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THE COUNTRY & THE ENVIRONMENT - WASTE MANAGEMENT

Environmental research projects given go-ahead
posted on 22/07/2014

Innovations in recycling, waste management and water purification are to be given the go-ahead this autumn at Sharjah's Gulf Ecosystem Research Centre.
Founded in 2012, the centre was created through a collaboration between Bee'ah, a waste management company, and the American University of Sharjah (AUS), with the company granting Dh30 million over five years to support scientific research that could bring immediate improvements in the way waste is managed as well as other environmental issues.
"This is an example of how industry and academia can develop a strong partnership to benefit the environment and society,” said Meera Taryam, director of environmental services and education at Bee'ah.
The centre would fill data gaps in the field of environmental research, said Ms Taryam, who added that the funding would be used to benefit projects that could have immediate practical applications, although work to answer broader scientific questions might be supported later.
The collaboration is under the patronage of Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council member, Ruler of Sharjah and president of the university.
About 13 bids for research were received after the centre's first call for proposals opened in spring this year, said Ms Taryam.
She said that the research centre's advisory board was likely to give final approval to selected proposals at the start of the new academic year in September. The advisory board is made up of six members representing Bee'ah and AUS.
Dr Nabil Jabbar, director of the Gulf Ecosystem Research Centre and a professor of chemical engineering at the university, said recycling, water treatment and air pollution control would be the main issues for the centre.
Among the projects under review is research into the treatment of water containing oily residues left over by industry. Another will look at developing concrete from recycled construction and demolition waste aggregate.
"These projects are important in terms of waste treatment and also finding an end product that can minimise the use of raw materials,” said Dr Jabbar.
The faculty involved in the projects had already received initial feedback, related to the scientific merits and the timelines and budgets of the works, and some of the projects have been augmented, he said. "We hope that by autumn 2014 we will be able to kick off these projects.”
While the university funds faculty research, the new centre would allow for more focused work on environmental issues, said Dr Jabbar.
"We have this done already in the university, but now our centre is taking on research that is directly targeting the environment,” he said.
Bee'ah was established in 2007 with the support of the Sharjah government in a move to improve waste management in the emirate.
Since its formation, the company has organised emirate-wide recycling schemes. It has facilities to process construction and demolition waste, old tyres and, since February, scrap cars.
The company is working on building a waste-to-energy facility where rubbish collected from Sharjah that could not be recycled will be burnt, with the heat collected used to produce power.
The U.A.E. has one of the highest rates of waste generation in the world.
Figures from 2010 compiled by the Centre of Waste Management – Abu Dhabi show that residents in that emirate produced between 1.8 and 2.4 kilograms of waste per day – almost half of that produced in the United Kingdom in the same time. The figures are representative for the rest of the U.A.E.. – The National – Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/environmental-research-projects-given-go-ahead

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DM starts door-to-door waste recycling drive
posted on 24/04/2014

Waste headed to landfills in Dubai is set to reduce. Dubai Municipality's (DM) waste management department has announced the expansion of its door-to-door project ‘My City… My Environment', a drive that will ensure more areas in Dubai segregate waste at source, recycle it and thus reduce waste sent to landfills. DM has chosen Dulsco, Averda and Trashco as its strategic partners for the project.
Abdul Majeed Saifaie, Director of waste management department, said that the programme will see volunteers visiting houses in the identified areas and explaining the complete process with regard to this initiative. Residents will also be informed about the campaign through public education activities, road shows, talk shows on radio, posters and banners explaining the importance of the initiative, he further said.
Every house will be given two 240-litre colour-coded green and black bins. Each bin will carry clear instructions. Green bins will be meant for recyclables such as plastic containers, cardboard boxes (flattened out), newspapers, magazines, books, papers, mineral water / glass / plastic bottles (emptied out), aluminium and metal cans, milk and juice bottles. The black coloured bins are meant for all other types of ‘general' waste such as leftover food, vegetable and fruit skins, meat, dairy products, fish waste, disposable cups, trays, containers, paper towels, napkins, eggshells, nutshells etc., he said.
The drive will cover Jumeirah 1, 2 and 3, Al Safa 1 and 2, Umm Suqueim 1, 2 and 3, Al Manara, Umm Al Seif and Al Barsha 2 and 3. "General Waste will be collected daily and recyclables will be collected on alternate days.”
"The Dubai Municipality will discontinue the large trolley waste bins service. Such waste bin trolleys that are placed on the streets will not be visible on road post May 15, 2014 in these areas,” Saifaie added.
The waste collection and recycling service for residents is an initiative that will educate the public and help the municipality efficiently recycle household waste.
Saifaie said: "Dubai adheres to global standards when it comes to cleaner and greener environment. As we are moving forward to host World Expo 2020, our aim is to make Dubai clean and green. Hence, we have launched several such initiatives to create a healthy ecosystem. We are confident that this unique initiative will be a great success with the help of public support. In fact, Dubai residents have always shown great support for anything we do to encourage more recycling in this city”.
In recent years, the Dubai Municipality has encouraged private players to actively support waste collection and transportation. At present, around 70% of the total waste in Dubai is collected by private sector for recycling. – Khaleej Times – Read more: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?xfile=data/nationgeneral/2014/April/nationgeneral_April182.xml§ion=nationgeneral

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Plastic waste turns a death trap for animals in UAE
posted on 16/04/2014

Deaths of wild animals caused by their by ingesting discarded waste, especially plastics, is increasing in the UAE's deserts as the discarded rubbish is reaching epidemic proportions, underlining the need for more deterrent measures, according to prominent UAE-based scientist, Dr. Ulli Wernery.
"You have plastic in your stomach, it disintegrates slowly and releases a lot of different poisons and then it damages and destroys mainly the intestines and the liver," Dr. Wernery, who is the Scientific Director at Dubai's Central Veterinary Research Laboratory (CVRL), said.
"Death by plastic, a modern phenomenon, takes months, if not years, in most cases, and happens in one of three excruciating ways," Dr. Wernery said in an article published by the Khaleej Times daily. He said that in the first, and most commonplace way, the animal ingests plastic over the course of years that cannot be digested. The plastic sits in the animal's stomach, making it think it is full, so it fails to eat, eventually starving to death. The second way is an obstruction of the animal's intestines, which causes it to die within 48 hours. The third, another long-term death that causes much suffering, is via poisoning.
"With increasingly more campers exploring the UAE's wadis comes more pollution and things are getting worse," he said, "[We need] zero tolerance, and you've got to fine these people, they have to feel it in their pocket, otherwise they will not change." The paper went on to say that it is not just desert animals that are dying, but also marine life, with widely-publicised cases of turtles eating plastic bags that appear to be jellyfish in the motion of the sea.
Dr. Wernery says there is evidence to suggest polar bears and birds that have fed on fish contaminated with tiny particles of broken down plastic, called nurdles, have had their sexual hormones affected, causing a low rate of reproduction or an increased likelihood of male newborns.
This kind of issue is common across the globe, the German scientist says. "Everybody knows that it's bad and getting worse and worse. It's a global problem." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

