What is industrial waste?
"Any waste arising from commercial, industrial, agricultural or any other activities which, due to its nature, composition, quantity or any other reason is, hazardous potentially hazardous to human health, to plants or animals, to air, soil, or water. This includes explosives, radioactive material or flammable substances, which may cause decease as well as those issued by decision from the minister"
Where is industrial waste generated?
The waste is mostly generated in the industrial areas of Oman. Household are only expected to account for 3-4% of the total amount of industrial waste. Minor businesses are similarly only expected to contribute to approx. 5% of the total amount of industrial waste. The rest will be produced by major industries particularly in Sohar and the north coast of Oman. It is thus estimated that approx. 90% of the total amount of industrial waste (including slag) is generated in Sohar or approx. 70% of the industrial waste amount excl. slag.
Risk from untreated industrial waste?
The number of industries in Oman is growing and the Omani Government does a tremendous work to allure more foreign industries to Oman.
More industries generate more industrial waste – that is a fact that can be seen from all over the world.
The worst Oman can do is closing its eyes and not taking charge of the amount of waste is generating. In 2015 Oman will have 1,500,000 tons of untreated industrial waste, which will create a harmful situation for people and environment.
Some of the industrial waste like slag from the metal industries poses a minor risk to human health, but generally slag contains heavy metals which can accumulate in animals and humans and cause a long term effect, if not taken proper care of.
Other chemicals may cause serious deceases such as cancer, respiratory diseases etc., if not collected and treated in a proper way.
Some chemicals like cyanide, chromium VI, some pesticides has a more acute affect and can cause severe health problems or ultimately is lethal to human and animals, which can be totally avoided by proper detoxification and final treatment.
Reducing Risk Solutions
The solution is to render the industrial waste harmless so it is not posing a threat to human health and the environment.
This is done by using a few different methods like:
Neutralisation and oxidation/reduction of liquid inorganic substances such as acid and alkaline containing cyanide, chromium VI etc.
Thermal destruction of organic toxic substances Containment of residues with heavy metals by stabilisation/solidification and landfilling in an industrial waste landfill
A national strategy has been developed for Oman to tackle the particular problems with industrial waste in the Sultanate.
In the strategy it is suggested preparing a national Industrial Waste Treatment Facility, where more than 90% of the waste is treated.
The Industrial Waste Treatment Facility is expected to be an essential part of improvement of the environment as the plant majorly will treat and dispose hazardous waste from many industries. The plant will treat the particular waste streams in Oman as a whole using the most modern and well proven technology.
Healthcare waste is by its nature not recyclable, it has to be treated and either destroyed or rendered sterile.
Al Multaqa treatment plant was constructed and commissioned by MOH in December 2005 and incorporates two incineration lines each capable of destroying 2.75 tons of waste per day to European temperature and emission standards. The plant consists of two parallel incinerator lines, each with a capacity of 250 kg/hour. Each line consists of an automatic batch waste loader, primary combustion chamber (700 – 900°C), post combustion chamber (850 – 1100°C), waste heat exchanger and exhaust gas treatment system. The exhaust gas treatment system consists of a three-stage air pollution control system: dry scrubbers to neutralize acid gases (HCl, SO2 and NOx); active carbon absorption to remove dioxins, furans and heavy metals; and ceramic filters to remove particulates (the emission is below the EU emission limits for incineration plants, which is checked regularly).
In 2013 be'ah tendered for an additional treatment line to treat 2.4 tons per double shift by a process of autoclaving and shredding. The selected autoclave waste discharge meets European standards for sterility and can be disposed to an engineered Municipal landfill. The waste when treated is unrecognisable and sterile and suitable for landfilling.
The life of the incineration plant is expected to be a further 5 - 7 years by which time the national industrial waste facility shall have incineration capability for those goods which cannot be autoclaved, mostly pharmaceuticals.
Once there is alternative incineration plant for hazardous waste, the existing HCW incineration plants may be replaced by shred autoclave systems. However this will depend on the logistics of waste transport as the main centre of waste in Muscat may have moved to Barka and the new Medical City, at which point there may be an economical case for relocating the treatment to Barka engineered landfill or nearby.
The additional treatment plant was commenced in August 2014 adding the capacity of the whole facility up to 7.9 tonnes per day.
The facility utilises a system of 660 L and 240 L lockable waste containers (or bins) to collect waste from the healthcare institutions in Muscat Governorate.
The scope is to develop a national system for all of Oman for management of Healthcare Waste by taking into consideration appropriate, safe, and cost effective methods for collection, transport, treatment, storage and disposal.
To this end plans have been put in place for: