UAE | Environment

Abu Dhabi to divert 90% of waste from landfills

Centre aims to reduce emirate's annual 10m tonnes of refuse

  • By Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 October 5, 2011
  • Gulf News

Abu Dhabi generates 33,000 tonnes of waste per day
  • Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News
  • Abu Dhabi generates 33,000 tonnes of waste per day. Per capita waste generation in the emirate is 1.8 to 2 kilos per day.

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi aims to dump zero waste in landfills in the future as the emirate which annually generates over ten million tonnes of waste has already lost 1,800 hectares of land to landfills so far.

"The Centre of Waste Management — Abu Dhabi (CWM) aims to have a world-class integrated waste management system based on the principle of three "Rs" — Reduce, Reuse and Recycle — and we are aiming at zero waste to landfills by introducing the latest technologies," a senior official said yesterday.

"With over 10 million tonnes of municipal waste generated annually in the emirate, the figures hold a grim reflection of the future of the environment as we see it today," said Hamad Al Ameri , General Manager of CWM at the second Annual Waste Management Middle East Forum.

The forum is hosted by Fleming Gulf Conferences under the patronage of the CWM which is also endorsed by UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) and CIWEM (Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management).

Abu Dhabi aims to divert 90 per cent of the waste from landfills by 2018, senior officials told Gulf News on the sidelines of the forum.

"Abu Dhabi has already announced the reduction of waste generation by 80 per cent by 2018 and we aim at 25 per cent reduction by next year," said Rami Abu Hayah, general manager of Nadafa Programme at CWM. Nadafa is a comrehensive programme to minimise waste generation and promote sustainable waste management practices. A tarif regime for the businesses under this initiative drives home the message "Generate less waste and pay less fee!"

The emirate generates 33,000 tonnes of waste per day. Per capita waste generation in the emirate is 1.8 to 2 kilos per day, he said.

This rate is less compared to several developed countries, said Jamal Al Jeetawy, technical adviser of NADAFA Programme at CMW. The centre is creating a comprehensive database to help the policies on waste management in the emirate.

New recycling centres

"We also give guidance to businesses on how to reduce waste," they said.

Out of a million tonnes of waste generated annually in the emirate, a few per cent of this is recycled, a senior official said.

Although the amount of waste recycled is going up day by day thanks to the new recycling centres, it will take time to recycle all the waste, said Abu Hayah.

It takes around one to two years to set up a recycling factory, he said.

As Gulf News reported earlier, the UAE economy is losing Dh1.5 billion every year due to inadequate recycling of waste.

Several recycling facilities have come up in the emirate recently, the official said. There is construction and demolition waste recycling facilities in Al Dhafra and in Al Ain. Two tyre recycling plants have also been set up recently, he said.

Incentives to cut trash

Abu Dhabi uses a carrot and stick policy to reduce waste in the industrial sector.

Businesses which generates 80 per cent of the waste in the emirate have been asked to reduce waste by 20 per cent by next year and earn incentives for it, said Rami Abu Hayah, general manager of NADAFA Programme at CWM. "If they reduce waste, their annual fee under the tariff regime will be reduced by 20 per cent. Otherwise they have to pay 20 per cent more," he said.

There are 70,000 to 80,000 companies in the government, semi-government and private sector in the emirate, which will be registering with the tariff regime of the Centre of Waste Management (CWM) by the end of this year. About 40,000 of them have already registered to pay an annual fee of Dh225 per tonne [waste generated] since March 16.

Comments (3)

  1. Added 16:17 October 5, 2011

    The concept of recycling of wastes is not new but initiating people is utmost imperative which can help reduce the use of landfill and to cut down pollution. One can make an impact on environment by recycling garbage with almost anything from paper to plastic to batteries etc. Recycling can also produce many different new items. For example, an old used pop bottle may not become a pop bottle again. It may, instead become part of a child's toy or even part of a car. Recycling makes the world a better place and a little greener. Only important thing is to provide proper facilities and encourage people to use it to dispose of recyclable materials.

    omar kafil, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 13:48 October 5, 2011

    This is what I like about UAE...government is firmly postured towards sustainability of environment, cultural diversity while protecting its own and the like. Fact that efforts are being made to reduce plastic and reduce waste in general points towards maturity in thinking and firmness in implementation. Way to go,UAE.

    Pratima, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 11:11 October 5, 2011

    I'm loving it...Good news gulf news....

    Hashif Pattambi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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