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CWM-Abu Dhabi joins hands with Masdar to launch EcoWASTE 2014
posted on 29/12/2013

Hosted by Masdar and held in partnership with the Centre of Waste Management - Abu Dhabi (CWM), the Emirate's first international waste management exhibition, entitled "EcoWASTE 2014", will run from 20th-22nd January during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).
Organised by Reed Exhibitions Middle East, EcoWASTE 2014 will bring together leading local and international providers, buyers and industry professionals from the sustainable waste management and recycling sector, and the event will address the challenges posed by increasing waste levels in the region and look to offer inventive, eco-friendly solutions.
Issa Saif Al Qubaisi, General Manager of the Centre of Waste Management - Abu Dhabi, said, "This exhibition has been organised in line with the CWM's strategic objectives to stimulate the participation of stakeholders in the waste management sector. Our efforts will focus on highlighting the Emirate as one of the most environmentally responsible cities in the world for its adoption of sustainable development practices across diverse sectors." Al Qubaisi added, "CWM- Abu Dhabi continually develops and implements sustainable and integrated systems and programmes that are aligned to best global standards for waste management. Co-hosting EcoWASTE 2014 underlines our keenness to improve our track record and apply methodologies that enable us to accomplish our strategic objectives. Through such participation, we hope to achieve safe, effective and economical waste management in various parts of Abu Dhabi." Hani Hossni, EcoWASTE Committee Chairman, Strategy and Business Development Sector Director at CWM, said, "The debut edition of the exhibition will bring together regional and international experts working in the waste management sector from numerous countries that have acquired leadership status for environmentally sustainable practices, such as the United States and Sweden. These experts from both private and public sectors will exchange experiences, ideas and best practices to facilitate new business opportunities." "On the sidelines of EcoWASTE 2014, workshops will highlight best practices in waste management and share updates on modern technology solutions. The event will feature a series of expert-led lectures on sustainability and waste management. Aiming to engage the participation of school students, the Abu Dhabi Education Council will join hands with CWM and Masdar to host awareness talks on the importance of recycling and the implementation of eco-friendly practices in the vicinity of schools and residences", Hosni added.
The Centre of Waste Management - Abu Dhabi is the main government entity responsible for all activities related to the development, collection, maintenance, transportation, and processing of waste in safe, efficient and economical ways, and applies sustainable and integrated systems on a par with the best global standards in order to ensure quality waste management services in Abu Dhabi. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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UAE devises green strategy to unify existing policies
posted on 18/12/2013

A road map for a cleaner and greener UAE is ready and will be presented to the Cabinet next week.
The National Green Growth Strategy aims to unify the seven emirates' environment policies and develop initiatives in seven key sectors across the country.
"This week we had our last committee meeting,” said Dr Rashid bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water. "This week or the next, we will present it to the Cabinet.
"Last year we had a national dialogue with all sectors on ways to transform the UAE economy into a green economy, concentrating on the important sectors. All sectors have agreed on a road map and the means to achieve it.”
Dr bin Fahad was speaking in Dubai to announce the UAE's hosting of the first Global Partnership for Action on Green Economy conference in March next year.
The event, organised with the United Nations Environment Programme, will see world leaders, corporations, scientists and researchers convene in Dubai.
It will build on last year's Rio+20 UN conference in Brazil on sustainable development.
"Green economy is considered as one of the important solutions to solve and rectify the impacts of development on the environment,” Dr bin Fahad said.
"We in the UAE are already green and having such a conference is testimony of the UAE's progress. It is for the world to see for themselves the UAE's projects on sustainability and green economy.
"Having this conference supports the UN's efforts and is for us to learn from other countries.”
The ministry this year announced it would develop a unified green action plan within the next nine months for the oil and gas, water and electricity, transport, building, waste, planning and agricultural sectors.
The Green Growth Strategy for Sustainable Development was launched in January last year by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.
The new national plan will help integrate the initiatives of the seven emirates, said Aisha Al Abdooli, the ministry's acting assistant Under Secretary for environment affairs.
"We thought we should have all the initiatives under one umbrella. If we have scattered initiatives here and there, you are not serving the purpose,” Ms Al Abdooli said.
"We want to boost the UAE at the international level. The beauty of this strategy is that it builds on existing policies.”
She said that after the strategy was approved by the Cabinet this month, its implementation would begin across the different sectors.
The UN said the Dubai conference would help to create a plan of action for the international community.
"The concept of green economy is mushrooming across the globe,” said Achim Steiner, Under Secretary and executive director of the UN programme.
"The answers we have to find in this day and age will be different from that of the 20th century.
"We are looking forward to this first global conference being the premier platform in which leaders, pioneers, practitioners, policymakers and ministers will come together to assess how successful these policies are, which ones are likely to be replicable in other countries and what can be done for one another.”
Mr Steiner said green economy was not an ideology.
"It is a set of principles that recognise the scientific realities we know today about the limits to pollution and the limits of using nature in a way that will ultimately destroy it if it is not sustainable use,” he said. – The National
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DM monitors private sewage treatment plants
posted on 22/11/2013

Dubai Municipality has intensified its efforts in environmental monitoring of sewage treatment plants operated by private companies.
The move is aimed at preserving the quality of the environment in the emirate of Dubai to ensure the health and safety of society as determined by Dr. Abdul Salam Mohammed Saleh, Head of the Environmental Monitoring Section of Dubai Municipality.
Dr. Abdul Salam said, "The civic body has taken notice of some complaints from the public regarding the odour emerging from areas of certain investment companies. We have already taken action on these companies and asked them to operated in accordance with the approved standards by DM in this field." "The municipality will never allow these plants to disturb the public in any situation. All private sewage treatment plants in the emirate of Dubai, including free zones and real estate development areas, should get the correct environmental permission issued by the Environment Department of Dubai Municipality prior to construction of the plants," he added.
"The Municipality will take stringent action against violators as per the rules and regulations," he warned. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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ADSSC receives Hall of Fame award in USA
posted on 08/11/2013

Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company, ADSSC has become the first government institution in Abu Dhabi Emirates to receive Hall of Fame Award for Executing Strategies in Utility and Energy Category at Palladium's Annual Global Submit in Boston, USA.
The award witnessed 15 pioneer organisations from USA, Middle East, Asia, Europe and Africa that achieved dramatic performance outcomes through outstanding strategy execution.
Abdulla Ali Musleh Al Ahbabi, ADSSC Chairman on the occasion said," This award is the fruit of ADSSC efforts since 2005 that goes in line with its strategic plan and serves to fulfill the wise vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Ruler of Abu Dhabi and direction of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Chairman of the Executive Council and followed by H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Vice Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.
The ADSSC strategy is closely aligned with Abu Dhabi 2030, which reflects the ambition of Abu Dhabi Emirate to develop economically, socially and environmentally and enhance the living standards in the Emirate in a number of initiatives that encourages and directs development.
According to Mubarak Obaid Al Dhaheri DMD of ADSSC, the recognition was a result of continual efforts of applying Balanced Scorecard doctrines in all ADSSC systems. Also, continuous development of ADSSC strategy that goes in line with required modernisation to ensure local and global recognition.
Alan Thomson, ADSSC MD and Nader Assad Taher, Strategic Planning and Communication Acting Head received the award on behalf of the Chairman.
The Hall of Fame award honours organisations that have achieved excellence in strategy execution through the use of the Balanced Scorecard, the world's pre-eminent strategy management system.
ADSSC is the first government entity in Abu Dhabi Emirate to be awarded in the Utilities and Energy Category and the fifth to obtain the award in the Emirate. The General Secretariat of the Executive Council, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Abu Dhabi Police GHQ and Abu Dhabi Education Council have been previously recognised. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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New drive to promote recycling in Sharjah
posted on 18/10/2013

Beeah, the environmental and waste management company has launched a month-long residential engagement campaign called "Recycle for a Greener Sharjah” to educate the residents of Sharjah about effective waste management, recycling and the negative effects of improper waste disposal.
With last year's awareness campaign results showing a rise in residential recycling levels from 40 per cent to over 52 per cent, the campaign, which started on September 20, hopes to make a positive impact on recycling rates by the end of the year by reaching a higher number of people. Beeah also aims to reach its zero-waste goal for Sharjah by 2015.
"The residents of Sharjah and the UAE have only begun to realise the urgent need for solid waste solutions and this campaign will encourage community members to become active participants in efforts to reduce waste through recycling,” said Khalid Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Beeah.
In addition to the campaign, awareness programmes and education initiative, the Bee'ah School of Environment, which has already reached and educated 164,000 students in over 200 schools across Sharjah, will continue to educate children and young adults in the UAE about the adverse effects of improper waste disposal.
Beeah will also be placing over 25 additional Reverse Vending Machines (RVMs) for plastic bottles, aluminium cans and used light bulbs at the Sharjah Cooperative Society outlets and other locations to encourage recycling. - Gulf News

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First laboratory in UAE to process plastic bags for biodegradability
posted on 16/09/2013

Ajman has completed preparations for the first advanced laboratory in the UAE that measures the decomposability level of the plastic bags and converts them into biodegradable plastic bags.
Plans for inaugurating the new laboratory were made following the Ajman local order number 3 for the year 2010 to ban the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags.
Prior to inaugurating the laboratory, the specialist from the food and environment laboratory of Ajman Municipality paid a visit to a specialised company in the UK to test the devices used in measuring the level of decomposability of the plastic bags and ways of turning them into a recycle material.
The advanced device can take up to 95 per cent of plastic samples that will initially be exposed to UVA rays followed by high oven temperatures which will decompose the poisonous substances.
It is also worth mentioning that Ajman Municipality has been awarded the Golden Award for ideas organisation in the US for implementing and spreading greenery in the emirate and launching environmentally friendly projects.
Sheikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, chairman of Ajman Municipality, has expressed his happiness by tweeting and felicitating the emirate of Ajman for winning the golden award of the US ideas organisation for the greenery implementation category of the award.
Ajman Municipality has successfully carried out the project aimed at curbing the usage of non-recyclable plastic bags. By 2021 Ajman Municipality plans to make the emirate free of plastic bags while warning society members of the environmental harm caused by the usage of non-recyclable plastic bags. – The Gulf Today
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Centre of Waste Management - Abu Dhabi and Masdar announce EcoWASTE2014
posted on 10/09/2013

The Centre of Waste Management - Abu Dhabi and Masdar have launched a new international exhibition dedicated to waste management and recycling, to be held during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week next January.
EcoWASTE, hosted by Masdar, Abu Dhabi's renewable energy company, together with the Centre of Waste Management - Abu Dhabi (CWM), and organised by Reed Exhibitions, will address the region's waste disposal challenges to further promote sustainable development and environmental conservation.
EcoWASTE was officially launched yesterday by Majid Al Mansouri, Board Member at the Centre of Waste Management - Abu Dhabi and Chairman, Department of Municipal Affairs (DMA),; Mohamed J. Al Ramahi, Chief Operating Officer of Masdar and Frederic Theux, President of Reed Exhibitions Middle East.
Mohammed Al Bowardi, Chairman of CWM; highlighted the importance of coordinated action in realising sustainable waste management and Abu Dhabi's overarching Vision 2030.
"CWM is mandated to develop and implement an integrated waste management system for Abu Dhabi. At the same time, the issues of waste management and recycling affect the entire Middle East and are global in scale. EcoWASTE will be a valuable opportunity to bring together local knowledge and international expertise to advance innovation and best practice in this field." H.E Dr Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar said the addition of EcoWASTE to Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week alongside the World Future Energy Summit and International Water Summit underlines the continued emergence of Abu Dhabi as a global platform to promote the wider adoption of sustainable development.
Dr Al Jaber stated that the inclusion of EcoWASTE alongside the World Future Energy Summit recognises that recycling and the conversion of waste materials into power is vital for long-term energy and environmental sustainability. "With its productive output and efficient conversion rate, waste-to-energy is emerging as an attractive clean energy source. EcoWASTE, as a part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, is the ideal platform to showcase the latest global technologies making this sector more efficient." "The UAE government is very supportive of developing a waste-to-energy strategy as a key green growth technology and recognises that these technologies have the ability to provide a renewable source of energy as well as minimise its landfill challenges. The government is conducting a federal-level review of waste-to-energy technology and policy which will guide the sector into the future," said Dr Al Jaber.
"EcoWASTE will offer a number of business opportunities across the entire solid waste management services sector, introducing new projects, showcasing the latest technologies and sharing knowledge and expertise from both the public and private sector," said Frederic Theux, President of Reed Exhibitions Middle East.
"Co-locating EcoWASTE with the World Future Energy Summit and the International Water Summit in Abu Dhabi provides the most comprehensive exhibition platform yet from which to address sustainable development issues, by effectively integrating the critical need to reduce the environment impact of waste with the importance of managing water resources and the production and consumption of energy more responsibly." Theux said: "Waste management and recycling are rapidly emerging industries and EcoWASTE2014 will host a wide range of specialists offering solutions tailored to the needs of the MENA region, including experts in industrial cleaning, refuse collection, composting, site decontamination, and air pollution monitoring and control." EcoWASTE2014 will be held from January 20-22, 2014 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Bee'ah teams up with SAP to achieve zero-waste target
posted on 10/09/2013

