Bahrain Waste: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle… Rejected?

Sustainable living has been an ongoing ‘trend’ that constantly fills our social media feeds every now and then; a trend that should have been popular generations ago. And as we learn more and more about going green, the urgency to conserve our natural resources only increases as time goes on.

Most people understand the reducing waste and recycling is an environmentally critical endeavor. But how does one recycle when the recycling bins are not emptied or worse… nowhere to be found?

Residents around Bahrain have voiced out their exasperation on the ongoing recycling crisis.

“I’m trying to do my bit recycling as I get through a lot of plastic bottles, and quite often when I make the trip to the recycling bins at Alosra Amwaj – they’re overflowing with plastic and other recyclables lying on the ground. So do I leave them on the ground, take them home, or just throw back into landfill? I’m trying my best not to do the latter, and every time I see the recycling points overflowing I’m wondering why I even bother”, Charlie, a resident of Amwaj stated.

Sarah, another Amwaj resident said, “Two weeks in a row when I’ve visited the recycling spot near Alosra in Amwaj, it’s been packed full and overflowing. What am I supposed to do with all these plastics I wish to recycle?!”

Based on the survey we’ve conducted – several residents in Juffair, Mahooz and Hoora – don’t know where the recycling bins are located in their area. Although this might not seem like an important matter, the long-term repercussions of not recycling plastic waste are grave. If recycling initiatives are stopped, garbage piles up and landfills increase. This will then lead to an increase in greenhouse gases and a decline in natural resources.

 “There is more and more of a drive for being “green” and recycling across the world, but with limited places to recycle which aren’t regularly cleared – it makes difficult.”, said Mark, a resident of Juffair.

To effectively combat Bahrain’s recycling crisis, a lot more must be done. There should be a strategy for sustainable waste management on a national level. But for starters, concerned authorities must consider the installation of more recycling bins as well as the proper waste collection schedule all over Bahrain. Several awareness campaigns must also be conducted to ensure all citizens and residents stay informed.

At the root of this crisis, however, lie the massive amounts of plastic waste we generate. As individuals, we must start reducing the amount of waste we generate. Remaining informed about local recycling rules, learning to clean and sort reusable waste, consuming less or seeking out plastic alternatives wherever possible are also some simple steps we can all follow.

Recycling bins help, but to solve our waste crisis, we must work hand in hand. Let’s all help raise awareness and do our bit in saving this island we call home.