Alexandrians launch popular campaign to tackle growing garbage crisis

Alexandrians launch popular campaign to tackle growing garbage crisis
2 min read
16 Sep, 2015
Blog: Young activists in Alexandria launch a campaign to collect waste and recycle, the latest in a series of initiatives to save the city from drowning in its own refuse.
Alexandria's garbage crisis has worsened over the years [al-Masry al-Youm]
Activists in Egypt's Mediterranean city of Alexandria have launched a new campaign to collect and sort garbage as the city's waste crisis grows, local media reported.

The campaign, "Egypt will not fall into garbage", is working with plastics plants for recycling, and has already started collecting garbage in the neighbourhood of Sidi Bishr, according to the campaign coordinator, Alaa Ghonaim.

"Residents sort their garbage in plastic bags, which campaign activists collect daily from 5:00am to 7:00am," Ghonaim told local newspaper al-Masry al-Youm.

"Residents who cooperate with the campaign receive one Egyptian pound per day," he added.

"The campaign is funded by the plants benefiting from the sorted garbage."

Ghonaim also asked the governor of Alexandria, Hany el-Messiry, to support the campaign by providing the means to transport the garbage.

According to Ghonaim, the new campaign aims to expand to other governorates suffering in similar situations.

Alexandria has faced an escalating waste crisis amid poor public services for years, particularly since the 25 January 2011 revolution.

Mahmoud Azouz launched the campaign "clean your country"
to remove piles of garbage from Alexandria's streets [Twitter]

In June, Messiry issued a press statement explaining his plans to solve the city's waste crisis.

They included a long-term solution; a national project in cooperation with the Ministry of Urban Development to encourage youths to start small businesses or civil organisations responsible for collecting and recycling waste.

The new campaign, which so far consists of 30 young volunteers, matches Messiry's plans, but it is yet to receive responses and support from the governorate.

Ghonaim's campaign was not the first of its kind. In July, a Young man from Alexandria launched the campaign "clean your country" to remove piles of garbage from his city's streets after becoming fed up with official neglect and poor public services.

"We are trying to solve the problem, regardless of the reasons behind it", said Mahmoud Azouz, in a video released by the Egyptian newspaper Youm 7.

Another campaign, "Alexandria's cleanliness is our responsibility", was launched in June to collect garbage from houses and shops and transport it to the governorate's landfill.

In 2011, Alexandrians protested by putting garbage on top of the governor's car, forcing him to remove it himself.