To achieve its ambitious target of zero-waste to landfill by 2015 in Sharjah, and its plans to expand operations across the Middle East, Bee'ah, environment and waste management company, has become one of the first government entities in the Middle East to adopt mobile-enabled solutions by joining forces with the world's leading business software company, SAP.
"Bee'ah is proud to be leading the way for waste management in the region, and we are always looking for new ways to improve our performance and future prospects," said Salim Al Owais, chairman, Bee'ah.
According to a report in local daily, The Gulf Today, the company will also become the first of its kind to run on solutions from SAP in an effort to streamline its operations and waste management activities, and by implementing SAP, the company will also benefit from the automation of a host of key processes, added analytical insight and increased operational flexibility. A further phase will incorporate SAP's industry-specific waste management software, to potentially include municipal billing solutions, route and district management, real-time mobile order management, as well as process integration for improved speed and reduced costs.
Earlier this year, the company implemented GPS vehicle tracking and computerised route-optimisation systems to maximise service productivity and develop more efficient routes for waste collection
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CWM-Abu Dhabi launches 12-part cartoon series to develop waste management culture
posted on 25/08/2013

The Centre of Waste Management Abu Dhabi (CWM) has launched a campaign titled 'Khadrah and Soudah', as part of its endeavours to develop a waste management culture in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The initiative comes as part of the centre's on-going awareness programs to educate the residents of Abu Dhabi on the importance of reducing waste production and promoting its reuse and recycle.
The campaign includes a 12-part cartoon series titled 'Khadrah and Soudah' (Arabic for green and black) that additionally helps raise awareness on CWM's campaigns and services while spotlighting the concepts of public safety and preservation of the environment.
The series offers solutions to reduce waste production at source and maintain the highest levels of hygiene that Abu Dhabi endorses.
The sequels will also emphasize on the need to adopt best sustainability practices, as well as the concepts of reduce, reuse and recycle.
The first of the series aims to educate the general public on the need to replace the old, open and unhygienic waste bins that are characterized as 'Feddah'. The green bin is referred to as 'Khadrah' while the black bin is named 'Soudah'. The plot narrates the negative consequences resulting from the use of 'Feddah' such as increased pollution and high exposure to diseases.
The Centre of Waste Management Abu Dhabi focuses on the promotion of best practices in waste management, including, reuse, recycling and waste segregation at source. The Centre continuously runs educational and awareness initiatives for Abu Dhabi citizens and community in line with the highest international, regional and local practices. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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From Waste to Energy: Landfill site generates electricity - first in the region
posted on 01/08/2013

Dubai Municipality's largest waste collection site in Al Ghusais started producing electricity on Monday night, becoming the first landfill in the region to run its entire operation with electricity generated from landfill gas.
This is the first time in the Middle East that landfill gas has been converted to generate electricity through the flaring of methane, which is also in line with Dubai Municipality's vision to generate 20MW of power from landfill gas by 2020.
The Municipality's ambitious waste-to-energy project through a landfill gas recovery plant at the site which opened in January, is now producing1MW (1000KW) of electricity to run the high-efficiency gas conversion and flare equipment installed the plant, power for the site offices and lighting at the landfill, spread over an area of 3.5 sq. kilometres, according to reports by local dailies yesterday.
"With Dubai's bid to host the World Expo 2020 going full steam ahead, we are further highlighting our leadership in creating innovative solutions for the future through the project. This 2020 project is set to produce 20MW of power by the turn of the decade," said Eng Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality.
"The project also complements the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 to explore alternative energy sources that will reduce demand on the existing power grid, while protecting the environment," explained Lootah.
The Al Ghusais Landfill site adopts the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) initiative, which is registered with the United Nations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Through implementing the CDM project, the municipality aims to reduce methane emissions, which is expected to remove 250,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year from the air.
The gas collection system implemented by Green Energy Solutions and Sustainability for the Municipality can recover methane emitted from organic waste and convert it into electricity by flaring gas.
"This environmentally-friendly project involves turning methane gas into electricity, and this is the first stage of transferring electricity to feed the plant and the landfill from 500 cubic metres of methane gas into one megawatt," said Eng Abdul Majeed Saifaie, Director of Waste Management Department at Dubai Municipality.
The Al Ghusais Landfill site has been receiving municipal solid waste since 1978. It is one of the largest sites for municipal waste collection in Dubai, which receives about 5,000 tonnes of waste a day, and with the decomposition of municipal waste, the landfill site emissions are approximately 55 per cent methane and 45 per cent carbon dioxide which until now has been discharged into the atmosphere. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Converting landfills into green zones
posted on 28/05/2013

Dubai Municipality's Waste Management Department held an environmental campaign under the theme of ‘Plant for the Planet'. Spearheaded by hazardous waste treatment plant officials at their site in Jebel Ali, the objective is to convert a landfill into a green zone.
Green Hope UAE, a youth environmental group, comprising students from various schools in the UAE are working with the municipality's Waste Management Department on this initiative.
Green Hope's primary objective is to involve children and youth of the region in the drive towards sustainable development, and they have been recognised and felicitated by Dubai Municipality for being a part of their ‘Clean Up The World' Campaign.
Green Hope's work in this regard is supported by Al Tamimi Engineering Services LLC, an electro-mechanical contracting company based in Dubai, which focuses greatly on Environmental Conservation activities. – Khaleej Times

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Waste bins monitored by radio-frequency identification in Abu Dhabi
posted on 27/05/2013

