Recycling has become a priority in modern waste management, however unfortunately it is not common practice in Jordan. On average, each Jordanian generates 1.5 kilograms of solid waste each day, which equates to 14,000 tons of solid waste created each day throughout the country. Only 20% of the solid waste reaches landfills, with the rest ending up in the streets polluting the environment. Furthermore, the Syrian crisis has added an extra 1.4 million people to our population, which has increased the pressure on our environment.
Recognising that behaviour change regarding waste is required, the Jordan Red Crescent in cooperation with the IFRC, has developed the Keep Amman Clean project. The project will install ‘reverse vending’ machines, where residents can recycle plastic bottles and aluminium cans, and receive a reward incentive voucher. The recycling machines will have touch screen capabilities, and the user will have an option of keeping their incentive rewards, or donating them to the Jordan Red Crescent or our partners. This innovative solution is a first in the Middle East within the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement , and has won the Dubai International Humanitarian Award for its use of cutting edge technology.
However, the machines are just one part of this project. The Keep Amman Clean project is focused on creating long term behavioural change regarding solid waste. To achieve this, thirty volunteers will be trained to facilitate the programme, helping householders and the local school community to understand the issues of environmental stewardship. The volunteers will be encouraged to participate in the design, implementation and monitoring of the project, and to speak with their family, friends and colleagues about the issues of environment and waste. This approach will build the knowledge and skills to organise the community, fostering people to be their own agents of change, and encouraging social and community mobilisation.
The three objectives of the programme are:
- To increase the understanding, appreciation and use of recycling methods within one district of Amman, spreading the culture of recycling, installing positive lifelong habits.
- Improve education about environmentally friendly waste management through a waste recycling programme in five local schools.
- Introduce recycling incentives using the reverse vending machine technology. It is anticipated this initiative will reduce the level of solid waste in the streets by 80%, improve environmental awareness and motivate people to recycle their waste.
The project is currently in procurement phase and, after a testing period, is proposed to be rolled out across the country.