Red Sea waste management system opens for construction

Ian Williamson, chief projects delivery officer of The Red Sea Development Company, joined Malek Sukkar, CEO of end-to-end waste management specialist Averda, to formally open the facility designed to handle from the construction of ‘Phase One’ of Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Project.

International waste and recycling company Averda was chosen to manage this element of the project, prioritising sustainability and innovation to meet the client’s goal of ‘zero waste to landfill’.

Malek Sukkar, Averda and Ian Williamson, Red Sea Development Company Malek Sukkar, Averda (on left) and Ian Williamson, Red Sea Development Company, at the ceremony

Phase One of the Project will see the construction of 16 luxury hotels, a new international airport, a yacht marina, leisure and lifestyle facilities, as well as supporting logistics and utilities infrastructure, including more than 80 km (50 miles) of new roads.

All forms of waste generated by this enormous undertaking have been considered in the design of the waste system.

Rubble, rock and concrete are sorted and treated by special machinery which transforms them into smaller particles. These are then being reused for other purposes, such as aggregate for building roads.

Dedicated recycling bins across the complex segregate waste, with recyclable glass, plastics, cans, paper and card being collected separately. These materials are then checked again before being baled and transferred to Saudi recyclers to be made into new products.

Food and organic waste will be turned into compost, providing nutrient-rich material for the dedicated million-square meter landscape nursery built for the project, completed last year.

Only a tiny proportion of non-recyclable, non-compostable materials remain after these processes.

To avoid landfill, this residual waste is incinerated in special, environmentally sensitive facilities, and the particles and carbon generated is captured. The resulting ash is used for the manufacture of bricks.

“We talk of waste management, but here, nothing is being wasted,” said Averda CEO Malek Sukkar.

“We are building something different, something that will be a guide and benchmark for future development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and beyond.”

Ian Williamson added: “This is a great facility. Despite the challenges of Covid-19, no excuses have been made and this project has been delivered on time and on budget.

“In my 40-year career, it’s the first time I’ve seen a facility of this magnitude built at the outset of construction.”

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