And why not?
I’m assuming that quite a large percentage of people in normal households of Kuwait would say no. After all, should they even consider recycling, where would they take their recycled garbage to anyway? Garbage sorting and collecting isn’t that exciting nor that maintained in households where house help exists. Sure, when we travel and we are forced by the laws of the country we are in we do indeed recycle, as painful sometimes as it seems, and they say its better for the environment and I’m not negating that for it must have a tangible effect on the planet of entire countries enforce them, so why not here in Kuwait?
Personally, I’ve wanted to recycle ever since I’ve read about the word in the 90’s. It wasn’t until our work place enforced the three-bin policy in every cubicle that I did actually, and religiously, recycle everyday. Some nay sayers would laugh and say who really does recycle and do you expect anyone to actually collect the recycled garbage separately and deliver them to where they’re supposed to be delivered? I always reply that I don’t really care, our role as humans is to develop the habit of recycling, the role of whomever enforces and collects the recycled trash is to make sure it is processed in the correct way. So, I recycle when I travel, I recycle when I’m at work, what really bothered me is that I didn’t recycle at home because I never knew where to take my recycling should I decide to recycle.
Then one day I was driving around Ahmadi, I love to drive between the teeny tiny slanted red-roofed houses and the little alleyways in between. I adore Ahmadi and it is always a pleasure to be there. In any case, I was driving around one day last October when I realised that, in front of each and every house there is not one, not two, but four garbage canisters! Gathered together with the KOC logo and the words recycle! Lucky Ahmadi dwellers have their very own recycling garbage bins right at their doorsteps! I couldn’t resist taking the snapshot of one of the houses above!
Now tell me, why would the governance or municipality or whomever is responsible for Ahmadi houses welfare go through the trouble of providing recycling bins to each and every house if there wasn’t real and actual recycling schemes going on in Kuwait? Somewhere? I’ve asked this many times before, in fact during one of my early years of blogging back in 2010 I did post a questions about recycling in Kuwait but now, in 2016, I’m glad to say I am indeed now recycling at home as well as in my office. How am I recycling at home?
Well, since I’m moving house again and I have no time to buy unnecessary household items I’ve resorted to allocating big sturdy bags to keep -clean- separate recyclables in, each to its own category. One for plastics, one for magazines and newspapers, one for glass jars, and one for cans. Garbage garbage -like food waste- can go into the old style garbage but anything can, plastic, paper, or jar gets cleaned first if it was dirty and then put in its own bag for collection. It wasn’t easy in the first couple of weeks, especially since I couldn’t get my husband on board and more often than not I found him throwing the “wrong” kind of garbage in the old garbage can absentmindedly. Now, I often find glass or plastic packaging kept aside for collection by myself to put into the recycling bags.
Because those recyclables are clean, we can keep them for longer than the average garbage that rots away -which we can make into compost for gardening but we might want to have a garden to start with, perhaps in a few years time!-. Anyway, once we gather up a good amount of things, we take them away to a collection of big blue recycling canisters that can be found across several residential areas in Kuwait and then we throw away the recycled items, each in its own category as you can see from the picture above. It is not easy locating those big blue recycling cans, the ones in Zahraa area I found by mistake in the parking lot of a school, believe it or not, and not near the co-op for example and I don’t know why but since I’ve decided to commit to recycling schemes I am willing to drive there and do my part for the environment.
So, do I recycle in Kuwait? Yes I do. I wish one day we will have separate garbage cans in front of each house or at least in each neighbourhood for everyone to do their part and recycle, and I do have faith that once these items are collected they will not be mixed together in one big garbage haul and are actually processed right, but for now I have no excuse not to recycle. It is not easy, especially in big households with busy families and house help but with a little bit of patience and practise and easy facilitation of recycling, it is indeed doable and I think its about time, don’t you think?
So what about you? Do you recycle in Kuwait? And how?