Residents calling up to complain about non-collection of waste from their neighbourhood will receive a quick solution as Abu Dhabi is introducing advanced radio-frequency identification (RFID) remote sensor systems to monitor waste containers in the streets from January next year.
Each waste container will have an electronic chip with its geographic and technical details, which can be read by a device in waste collection trucks [through RFID technology] when they come to collect waste, officials said at a press conference yesterday.
The device in the trucks will be linked to a central monitoring station, which can ensure timely collection of waste from containers and their periodic washing, they said
When a complaint is received, the monitoring station can quickly ascertain when the waste was collected last from a container in a particular area and whether waste collection trucks missed any trips, Dr Salem Al Ka'abi, acting general manager, Centre of Waste Management - Abu Dhabi, said.
The new technology will be introduced in two areas of the emirate, where the centre has given waste management contracts to two new companies with effect from January 15, 2014. The technology will be extended to other areas of the emirate gradually.
The centre awarded two contracts worth over Dh770 million to cleaning service providers Alphamed – Lobbe – IFEU and West Coast – Saubermacher Environmental Services. They will operate with new technologies in Lots 3 and 4 of the emirate, which include the geographical areas of Abu Dhabi-Dubai borders in the north, as well as the Abu Dhabi-Al Ain borders in the west and Abu Dhabi--Mussaffah borders in the east. The areas also include the Zayed City, Liwa, Ghayathi, farms in the Western Region, the island's coasts and beaches.
The new five-year contracts stipulate specified technical procedures that will play a vital role in reducing waste at source, maximising recycling practices and decreasing waste transferred to landfills.
The officials did not have figures for the amount of waste being recycled at the moment. "The rate of recycling is high in developed countries where awareness campaigns have been going on for several decades. Here we have initiated such efforts recently so the rate of recycling is low. But it will go up gradually thanks to the new efforts,” Al Ka'abi said.
New technologies will be deployed on Delma Island in the Western Region to minimise waste, given its status as a coveted natural reserve of Abu Dhabi, Mubarak Al Ameri, Director of Waste Collection Projects at the centre, said. He said the transportation of waste from the island to the mainland costs Dh25,000 per day so the contractor has been asked to deploy new technology to minimise waste generation on the island.
A call centre and Database Management System to enhance quality of communication with the community will be implemented. Residents can register their complaints on Abu Dhabi Government's toll free number 800 555.
The contract's scope of work includes the collection and transfer of waste, cleaning of streets, coasts and beaches and the separation of all recyclable waste, particularly green waste for reuse in the production of compost.
The companies have also been tasked with the collection and management of construction and demolition waste. Under the agreement, contracted companies are mandated to provide the necessary bins, in addition to the vehicles and equipment, which they will have full ownership of. – Gulf News

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UAE University’s innovative recycling bin scoops prizes in Japan
posted on 05/05/2013

An innovative recycling bin at UAE University (UAEU) that smiles at users has helped to collect more bottles than a normal recycling bin — and has also shown that recycling can be fun.
The bin makes the sound of clinking coins once a polythene terephthalate (PET) bottle is placed in it and a smiley face appears on an LCD screen above it, said Dr Jose Berengueres, assistant professor at the College of Information Technology and head of the project team.
The smiling bin, placed in the IT college lobby, collected 360 bottles over four weeks, with an average weekly collection of 95 bottles, compared with just 103 bottles collected in a normal recycling bin over the same period.
"The results are encouraging and show that recycling can be a fun and rewarding experience,” he said.
The bin, developed by a team of IT students at UAEU, was recently shown in a video at a human robot interaction conference in Tokyo where it bagged two prizes, said a university spokesperson.
A short version of the video can be seen at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Xofgk_hguo&feature=player_embedded.
"Fun rewards work better than offers of cash or other material incentives and we have proved that by using just a smile,” said Dr Berengueres.
The smiling bin took just five weeks to conceive and produce and cost approximately Dh1,500 — the cost of a computer and a sensor to detect bottles being placed inside.
Fatima Al Suwairi, an Emirati student, wrote the software code that produced the smiley face response while other students helped analyse the research findings.
The team is now testing a cheaper alternative, an Android tablet, he added.
The team is also talking to government authorities and businesses about rolling out similar devices. The UAE has one of the world's highest waste-generation rates and very little of it is recycled.
According to studies carried out in 2010, it was estimated that Abu Dhabi residents produced between 1.8kg and 2.4kg waste daily per person. If this remains the same, the Abu Dhabi Government could be spending as much as Dh22 billion a year on waste management by 2030, said Dr Berengueres. – Gulf News

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Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa introduces food waste recycling unit
posted on 11/04/2013

The Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort and Spa has taken a giant step towards sustainability by recycling food waste into natural compost that can be added to the soil.
The hotel has installed a machine called the Waste Food Eater that can devour up to 600 kilograms of waste food at one go.
Sebastien Weyer, Director of Engineering, said the hotel recycles between 150 and 200kg of food generated by six restaurants daily, including the staff canteen that caters up to 250 people.
"Our staff is trained to segregate food waste. All kinds of waste food, including vegetables, meat and even bones can be processed into fertiliser by the machine. There is zero wastage of food ever since we got the machine in March. We are fast moving towards the concept of being a green hotel,” said Weyer.
The machine installed by Dubai-based Union Papers processes food waste into one-third its size by generating heat and through high-pressure mixing. "The moisture is removed from food and the extracted water is drained out through a pipe,” said Weyer. It takes 10 hours to complete a single cycle, and the end product, a dry brown soil-like powder, is currently used to fertilise the hotel's herb garden growing organic vegetables.
Marketing Manager Jonathan Hallmark said the hotel is piloting the initiative in the Starwood managed hotels in the UAE. "The machine will soon be rolled out in seven Starwood hotels in Abu Dhabi as part of our green initiative to cut down on carbon footprints.”
The natural fertiliser produced by the decomposing machine is currently being tested and graded by the Al Ain Environment and Water Laboratory. Hallmark said the hotel has plans to distribute the natural compost to local farmers and buy local produce from them for the hotel kitchen. – Gulf News/XPRESS

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TAQA, CWM to develop Dalma Island waste-to-energy
posted on 03/04/2013

