The Ministry of Environment, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme UNDP and with funding from the Global Environment Facility GEF, opened e-waste collection sites under the project “Reduction and Elimination of Persistent Organic Pollutants”. This event is part of the Ministry’s celebration of the Environment and Climate Week, which was launched recently in the Ajloun Reserve.
Jordan produces approximately 55,000 tons of e-waste threatening human health and the environment due mistreatment, which results in harmful emissions because they contain hazardous chemicals. Therefore, the Ministry has regulated the treatment of these wastes in instructions on the management and recycling of e-waste and has established special sites for the collection of this type of waste that is then transferred to competent companies to treat them in an eco-friendly manner.
Nine sites were established and equipped as follows: Amman Martyrs Park in Abdoon, Princess Rahma Park in Umm Al-Summaq, Al-Istiklal Park, King Abdullah Park, Tariq bin Ziyad Park in Irbid, the Hashemite Hall Park and Sharif Hussein Park in Zarqa. In addition, there are containers designated for this purpose in Petra Street and Arish Street in Aqaba.
The Greater Amman Municipality GAM will collect these e-wastes and coordinate with the licensed private companies to recycle them through a smartphone application so as to connect the collection sites, households and recycling companies with each other. The Municipalities of Irbid and Zarqa will collect, dismantle and sell these wastes to the companies licensed for this purpose.
Advisor to the Minister of Environment for Technical Affairs and Director of the Green Economy Unit in the Ministry Dr. Jihad Al-Sawair reiterated the importance of raising awareness of these wastes and their threat to human health and the environment because of the hazardous chemicals they contain. Al-Sawair added that randomly dealing with these wastes and burning them result in the emission of persistent organic pollutants and greenhouse gases that affect the climate as a whole. He also emphasized the need to enhance partnership between the public and private sectors in the area of e-waste treatment and the creation of new job opportunities because of its important economic benefits since they contain essential and precious metals.
Director of the UNDP Jordan Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Programme Dr. Nidal Al-Oran said UNDP is committed to supporting the Government of Jordan in fulfilling its national commitments to international environmental agreements on environment and chemical safety, including the management of e-waste under the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Dr. Al-Oran stressed that this project will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs related to health and the environment, SDG 12 on responsible consumption and production in particular.
He indicated that the project will coordinate and enhance cooperation between the public and private sectors to provide services aimed at improving waste management in general and e-waste in particular because it works with a wide range of stakeholders, including ministries, non-governmental organizations and academic/scientific research institutions, and engages the private sector.
Executive Director of Environmental Projects at GAM Eng. Amin Sarayra commended all the various waste management projects implemented by the Ministry. He also underlined GAM role in implementing projects and plans that would improve the waste management system in Amman. He said that this project is not the first and will not be the last one and is aimed at raising the community awareness until one day full e-waste sorting is carried out in the source.