UAE | Environment

Waste bins monitored by radio-frequency identification in Abu Dhabi

Radio frequency identification to quickly solve non-collection of waste complaints

  • By Binsal Abdul Kader Staff Reporter
  • Published: 20:00 May 26, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News
  • Abu Dhabi to introduce advanced technology to monitor thousands of waste bins across the emirate.

Abu Dhabi: 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--Musaffah 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.

Comments (2)

  1. Added 17:50 May 27, 2013

    hope this is introduced in sharjah too soon

    Priya, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 16:04 May 27, 2013

    WOW! Amazing idea. This will ensure discipline in waste collection(timely collection). Residents would not have stinking smell. Emirates where these would be implemented will have better hygienic conditions and happy residents. I wish this is deployed in Sharjah as well.

    Arushi Madan, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

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