From the heated deserts of Wadi Rum to the green wetlands of Azraq water reserve it is no secret that Jordan sports some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world. Increasing numbers of people are travelling from across the globe to discover and experience the wonders of Jordanian nature, yet environmental protection and waste management is not a policy area which is highly prioritised in the country.
For Alaa Ziadeh, a 27 year old land surveying engineer, the pile up of rubbish on the streets of his city angered him and provoked an idea for change. Working from his workshop in Jabal L’weibdeh he set up ‘Ziadat4recycling’, the initiative behind Amman’s first publicly accessible recycling station.
The team at Ziadat4recycling outside their workshop in Jabal l'weibdeh. (Mo'taz Sulaiman)
Alaa and his team chose Paris circle as the first location for their recycling station, for visibility as well as convenience in terms of proximity to their workshop. The station is sectioned into three and allows for people to swing by and unload their collected plastic, paper and glass, which is then collected by the team twice weekly. The contents of the bins gets taken back to the workshop and is used to upcycle old furniture or to build creative new pieces from scratch.
Many individuals and small business in Jabal L’weibdeh have come to Ziadat4Recycling with personal orders for furniture, and now a number of cafes and restaurants in the area have installed their wonderful work. Alaa and the team say that although the reactions of the public have been largely positive, there has also been some confusion and curiosity from some as to how the bin should be used. A common and frustrating challenge that the group face is bad usage of the station. Despite clear labelling when emptying the contents they often find shawerma wrappers and regular waste in the mix. As a response to this, one of the most admirable missions of the group is to educate and inform the public on environmental protection and waste management. They are currently working on the organisation of workshops held around Jordan on the topic.
Another challenge the group faces is the transportation of materials from the recycling station to the workshop as they do not yet have their own car or van. Relying heavily on other people for transportation is stifling the amount of work they can do greatly. In the future, Ziadat4recycling hope to create and manage recycling stations in multiple locations all around Amman, as well as increase their capacity with a bigger workshop to store more materials. They hope that their work will aid in inspiring change in the culture of waste management in Amman, and contribute to ensuring a cleaner and safer city for all.
Check out their website for more information about their work and ways in which you can support the team.
The Ziadat4recycling collection box is located next to stop and shop in Duar Paris, L'weibdeh - any contributions for collected paper, glass and plastic are welcome!
Photo Credits: Mo'taz Sulaiman