The South’s Solid Waste Management Scheme

HEPCA Solid Waste Management Scheme in the south is a comprehensive one including everything from door to door collection to recycling and disposal of non-recyclables.

A- Collection

i- Resorts

HEPCA‘s southern waste collection operation is made up of five trucks, with a sixth truck to soon join the convoy. These trucks visit our 34 subscribers who are stretched out along 200km of coastline twice a day, collecting over 20 tons of waste a day. Subscribers are required to segregate organic waste from non-organic and an incentive program for further segregation is in its pilot phase with a small number of our subscribers. pic

ii- Marsa Alam City

One truck and team of workers are dedicated to the city of Marsa Alam; they cover the streets of Marsa Alam, the hotels, shops, markets, and marina. Two shifts are conducted daily, seven days a week. Street sweepers operate three times a week and extensive beach clean ups take place at least once a week. pic

B- Segregation Plots

The trucks deposit the solid waste at segregation plots; HEPCA has so far established six segregation plots, four north of Marsa Alam city, one to the west and one south of Marsa Alam in Wadi El Gemal. There is an additional one in Hamata but is yet to be fully operational. These segregation plots have been founded in areas that herders inhabit. Due to the lack of rainfall over the last two decades pastoral nomads have been under a mounting threat of extinction; this initiative has alleviated a great amount of pressure upon their mode of life and has permitted them to persist. This is one of many initiatives taken by HEPCA to support the communities of the Red Sea. (link to Community Development Section). The segregation plots are simple enclosures, fenced off by five meter high fences to trap any waste picked up by the wind. Here the waste that is classified as organic is re-segregated since it is usually waste from the restaurants and kitchens of hotels containing a significant amount of water bottles, yogurt cups, cans etc... The segregated waste is then transported to our Material Recovery and Recycling Facility (MRRF)...

C- Material Recovery and Recycling Facility

HEPCA’s MRRF is located in the Marsa Alam Industrial zone, more than fifty individuals work in the facility and are involved in the collection. The facility operates nine hours a days, seven days a week and welcomes visitors at all times. If you wish to visit our facility please contact us at info@hepca.org .

i- Segregation

The first stage the solid waste goes through is the segregation conveyer belt. The facility contains two belts on which the mixed waste is placed upon, from which the different materials are manually removed. The waste is segregated into nineteen different materials (some are divided further into subgroups):

  • Paper based
    • Cardboard
    • Scrap cardboard
    • White paper
    • Magazines
    • Newspaper
  • The first stage the solid waste goes through is the segregation conveyer belt. The facility contains two belts on which the mixed waste is placed upon, from which the different materials are manually removed. The waste is segregated into nineteen different materials (some are divided further into subgroups):
    • Iron cans
    • Soft drink cans (aluminium top & bottom)
    • Aluminium cans
    • Aluminium foil*
    • Scrap metal and electric appliances
  • Plastics
    • PET Bottles
      • Water
      • Green
      • Oil
    • Bags
    • Lids
    • Antifreeze
    • Other plastics*
  • Other
    • Glass
    • Rubber
    • White cloth
    • Wood
*Materials go through another process before compacting/ shredding

ii- Processing

All the collected materials are recycled, plastic bags are recycled on site, while the other materials are sent to specified factories in Cairo for recycling. Before being sent on, different materials are processed in different ways, and some do not require going through any further processing; while others can potentially be processed in more than one way.


Compacted Shredded Recycled Onsite Other Go no further process on site
Cardboard
Scrap cardboard
PET bottles
Iron cans
Soft drink cans
Aluminium cans
Antifreeze
Plastic bags
PET bottles
Antifreeze
The first stage the solid waste goes through is the segregation conveyer belt. The facility contains two belts on which the mixed waste is placed upon, from which the different materials are manually removed. The waste is segregated into nineteen different materials (some are divided further into subgroups): Aluminium foil
Plastics
White paper
Magazines
Newspaper
Scrap metal and electric appliances
Glass
Rubber
White cloth
Wood

At the end of the day items are either compacted or shredded in order to reduce the volume they take up during transport; this is vital in order to reduce the number of trucks travelling from Marsa Alam to Cairo in order to reduce both cost and emissions. Some materials can be shredded and packed in sacks while others are compacted. Materials such as glass cannot go through either process and are therefore transported as is. While some materials require an intermediate step between the segregation belt and the processing phase such as plastics which require further segregation and aluminium foil which customarily contains leftover food and therefore are spread out and sundried before being compacted.

iii- Recycling

Paper, aluminium, glass, plastic, steel and tin are all recyclable and the incredible results have so far proven that recycling really does make a difference and dramatically helps to reduce daily damage to the environment, including our carbon footprint. Currently only plastic bags are recycled at the facility, the next phase of development will be the recycling of some hard plastics. The recycling process of plastic bags is a four stage process. Plastic bags are initially washed, rinsed then sundried.

The dried bags are then shredded after being segregated by colour; usually they go through two stages of shredding.

The shredded plastics are then placed into the pelleting machine which melts the plastic and ejects them as small pellets.

The pellets are then placed into the film machine which melts the pellets and spreads the plastic into a sheet of film into which air is blown to create a cylinder which is cooled by the air leaving us with a very long plastic cylinder (100m in length). This cylinder is then cut using a hot blade which welds the edges shut making a plastic rubbish bag.

D- Disposal

The materials that cannot be recycled which compose less than 20% of the non-organics are transferred to the local landfill.