Global Partnership on Waste Management

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Submitted by Ministry of Environment

  • Summary of information
  • Industrial waste
  • Municipal solid waste (MSW)
  • Hazardous waste
  • Healthcare waste
  • E-waste
  • Waste plastics
Summary of information
Highest priority waste streams
Healthcare waste, e-waste
Highest priority areas of capacity building
Better understand the associated risks of healthcare waste and identify the appropriate technologies to dispose, collect and transport the waste to adequate facilities.
Narrative summary
The answers of the Egyptian Ministry of Environment point to the importance of putting in place and enforcing an effective regulatory and policy framework on waste management. The coordination between different governmental entities and public industries is of particular importance in Egypt. In terms of capacity building, policy making and coordination require the training of human resources in public administrations to deal with the technical, regulatory and financial aspects of all relevant waste streams. This process will need to be complemented by substantial efforts that aim at creating economic instruments and involving the private sector, through schemes such as public-private partnerships. In particular regarding the management of municipal solid waste, healthcare and e-waste, it is emphasized that raising awareness on health risks and involving communities in improving the waste management system are essential factors.

Industrial waste
In Egypt a specific regulatory and policy framework is lacking with regards to the management of industrial waste. Even though some legislative provisions are in place, enforcement is weak, causing industrial waste to end up in open dumpsites mixed with municipal solid waste. Therefore, building capacities for the enforcement of regulations and for the creation of economic instruments is required. In order to overcome the weak coordination among responsible institutions it is recommended to clarify the roles of the authorities responsible for industrial waste and strengthen them considerably. A priority for Egypt’s Ministry of Environment lies in the improvement of technical and scientific capacities in private companies, public industries and administrations. Raising awareness and increasing knowledge on resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production are critical in this regard. With governments allocating only scarce resources to the management of industrial wastes, it lies within the responsibilities of the state-owned companies to treat and dispose waste in an environmentally sound manner.

Municipal solid waste (MSW)
A major challenge with regards to the management of municipal solid waste is the lack of adequate collection equipment. According to the Ministry of Environment, this is a result of both the poor maintenance and the lack of resources to increase and modernize collection and treatment equipment. Building capacities to better understand the functioning of equipment as well as to develop technical guidelines will need to go hand in hand with securing sufficient funds to manage MSW in an adequate manner. Putting in place economic instruments, such as public-private partnerships, and strengthening human resources will be fundamental in the more effective implementation and enforcement of the existing policies. Improving the coordination among governmental entities responsible for regulating and operating MSW management is also required. Raising awareness in the population about the benefits of at-source waste separation will have a crucial role in complementing the efforts undertaken at governmental and company level.

Hazardous waste
The Egyptian Ministry of Environment underlines the importance of effectively enforcing the existing policies and regulations when it comes to the management of hazardous waste. Building up human capacities and technical knowledge about cleaner production approaches, resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production are essential in this regard. The lack of knowledge about the risks of hazardous waste is widespread in the population and could be mitigated by increased awareness raising and community involvement. Complementing local efforts with resource mobilization as well as better coordination on the regulatory and policy level will be key in achieving improved results in the management of hazardous waste in Egypt.

Healthcare waste
The regulatory and policy framework that applies to healthcare waste in Egypt is weakly implemented and enforced. Mobilizing resources for strengthened enforcement and training staff in public administrations and the healthcare sector are important components for better managing this waste stream. It is fundamental to better understand the associated risks of healthcare waste and identify the appropriate technologies to dispose, collect and transport the waste to adequate facilities. Involving the community, through education and awareness campaigns, is also required to improve the overall management of this waste stream.

Egypt is lacking specific policies and regulations that give clear directions for e-waste management. In absence of a comprehensive management system, most of the e-waste is currently managed by the informal sector and civil society organizations or ends up on open dump sites, mixed with municipal solid waste. To improve the current situation it is important to build capacities in the development of waste policies and to reform the policy framework. Building the capacity for enforcing regulations and creating effective economic instruments to support the policies are further steps in establishing an effective management system for e-waste. Raising awareness on e-waste recycling and its economic and environmental benefits will also be required.

Waste plastics
The management of waste plastics is currently not dealt with in any regulatory or policy provision. With no specific policies in place, it will be essential to train policy makers to introduce the adequate reforms, aiming at better managing and utilizing waste plastics. Such an approach will have to be complemented by efforts in the industry to incorporate resource efficiency and cleaner production approaches into business practices. Allocating resources to proper waste management activities in public industries and administrations will be crucial in solving the financial constraints.