TAQA, the global energy company based in Abu Dhabi, and The Centre for Waste Management - Abu Dhabi (CWM) have extended their partnership by signing a Collaboration Agreement to study and develop a waste-to-energy demonstration facility at Abu Dhabi's Dalma Island.
TAQA and CWM will together develop a waste-to-energy facility that produces 1 to 2 megawatt of alternative energy. This will be enough to supply power to more than 200 households as well as providing a more efficient waste management solution.
Waste from Dalma Island, which lies 32 kilometres offshore Abu Dhabi's Western Region, is currently shipped to the mainland and further transported by road to landfills in Abu Dhabi.
TAQA and CWM teams have started conceptual studies for different waste-to-energy technical schemes to ascertain the best form of energy recovery from Dalma Island's waste, which includes household and organic waste.
TAQA and CWM are also developing a large scale waste-to-energy plant in Abu Dhabi and last month started the qualification process for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC). The plant will convert up to 1,000,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste a year into 100 megawatts of alternative power, enough energy to power more than 20,000 households in Abu Dhabi. The plant will be the first in the UAE and is expected to begin operations in 2016/17. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Minister of Environment issues resolution on hazardous waste transport
posted on 05/03/2013

Dr. Rashid Ahmed bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water has issued a resolution regulating the passage and export of hazardous waste shipments across the UAE border.
Federal Law No. 24 in 1999 on "the protection of the environment and development", defined hazardous waste as waste resulting from various activities and processes or its ashes containing various properties of hazardous materials such as batteries, used oils and medical waste coming from hospitals and clinics along with ink production waste such as dyes, paints and waste contained in production of lead, cadmium, mercury or copper.
The resolution comes in alignment with the "Basel" convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, of which the UAE has taken part since 1990. Such agreement aims to reduce hazardous waste generation and promote environmentally sound management of this waste regardless of the disposal location, it also aims to limit Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes across the border in order to protect the environment human health and from harm.
The resolution also prohibits the passage or exportation through sea, air, or land by any vehicles carrying hazardous waste without a written permission from the ministry in order to reduce the damage caused by the passage of operations and export of hazardous waste shipments across the UAE border.
The resolution stipulates the need to adhere to the provisions of the "Basel" Convention in terms of exporting hazardous wastes across the border, and is also applicable to all materials classified as hazardous waste by the convention.
The risk of this waste lies in its highly toxic form, its difficult decomposition and it's long term, which means it decomposes very slowly in the nature as it enters food chains through groundwater or soil, transporting it from one species to another thus becoming more concentrated in nature.
It also causes water pollution once it has flooded the sea and destroyed the marine life, more importantly the hazards taking a different form will eventually impact humans directly through contaminating the food chain causing fatal injuries and diseases in an impact that may last for years to come.
It is noteworthy that the Federal Law No. 24 for the year 1999 on the protection of the environment and development has banned import on all types of hazardous wastes or disposing of it in any form in the UAE environment. – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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80 per cent of the deep tunnel works for the Strategic Green tunnel enhancement programme completed
posted on 05/02/2013

Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services Company (ADSSC) announced yesterday the completion of 80 per cent of the deep tunnel works for the Strategic Tunnel enhancement Programme "STEP".
A total of 33km has been completed out of 41km by the end of January 2013, and is expected to finish by the final quarter of 2015.
The project achieved a huge milestone with the 5th breakthrough in December 18th, 2012 with the completion of tunnelling between work shaft 9 and work shaft 8 at Al Wathba area in Abu Dhabi.
The STEP Programme started in February 2009 by ADSSC with an approved budget of Dh5.7 billion. The Programme is one of the largest and longest gravity-driven sewerage networks in the world and a remarkable investment for Abu Dhabi's government. It's also one of the largest economical projects in developing infrastructure using advanced technology of global high standards in meeting environmental and sustainability considerations.
Abdulla Ali Musleh Al Ahbabi - ADSSC Chairman, announced that STEP is one of ADSSC's five year strategic plan initiatives in compliance with Abu Dhabi's vision 2030, which include continuing the developments of projects and building a sustainable economy to compete globally, reflecting the wise vision of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
STEP is a huge infrastructure programme that includes completing 41 kilometre of deep sewer tunnel, 43 kilometre of smaller diameter link sewers and one huge pumping station with a pumping capacity of 30m3 per second. The deep tunnel is up to 5.5 internal diameter, starting at 27m underground reaching a depth of 100m.
Al Ahbabi also indicated that ADSSC aims to contribute effectively in developing the infrastructure to meet the growing demands in Abu Dhabi and to provide environmental friendly solutions, this through its vision, services and strategic plans. Once completed STEP will be considered as an effective and efficient solution in terms of cost and sustainability to meet the long term sewerage infrastructure demands of Abu Dhabi Island and surrounding islands across to the mainland. The estimated endurance of the strategic tunnel is 80 years without the need for regular maintenance.
ADSSC is contributing effectively to achieve Abu Dhabi's vision, as it provides sewerage services and supplies treated water at global standards to various private and public sectors. ADSSC contribution is part and parcel of the infrastructure system and government services in Abu Dhabi.
Furthermore, the system will provide for an average wastewater flow of 800,000 cubic metres per day on completion in 2015, and will have an ultimate capacity to accommodate an average flow of 1.7 million cubic metres per day by 2030.
Link sewers up to 3 metres diameter will be used to intercept the flows from existing sewers upstream of the existing pumping stations, and convey the flows by gravity into the deep tunnel. The deep tunnel will then convey the flows, again by gravity, to the new main pumping station, located at Al Wathba area where the flows will be pumped out of the deep tunnel into Al Wathba Waste Water Treatment Plant to be reused for irrigation.
The deep tunnel will replace the existing main collector system and eliminate the need of 34 existing pumping stations spread over a huge land area.
The current milestone is the fifth breakthrough on STEP, with a tunnelling works at 73 metres underground. The tunnel boring machine (TBM) completed 4.2 km underground to breakthrough work shaft 8. This works was carried out under STEP contract T-03, awarded to M/S Impregilo and includes completing 9.7km of the deep tunnel in two sections, each section requiring a separate tunnel boring machine.
The 6.98m diameter tunnel boring machine started in February 2012 and achieved impressive accomplishment with a rate of 200 meter per week without any surface interruption. 70 engineers and technicians took part in this accomplishment.
The vast development of STEP to date has been was achieved by the continuous monitoring and following up with the time lined plans set by international consultants companies.
STEP offers many benefits as it provide new gravity-driven sewerage network that cover the growing demands of Abu Dhabi for the long term in parallel with the vast economic development and the population growth. It will also provide a new improved sewerage system, that offers various alternative solutions which are more efficient and environment friendly by reducing carbon emissions.
The strategic tunnel will eliminate the need of 34 existing pumping stations in Abu Dhabi mainland and surroundings. Noting that drilling works in the strategic tunnel and the link sewers are done precisely to avoid any disturbance in traffic, main roads and other infrastructure works. Beside to installing sewerage pipelines at deep level without the need for grader works.
The elimination of34 existing pumping stations will eliminate emissions and odours in different places, and will improve sewerage and environment services. It will also improve aesthetics for residential areas. The dedicated space for the current pumping stations will be used in other projects after elimination.

