A landfill of 42 million tires in the sands of Kuwait is finally being cleaned up and recycled.
This news in itself would be a major relief to locals who have to suffer from the clouds of black smoke arising during fires. But the government isn’t stopping there. They are aiming to create a green city of 25,000 homes in line with a post-oil Persian Gulf, with a focus on sustainability and tourism.
The first step is to clear the ground. The Salmiya area, nicknamed “Rubber Mountain,” consists of hundreds of small ziggurat-like mounds of spent tires—a reaction from the one million cars which were added to Kuwait’s roads over the decade.
EPSCO Global General Trading has opened a recycling facility for the tires, where they’ve been collected, shredded, and pressed into other materials like tiling and playground flooring.
The plant opened in January of 2021, and has high hopes for exporting the recycled material out to nearby gulf neighbors.
In their place will be South Saad Al-Abdullah City, a green city characterizing a new era in the Middle-Eastern country.
“We have moved from a difficult stage that was characterized by great environmental risk,” says Oil Minister Mohammed al-Fares. “Today the area is clean and all tires have been removed to begin the launch of the project of Saad Al-Abdullah city.”
Expected to cost €3.3 billion and require 30 years to complete, the city hopes to feature green technology presumably like the kind one can see in other cities on the Persian Gulf, both existing and not.
Saudi Arabia is planning to build a zero-emissions, car-less future city that’s centered around access to big data rather than water or crops.