters of fuel ethanol fror transport in Egypt: think what that means…avoidance of using 40 to 50 million barrells of oil a year as imports and a saving of $4,600,000,000 to the oil companies! What a saving to the economy.

  7. This is an excellent series of articles and I wonder why you do not make mention of what is happeneing in the Mediterranean with the Applied Biofuels Malta Limited proposal.

    To me Mrs Green you should be talking to the Directors of that company and asking them where they are getting with their imminent start in manufacturing bioethanol in there biorefinery project.

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