thousands of old batteries are piling up

Thousands of old batteries are piling up

At a scrapyard near Israel’s Gaza Strip, thousands of old batteries are piling up – one of many such sites in the strip set to be reduced environmental factors that define daily life.

These batteries – assembled outdoors and slowly degraded – come from old solar power and UPS backup systems, precious resources Gazans use whenever power cuts occur. To reduce the impact of thousands of tons of old batteries that have accumulated after 15 years of restrictions, environmental officials have set up five storage areas away from the population.

But some pollution spills are inevitable, adding to shipping problems in the Strip, where about 2.3 million people live in the narrow coastal zone that Israel and Egypt annexed in 2007. “Keeping batteries in the environment is dangerous,” said Ahmed Al-Manama, of the Ministry of Water Quality and Environment. “Lead can get into drinking water and battery dust can fly off and contaminate trees, plants and soil.”

For those who sell waste products regularly, they provide opportunities, and the looters who roam the streets on donkey carts, buy old batteries or drop them off at the thrift store and recycle. “We buy them from people who collect them on the street, buy them or collect them from the landfill,” a worker at the landfill told Reuters went who declined to be named said.

With Israel’s ban on the import of chemicals that can be used to make weapons, putting Gaza’s recycling facilities out of business, many old batteries are being sold to dealers who prepare them for use. Backlash is expensive and messy

Since Egypt opened its borders to the export of waste batteries to Gaza this year, about 4,000 tons have been shipped.

But about 10,000 tons remain, Manama said, and the problem cannot be solved as long as the chronic energy crisis persists. The blast produces about 60 megawatts per day from its power plant alone and gets 120MW more in Israel – which is below the planned need of 500MW.

To make up the shortfall, about 165 large diesel engines are dotted across the country, providing cheap electricity to those who can afford it and adding to chronic air pollution. Many residents also have small generators.

Mohammad Thabit, of the region’s electricity distribution company, estimates that residents have spent $2 billion on renewable energy since 2006. “Many of these methods are harmful to the environment. This has caused many injuries, deaths and property over the years,” he told Reuters. Egypt’s first agreement with Egypt recently to use offshore gas offers some hope for cheap energy in the future, but until then, most people will continue to improvise.

“Sometimes we use cell phones,” said Munir Abu Ali, a resident of the Gaza Beach refugee camp whose family uses a pair of 18-amp batteries for electricity. “Most of the time it’s dark.”

So that’s why thousands of old batteries are piling up.


Source: Reuters
Data: October 24th 2022
Place: Gaza



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