Recycling and Scavenging of Solid Waste Items during Israeli Sanction as Surviving Strategy for Poor Palestinians in the Gaza Strip
The Gaza Strip has an area of 365 km2 with 2 million people most of them are refugees living in poor and unhealthy conditions. The total solid waste generated in the Strip ranges between 1700-2000 tons everyday as the daily generation is 0.7-1 kg per capita per day. Due to the scarcity of land available for landfilling any means of reducing waste quantities is to be welcomed. The total MSW recycling is 74 ton/year out of 720,000 tons/year (a recycling rate 10.20 percent). Metals 114 tons, organic 469 tons, paper and card 617 tons, plastics 154 tons, glass 333 tons and cloth 622. Scavengers play an important, but usually unrecognized role in many SWM systems in the Palestinian cities, especially in recycling, as formal separation at source and selective waste collection scheme. Due to the current sanction imposed on the Gaza Strip following Hamas victory in the Palestinian election in February 2006, the international aid has been stopped, which badly affected almost all sectors of life in the Gaza Strip. In these hard circumstances, scavenging among poor communities has become a common phenomenon as a source of income as a surviving strategy for hardship cases. This paper argues that recycling and scavenging should be a wider spread practice especially in the Gaza Strip where the Palestinian are facing financial and economical constraints. The aim of this paper is to review recycling/scavenging initiatives and highlight lessons learned and identify critical gaps at the three central landfills in the Gaza Strip.
Key words - SWM, Recycling, Scavenging, Gaza Strip, Surviving Strategy