Did you know that each person in Kuwait produces about 1.5 kgs of waste per day that results to fill the tens to hundreds of hectares of landfills in Kuwait? Although there is much waste that is already accumulated, the awareness is slowly touching people through a few teams who have started various projects and organizations to crub this issue and recycle and upcycle waste. In-order to achieve the LEED Gold certificate, it was a requirement target to recycle 75% of the waste materials from the Kuwait International Airport T2 construction site and this lead Limak as the project contractor to recycle and divert this waste materials from the landfills.
The recycling project began from dedicated containers to collect and store different types of wastes at the construction site to the waste segregation areas where the waste was segregated by dedicated workers into recyclables and non-recyclables. Then this waste was sent out to recycling plants, thus resulting in diverting more than 88 % of the waste generated to recycling facilities rather than going to landfills.
It was during this ongoing recycling process that Project UCON, approached the Ministry of Public Works for a strategic sponsorship in-order for them to feature the T2 airport as a case study on Sustainability in Kuwait. Thus, the MPW assigned lead architect on terminal 2, Abrar Alebrahim the task of developing the program for Project UCON on behalf of the MPW. Arch. Abrar developed the program detailing how PROJECT UCON would best be able to shed light on Terminal 2 and then lead and formed a team with the architects from Limak, Foster+Partners, Gulf Consult and MPW and focused on producing the benches and curating the exhibition. Thus, the project was born under the strategic sponsorship from the MPW, Limak and with Platinum Sponsorships from Zain, Kuwait Portland Cement and United Steel Industrial Co.
The project was also sponsored by Gulf Consult, and Foster+Partners and several other collaborating sponsors. This was when at one of the LEED follow up team meetings on Mondays where discussions on the updates regarding the certification took place that the idea came up not only just to recycle but to also upcycle the waste generated at T2. Thus, Arch Abrar decided to develop a program to upcycle the waste that was generated at the construction site in a way as to create social awareness.
As a part of the upcycling works architects were invited to use the construction waste materials to construct pavilions that were later kept on display in Al Shaheed park for the duration of the awareness event. Those pavilions are also an innovative method to document the history of the construction and create social awareness on sustainability. The program also held talks, seminars, and upcycling workshops at the Shaheed park with the Kuwait Woman in Philanthropy Group and through collaborations with City Group, Kuwait Commute, Ru7la and Madeenah tours of Kuwait City. We do hope other buildings take similar initiatives such as T2 and that the awareness continues.
Special Thanks- To Abrar Alebrahim, Orcun Ozhelvaci & Yasmeen Alkandari who spoke exclusively to The Times Kuwait
Create began as a concept and an extension to the Kuwait Academy of Art at a time when we felt we needed to start an initiative that would give something back to the environment. It was just over coffee with a friend about 2 years back when we talked about the waste generated in Kuwait and how even if small we must do something about it. That’s how create was born in 2018 and we a small team of artists got together every week to upcycle and create our first set of products which was displayed on our Instagram and Facebook page. All the products on our page is created from something that could have gone to waste and is handmade by an artist. We use various waste materials to make our products such as CDs, wood and cloths. Our dream is to have a lot more artists join us to serve the cause and be part of our upcycling community, to spread awareness on saving our environment and of course create more useful products to convert waste into use.
Special Thanks- To Sepideh Behbehani who spoke exclusively to The Times Kuwait
Founded in 2013 Artspace was introduced in Kuwait aiming to spread art as a form of expression to all ages. Initially, we started by hosting in house workshops and camps. In time we initiated more collaborative community events also to create awareness on environmental and social aspects. Every team meeting, we brainstorm a topic that later turns into life. One such topic of the requirement was upcycling which we initiated within Artspace in 2015 to reuse the waste our studio itself produced by creating art and furniture pieces which was then included in our educational curriculums that we started teaching students. Now we host upcycling/recycling courses for kids and adults and collaborate with others for outdoors activities to create more public awareness. We hope to touch the community such that upcycling becomes a lifestyle and sustainability becomes an individual cause. It can be as simple as substituting a tote bag for plastic, for example. We hope to continue inspiring with example and influence the community on the importance of recycling and minimizing waste through our workshops and by pitching our upcycling ideas for their waste. That’s how we hope to create change, be a good influence and continue to challenge ourselves through non-familiarity yet beneficial causes.
Special Thanks- To Sarah Chouari who spoke exclusively to The Times Kuwait
Lambah Co started in 2015 as a platform for struggling artists and designers to find their desired jobs in the private sector in Kuwait. We also work towards encouraging these new graduates to continue their learning process and be advanced in their skills through our regularly organized workshops and seminars. Upcycling as a concept came about within Lambah Co when we realized how much waste we generated from our workshops and we knew we must do something about it. What started as upcycling from that workshops waste turned into the concept of re-create which we hope to organize as a yearly exhibition and competition that invite artists to upcycle then display their artwork at our exhibition. In 2018 we had a very successful event and we hope to have an even more successful event this year. I am honestly grateful that we did initiate upcycling within Lambah Co as we could see how it created vision in people to re-use and recycle and learn how they can do it on their own from our workshops. Lambah Co hopes to continue this initiative along with our core function and of course bring young talents and designers to the limelight through us.
Special Thanks- To the founder who spoke exclusively to The Times Kuwait
The Mission and Vision of The Scientific Center is focused on STEM education and environmental sustainability. The center was looking to provide an experience that combined these two concepts to educate, engage and inspire today’s youth to work towards a more sustainable future. Thus, Re-Use was introduced as part of TSC to serve this purpose. The concept has an exhibition and several workshops running until the April 6th2019 around the theme of sustainability, recycling and upcycling. The exhibition includes various exhibits like videos showing real world environmental disasters taking place in Kuwait’s waters, and plenty of information on Kuwait’s environment. They also have displays like the musical instrument section which is completely made from upcycled materials. The Workshops have a lot of activities for children and adults. Among them the most recently introduced workshop being on how children can build their own robots with recycled materials and a basketball activity where the nets and boards were made from recycled materials. It was indeed be seen that the TSC Re-Use concept is slowly influencing the people wherein even children as young as 5 are requesting their schools to integrate recycling programs and educators are seriously taking up the task.
Special thanks to Khaled M Al-Ramly who spoke exclusively to The Times
Omniya began on August 5th 2015 as an initiative of Farah Shaban, Saud Al Fozan and Sanna Al Ghemlas to spread the awareness about recycling in Kuwait when they saw that there was an actual need to recycle as the consumption levels in Kuwait increased and landfills doubled. We started by giving out boxes to schools and homes for people to collect their plastics especially water bottles. In the first year we managed to give out 40000 boxes and visited 95 schools across Kuwait to spread the awareness. Our major activities started from spreading awareness and elevating the recycling levels in the households across the community. Today Omniya as a proud winner of The Best SME business in the Gulf Region award, we are operating the first recycling plant for PET plastics and we work with all the entities we can to install collection points at schools, offices and co-operative’s where people can easily dispose their collected plastic for recycling.
Indeed, Omniya has succeed to be the change and has developed the recycling industry in Kuwait to reuse plastics at factories and in-turn reduce the plastic waste that was filling up the landfills. We hope to continue to impact the community and create awareness on recycling and in future to expand our factory to support this recycling especially the recycling of PET plastics.
Special thanks to Sana AL Ghemlas who spoke exclusively to The Times Kuwait
By Meryl Mathew
Special to The Times Kuwait