Kuwait announced on Sunday their plans to transform what was once a “tire graveyard” into a new residential city.
The 2-square-kilometre (0.7-square-mile) dump in the north of the oil-rich Gulf country was where tires went to die, a total of more than 40 million tires are there today. Seventeen years of tire dumping and three massive fires between 2012 and 2020 sparked environmental concerns, prompting the authorities to shut it down for good.
“We have moved from a difficult stage that was characterised by great environmental risk,” Oil Minister Mohammed al-Fares said at the now empty landfill some five kilometres (three miles) from Al-Jahra province. “Today the area is clean and all tires have been removed to begin the launch of the project of Saad Al-Abdullah city.”
In past months, trucks loaded with tires have made in excess of 44,000 trips from the landfill to Al-Salmi region, near Kuwait’s industrial area, where Fares said they will be temporarily stored. He said the tires will be cut or repurposed for local use or for export, adding that storage would meet “international standards… in case of fire.”
According to Sheikh Abdullah Al-Sabah, director general of the Environment Public Authority, Kuwait plans to recycle all the tires and avoid the need for another landfill. “There is already a factory today that repurposes them, and we hope to find other manufacturer to contribute to help end the tires issue,” he told AFP.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: ARAB TIMES ONLINE