Solid Waste Management (SWM) was a challenging issue facing Bethlehem Governorate. It contributed to many pollution problems in spite of gradual improvement. There are some serious shortfalls in SWM in which are potentially causing a significant impact on the environment and public health. Wide improvements were urgently needed for the solid waste management system.
The project consisted of two components:
The first was the preparation of a solid waste master plan for serving the Bethlehem Governorate up to 2034. Focus group discussions, surveys for household residents’ and SWM program operators, on-site waste characterizations and field investigations, were conducted. Per capita, waste generation rates varied between different localities with a mean value of 0.74 kg /person/day. The average percentage of waste was organic (40.9% by weight), suggesting a strong resource recovery potential in terms of animal feed or compost. Recyclable waste (plastic, paper and card, glass and metals) made up 40% by weight of the waste composition suggesting an incentive to introduce source separation. Most localities (91.4%) in Bethlehem Governorate have a solid waste collection service.
Different options for improving the efficiency of the existing SW routing system in Bethlehem have been studied, and the optimum one has been recommended. The core change to waste collection is a proposed new system to be implemented in 18 waste catchment areas. Efficient routing of solid waste collection vehicles have been designed which will decrease costs by reducing the distances to be travelled, labourers expended for collection and the number of collection vehicles. Forty-eight dumping sites have been surveyed in Bethlehem governorate and detailed recommendations for their rehabilitation and control have been presented a detailed financial analysis of two scenarios to have a transfer station (TS) or not in Bethlehem governorate has been investigated. The analysis shows that the mean direct and indirect operating costs for the collection and transporting of one ton from Bethlehem governorate to Al Menya landfill with a Transfer station will be at a higher cost. So, the final decision was not to establish a TS and re-evaluating the need for it every 5 years.
The Master Plan recommended that the solid waste collection system for Bethlehem governorate should include construction and demolition waste in addition to the planning and construction of a sanitary landfill for these wastes. In order to reach a sustainable situation of SWM at Bethlehem governorate, different issues should be enhanced such as expertise, funding, public awareness and facilities and equipment that are currently lacking or inappropriate. SW recycling should be considered as an important option and a priority to reduce the degradation of the environment.
The second component involved the procurement of solid waste containers, waste collection equipment and building of a central maintenance station.
Comprehensive surveys in Bethlehem localities exposed the real needs of the different types of containers which includes steel and plastic waste containers, wooden dust bins for touristic areas, steel mesh basket containers for solid cardboard waste separation at source, plastic containers for butchers’ waste separation at source and a plastic container for compost at the household level. Solid Waste Containers was awarded to Al Marah Company for Industry and Trading with a Total Price of $400,234.
Surveys also exposed the need for the procurement of solid waste vehicles including compactors, large street sweeper trucks, mini street sweepers, a skid steer loader, a mini-tipper truck, a roll-on-roll-off truck and a vacuum cleaner for street litter.
The bulk of the heavy equipped was supplied by Al Assbah Company for Heavy Equipment (VOLVO).
Other suppliers included BOW Equipment Co, Palestinian Tractor & Equipment Co (CATERPILLAR), Lot 3
The surveys found that the Joint Services Council for Solid Waste Management is in dire need of a central maintenance workshop, fully equipped with tools and machinery. The Construction of the Central Maintenance Station and Administration building was constructed by Al Helo Contracting.
A public awareness campaign has been implemented during this Project. Four central workshops under the title “Towards a clean and beautiful environment in Bethlehem” that targeted related groups and individuals in Bethlehem governorate have been conducted. Workshops evaluation ranged from excellent to very good. At the end of the project, also 10 theatrical awareness plays were made in schools targeting all malpractices and encouraging good practices conducted by Al-Hara Theatre in cooperation with Al-Asbah Company – Volvo Dealer.