Sharjah: A construction recycling plant opened on Sunday at Al Saja'a Industrial Area, and is part of Sharjah Municipality's move to encourage recycling in the emirate.

"Our future plan includes setting up more recycling facilities for plastic, wood, glass and used tyres at a high capacity," said Dr Salah Al Haj, Director-General of Sharjah Municipality.

The plant covers 60,000 square metres, including storage space. The plant was built at a cost of Dh36 million and can manage up to 6,000 tonnes of waste a day.

However, Al Haj noted that the plant is not expected to reach its maximum capacity and will most probably manage 4,000 tonnes of waste a day.

"It is now mandatory for all construction companies to transport the waste to this particular recycling plant, and this includes the rubble from demolished buildings," said Al Haj.

Sharjah produces more than 7,000 tonnes of waste a day, where more than 50 per cent of it is made up of construction waste, according to Humaid Al Mualla, project engineer at Sharjah Municipality.

He explained that he plant receives steel, sand and concrete, in addition to all the other materials used for construction. The waste is then sorted according to size and composition, "and the recycled concrete is then sold again as gravel to build roads," said Al Mualla.

The recycled steel will be sold to construction companies at less than half the original cost.

The price for steel is approximately Dh4,500 per tonne, while the recycled steel will be sold at Dh1,500 per tonne, according to Al Mualla.

The plant has been running on a trial basis since November 2007 and recycling about 1,000 tonnes of waste a day.