Due to the huge size of the sewage strategic tunnel and as one of the longest gravity - driven tunnels in the world, it is taking 8 tunnel boring machines up to 7 metres diameter to complete the deep tunnel. The 750-ton and 110m long TBM with its trailing backup equipment is used to drill through mixed ground conditions of dolomitic siltstone, claystone, mudstone, and gypsum without incident.
450,000 m3 of concrete will be used to line the deep tunnel (the equivalent of 180 Olympic size swimming pools full of concrete).
ADSSC paid great attention to the safety procedures for the programme nature and size. ADSSC holds HSE training courses regularly for the STEP team and enhances HSE education as it's everyone's responsibility to create a safe working environment. Besides implementing highest standards of safety in all work sites in the programme, constant inspecting tours are performed to assure applying safety procedures at work sites. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Towards zero waste
posted on 05/02/2013

As Sharjah continues to strive towards becoming a greener emirate, its vision of reaching a ‘green city' status by 2015 looks set to become reality with its Al Sajja Landfill.
The plant is fast becoming the UAE's state-of-the-art Waste Management Centre (WMC) and its advanced facilities are capable of reaching zero waste to landfill in the very near future.
Spread over 3.75 square kilometres — about the size of 525 football pitches — Sharjah's WMC facilities operate on high international standards and more than 500 trucks pass through WMC's gates to dispose of various waste loads.
Currently, the centre houses the Material Recovery Facility (MRF), the Construction and Demolition Waste Recycling Facility (CDW), the Tyre Recycling Facility (TRF), the Car Shredding and Light Metal Recycling Facility, the medical waste facility ‘Wekaya', the compost plant, the oil lagoons and industrial waste water evaporation ponds as well as the engineered landfill.
How technology converts these waste loads can be gleaned from the CDW that churns, in just 15 minutes, any construction waste into a smaller manageable product.
The Tyre Recycling Facility — the first of its kind in the region using environmentally cryogenic processes — recycles every single tyre into three flooring tiles and the Material Recovery Facility alone is designed to process 500,000 tonnes of waste annually.
Operated by Bee'ah, the Middle East's leading and award-winning fully integrated environment and waste management company, WMC received about 2.5 million tonnes of waste for disposal in 2009. By 2012, this figure decreased by 45 per cent as a result of the combined efforts of each division and the successful implementation of various community awareness programmes across Sharjah to divert waste from the landfill.
Chairman at Bee'ah Salim Al Owais says that zero waste should be a priority for all cities: "Looking at it from an economical point of view, by extracting the valuable materials for recycling will lead to less costs and resources to extract new material from the earth. This practice helps people and companies prosper while using fewer inputs, all the while contributing to a sustainable environment and economy.”
He says that diverting all waste from landfill will lead to less dependence on landfills and will help revolutionise Sharjah's waste management processes.
At WMC, collected industrial, commercial, medical and residential waste is sorted and sent to different state-of-the-art facilities. In Sharjah, 67 per cent of total waste by weight stems from construction.
Municipal solid waste is sorted out at the Material Recovery Facility, which is the largest in the region. Here, recyclables are recovered and baled while organic and green waste is processed at the Compost Plant. WMC's Wekaya and the landfill, one of the largest in the world and the only re-engineered plant using enhanced safety practices, safely store non-recyclable waste.
The Car Shredding and Recycling Facility is the latest addition to WMC and is the world's most powerful shredding machine to date, shredding old car bodies and other light metal scrap, shredding up to 60 tonnes of car bodies every hour.
"The domestic recycling rate in Sharjah has increased from 9,909 tonnes in the year 2011 to over 15,000 tonnes in 2012, the same year the residential recycling programme was rolled out,” he says.
The biggest contributor to the increase has been plastic recycling, including PET (used in bottled mineral water) and mixed plastic, with a 35 per cent increase from 2011 to 2012, followed by paper and cardboard recycling with a 20 per cent increase.
Statistics released by Bee'ah shows that approximately 4.5 per cent of the total amount of waste received monthly at the MRF (about 54 per cent annually) is diverted from the landfill through recycling. On a daily basis, more than 30 deliveries from Bee'ah haulage fleet arrive at the MRF for processing.
In 2012, Bee'ah launched the first residential recycling programme for low-rise residential areas in Sharjah, promoting waste segregation with the introduction of 2,000 pairs of blue and green coloured bins — blue for recyclables and green for general waste. Starting at Al Shabba area, the programme continued to Khezammia then to Halwan and gradually covered the entire emirate with more than 2, 240 residential villas and low-rise buildings receiving the dual-coloured bins by the end of the year.
The programme also targets schools with more than 160,000 students in over 200 schools across the emirate promoting the message of sustainability to their families and friends.
Whatever it takes, Sharjah is on its way to becoming a green city by 2015. – Khaleej Times

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Dubai Municipality launches region's first landfill gas recovery system at Al Qusais
posted on 15/01/2013

Eng. Hussain Nassir Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality has affirmed that the Dubai Municipality has underlined its commitment to sustainable development in collaboration with the private sector for the benefit of public in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
This came during the commissioning of the region's largest landfill gas recovery system at its Al Qusais Landfill site, while ensuring that the site remains active.
Lootah said the new landfill gas recovery project is a significant milestone that complements the sustainable development vision of Dubai. A powerful demonstration of public private partnership in driving a CDM project, it underlines our commitment to be an active partner in achieving the Green Economy for Sustainable Development'.
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) initiative is registered with the United Nations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The implementation of the large-scale CDM project marks a new milestone for the region targeting the reduction of methane (CH4) measured in tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the landfill, with an annual reduction of approximately 250,000 tons.
The project has been designed, constructed and implemented by Green Energy Solutions '&' Sustainability LLC, a specialist organisation in the sector based in Dubai.
The Al Qusais Landfill is one of the largest sites for municipal waste collection in Dubai receiving about 5,000 tons daily.
Anita Nouri, Business Development Director of Green Energy Solutions '&' Sustainability Solutions LLC, added that we are truly honoured to have partnered with Dubai Municipality on this ambitious initiative that highlights Dubai's commitment to sustainability initiatives.
Nabil Habayeb, President '&' CEO, GE Middle East, North Africa '&' Turkey said Dubai Municipality has set a significant benchmark in the region with the commissioning of the landfill gas recovery system. As a long-term partner in the energy, power and water sector of the region, GE is committed to introduce advanced solutions that strengthen operational efficiencies and promote sustainability.
Construction work for the landfill gas project started in January 2012, with horizontal and vertical gas wells being drilled some 22 metres deep into the waste to extract the landfill gas. - Emirates News Agency, WAM

