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Qatar tribune
Rahul Preeth
The Ministry of Municipality and Environment has joined hands with Al Meera Consumer Goods Company to provide a solution to the deadly problem of used batteries ending up in landfills.
Nearly 50 bins dedicated to collecting dead batteries have been placed in select branches of the supermarket chain as part of a state-led effort to segregate waste materials.
“This is a new initiative to remove batteries from the domestic waste,” general consultant for MME’s Recycling and Waste Treatment Department Daniel Hernandez Ochoa told Qatar Tribune at Al Meera’s Al Qutaifiya Branch, where a battery bin was unveiled on Tuesday.
Currently, a majority of the zinc-carbon cells and de-lithiated cathode materials used in batteries in Qatar end up in landfills.
Over time, the covering of these dry cells corrode. The hazardous substances in the heavy metals inside will leech into the soil, contaminating ground and surface water. The contaminants could also reach the food chain through fruits and vegetables. 
The MME consultant said the batteries collected at the bin will be stored in a place until they reach commercial levels. The waste will then be taken care of by companies specialised in recycling heavy metal waste, he added.
Ochoa said the initiative will be rolled out on a larger scale if the public response to it is satisfactory. 
“If people use the bins, we will place more of them across the country,” he added.
The initiative comes on the heels of newly installed recycling machines for plastics and can products at eight Al Meera branches. 
The consumer goods company launched eco-friendly bags and an initiative to increase recycling of paper in collaboration with Elite Paper Recycling Co. 
In light of this, Eng Hamad al Bahar, Director of Recycling and Waste Treatment Dept at Ministry of Municipality and Environment, said, “Battery recycling is very important to prevent the potentially hazardous metals they may contain from damaging the environment. All of us must play our role as one community in recycling the waste we generate if we aspire to make Qatar a beautiful and modern place to live and work in.”

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