Waste sorting

In 2018, Green Tech Egypt founded the first waste sorting plant in Egypt. The opening ceremony was attended by Governor of Red Sea General Ahmed Abdullah and Minister of Agriculture Dr Ezz EL-Din Abu Steit. General Abdullah spoke highly of the new recycling factory, stating that it is the first one in Egypt to utilize new recycling technology that is compatible with European standards. All of the machines used in the plant were imported from the Netherlands and Germany and feature the latest recycling technology. The entire project, from design to delivery, was completed by Green Tech Egypt. Today, the plant is managed by Hepca (The Hurghada Environmental Protection and Conservation Association).

Waste hierarchy

When considering management strategies for environmental impact, it’s important to note that most of a product’s footprint comes from the extraction, production, transportation, and use phases, not just its disposal. Therefore, the most sustainable option is often to simply refuse to buy a product in the first place. The hierarchy ranks different strategies from most to least environmentally friendly.

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 and 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, which involves converting organic matter into something new. Although recycling is essential to 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 recycling.

Energy recovery is the preferred strategy when waste cannot 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.