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Masdar to set up green recycling facility in Capital
posted on 14/01/2013

A new recycling facility will be set up by Abu Dhabi's Centre of Waste Management, with environmental benefits expected across the board.
The Materials Recovery Facility, set up by UAE renewable energy company Masdar, will collect recyclable waste from the city and its neighbouring areas.
The Centre of Waste Management (CWM) says the facility will be the most energy efficient recycling plant in the UAE, while it says the centre will significantly lower carbon dioxide emissions and the fuel consumption of CWM's fleet of cars - though neither Masdar or CWM would give further information on this, the reduction in fuel consumption will presumably come from a reduction in waste transportation.
The news of the facility came during an agreement signed yesterday between Masdar and CWM. Masdar City alone is expecting to produce 22,000 tonnes of waste a year, but its target is to recycle half of it.
"We, at the Centre of Waste Management, are glad to join hands with Masdar, the leading initiative in the fields of renewable energy and clean technology worldwide. The comprehensive agreement will lay the foundation for fruitful developments that support the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030,” said CWM general manager Mohamed Rashed Al Hameli.
The agreement also stipulates that Masdar will host an Eco Waste Exhibition during next year's Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, focusing on environmental-friendly waste management. CWM will also collaborate with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology on research and development and offer student scholarship programmes to help develop the sector. "Masdar's collaboration with the Centre of Waste Management illustrates our goal of advancing sustainable technologies to drive economic growth through human capacity building and commercially driven ventures,” mentioned Sultan Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar. – Khaleej Times

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Biodegradable bags to become compulsory across the UAE
posted on 18/12/2012

Biodegradable plastic carrier bags will become compulsory in all supermarkets in the new year, despite concerns by some experts that they might not be as environmentally friendly as first thought.
Many supermarkets have already switched to oxo-biodegradable bags, which break down much faster than normal plastic ones.
The Ministry of Environment and Water has said it will ban the supply and use of non-biodegradable plastic bags from January 1.
The new rules were brought in after it was found that discarded plastic bags, apart from being an eyesore, pose a risk to wildlife.
"The rules will be enforced at the start of the new year,” said Mohammed Saleh Badri, director general of the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (Esma), the agency that is implementing the changes.
"The decision to bring in these new bags was done after extensive consultation with experts. Our inspectors have conducted checks on plastic-bag manufacturers and we will only give accreditation to companies that meet these standards.”
However, some experts warn that the new oxo-biodegradable bags may still pose a risk to the environment.
The chief administrative officer for Emirates Environment Technology – which runs a plastics recycling plant in Al Ain – Katharina Goeschl, said the chemical properties of the newer bags mean they cannot be recycled.
The centre receives 160 tonnes of the new degradable plastic bags from the eastern region of Abu Dhabi each month.
"We have tried to recycle these bags but the chemical property that makes them degrade so fast means they are not suitable for recycling.
"What will happen is that they will be dumped in landfill sites, and although they will break down into ever smaller pieces they won't completely degrade.
"The thing with the older plastic bags is that they are perfect for reuse and recycling but you can't do that with oxo-degradable bags.”
But Mr Badri said the key reason the new plastic bags were being introduced was to solve the problem of uncollected bags littering the environment and even suffocating wild animals.
The government is now looking to bring in similar regulations for other household plastics.
Mr Badri said: "No plans have been finalised as yet but we are looking to see what we can do to make things like daily use plastics that get thrown away more environmentally friendly. These are things used by people every day, like plastic knives and forks, which are used once and then thrown away.”
He added that Esma would review the issue in depth after about six months. – The National

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ReVa reverse vending machines to reward recyclers with air miles
posted on 09/12/2012

Tecom Business Parks yesterday launched the ReVa reverse vending machine through a unique collaboration between Enpark, averda and Air Miles.
The machine enables users to exchange plastic bottles and aluminium cans for handsome rewards from the region's premier loyalty programme, Air Miles.
Recyclers can now get recognition for their efforts by collecting two Air Miles for every unit deposited in any one of the 15 ReVa reverse vending machines located across Tecom business parks.
Saeed bin Ghubash, director, Enpark, Tecom, said: "At Enpark we are dedicated to helping businesses grow by raising awareness for our employees and for Tecom's thriving business community about the operational efficiencies that can be achieved through the adoption of initiatives that reduce waste and energy usage. By making recycling more accessible, the ReVa reverse vending machine is also working to change the habits of those working in and living near Tecom free zones. We are, therefore, extremely pleased to be able to promote the innovative work of averda, one of Tecom's 4,500 business partners, as this machine demonstrates first-hand exactly how such initiatives can be incorporated into commercial areas and across business communities.”
Speaking at the event that took place in Tecom's Al Thuraya Hall, averda's managing director, John Irvine, said: "We chose Air Miles as our redemption partner because of its simple, convenient and flexible solutions.
As an organisation it's crucial we continue to raise recycling awareness within communities and throughout public and commercial spaces, by promoting this convenient, cutting-edge technology. We see involvement from stakeholders like Tecom, and support from various industries - particularly government-run, schools and universities, retail and media – as key to the sustainability and success of these initiatives.” ReVa, with its message of ‘Renewing Nature, Rewarding You', encourages recycling by rewarding consumers with incentives. All cans and plastic bottles can be deposited in the ReVa reverse vending machines allowing individuals to play their own part in the UAE's environmental progress.
Air Miles Middle East's CEO, Mark Mortimer-Davies, said: "We are delighted to become the exclusive partner in this fantastic eco-friendly initiative and it's a truly novel way for our members to collect Air Miles and redeem for their dream rewards while helping the environment.”
The 15 ReVa machines can be found in communal areas of Enpark; Dubai Internet City; Studio City; Academic City; Dubai Outsourcing Zone; International Media Production Zone; Dubai Media City; DuBiotech and Dubai Knowledge Village. – Khaleej Times

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