Waste sorting

In 2018, Green Tech Egypt founded the first waste sorting (400 ton MSW) plant in Hurghada, Egypt. We had the honour of Governor of Red Sea General Ahmed Abdullah and Minister of Agriculture Dr Ezz EL-Din Abu Steit opening the plant. General Abdullah mentioned that the new recycling factory is the first one in Egypt that uses new recycling technology compatible with European standards. All machines are imported from the Netherlands and Germany and use the latest recycling technology.

The plant was designed, built and delivered by Green Tech Egypt. It is now managed by Hepca (The Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association).

Waste hierarchy

The hierarchy ranks the various management strategies from most to least environmentally preferred. Most of a product’s impact is from extraction, production, transportation, and use, not simply its disposal, so refusing to buy a product in the first place is usually the most sustainable option.

Prevention focuses on eliminating the amount of waste created from the source and refusing to buy materials with excess packaging. Prevention is the highest priority on the waste hierarchy and is the first step to reducing waste.

Reduction involves minimising or eliminating waste by reducing the number of items bought, created, or used.

Reuse refers to using an item in its original form again or using it as a different function. Some ways to practice reuse in your life include repairing damaged items, purchasing second-hand goods instead of buying new ones.

Recycling is the process of collecting and processing materials that would otherwise be disposed of as waste and turning them into new products. Recycling also includes composting, as it involves converting organic matter into something new. Although recycling is an essential part of reducing the amount of waste one produces, it is also a lower priority on the waste hierarchy list. This is because it still involves creating materials and uses time and energy in the recycling process.

Energy recovery is the preferred strategy when waste could not be prevented, and there are no options to reduce, reuse or recycle. After incinerating waste, the energy is fed into the grid, and the waste residue consists of ash which is only 10% of the initial volume. In some countries, this residue is used for cement or asphalt, which allows a WTE plant to be part of a circular economy.