CAIRO: The governorate of Cairo amended the terms of its contract with AMA Arab Environmental Company (AAEC) — an Italian waste management firm responsible for western and northern Cairo — that will increase the company’s responsibilities.
Ahmed Ali, head of the Cairo Cleanliness and Beautification Body (CCBB), says that the contractual changes will lead to a leap forward in the level of cleanliness on the streets of Cairo.
Cairo has faced ongoing problems with pollution and, in recent years, has witnessed an increased amount of garbage.
Hanan Roshdy, the secretary of the Environmental Protection Association, says that the foreign firms that the governorate uses do not perform their jobs well.
“They do not collect the garbage from every apartment, they only take the garbage from the collection points,” said Roshdy.
Roshdy added that, while the original garbage collectors used to separate solid garbage that can be recycled from soft garbage, the foreign firms bury all the garbage whether it is recyclable or not.
Ali says that the new contract requires the AAEC to collect garbage from every apartment, and that AAEC workers must personally transport the garbage to the city’s garbage collection points prior to the final disposal of the waste.
The new contract also increases the number of workers and machinery utilized by the AAEC, with each district having separate quotas according to the respective district’s particular needs. The contract further requires the AAEC to operate seven days per week, starting at 7 am everyday. It also changes the payment strategy for the firm.
“Instead of being paid according to the days of work, the firm will be paid according to the number of tons of garbage that it collects, which is an additional incentive for it not to leave any garbage behind,” says Ali.
According to Ali, the AAEC started implementing the terms of the new contract in six districts, and will soon implement them in the seven districts that remain. The new payment incentive strategy for the AAEC will take effect in six months.
Abdel Azeem Wazir, the governor of Cairo, says that the new contract also requires that the company not differentiate between side streets and main streets in its work.
Negotiations are on the way with the FCC, the company responsible for waste management in East Cairo, to amend its contract as well.
Al Fostat, the waste management company responsible for South Cairo and the only Egyptian waste management firm operating in Egypt’s capital, will receive additional support from the CCBB, according to Ali.
“Since the firm is a subsidiary of the [CCBB], we will give it more support by increasing the number of workers and equipment,” Ali said.
Ali added that there are ongoing negotiations with Arab Contractors Company to cooperate with Al Fostat in the management of waste in South Cairo.
Wazir says that efforts are on the way to create environmental monitoring units in all districts of Cairo, which will be responsible for supervising the work of the waste management firms and ensuring that they abide by the requirements of their contracts.
The monitoring units will supervise the firms 24 hours per day in three shifts, and will be responsible for finding violations, ensuring that the waste management firm in violation corrects the problem within the same shift, and enforcing the required penalties if the waste management company fails to do so, according to Wazir.
The AAEC signed its original 15-year contract with the Cairo governorate in 2003 for LE 52 million per year. The services required by the contract included waste collection from houses, cleaning and washing public streets, the collection and proper disposal of medical waste, management of the compost factory, and the establishment of a sanitary landfill.