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Recyling can help save environment and create jobs

Expert points out at reuse of waste in country

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Moving a paper mill from a forest to a bustling city is not a good idea, but a prominent US newspaper did so. Its paper mill in a British Columbia forest was moved to New Jersey City, but as a paper recycling factory.

Apart from environmental concerns, the move was due to financial reasons, a senior executive in waste management industry told Gulf News yesterday.

There is ample sources for paper recycling in cities instead of exploiting forest resources and the New Jersey factory just utilised that opportunity, said Jeremy Byatt, vice-president, Environment at Bee'ah, a public-private partnership waste management company in Sharjah.

Reuse

Taking a lead from that, the UAE too can try to reuse and recycle most of the materials used in the country, instead of throwing them after use, he said.

According to www.recycling-revolution.com, to produce each week's Sunday newspapers, 500,000 trees must be cut down. Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees. If all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year. He spoke to Gulf News on the sidelines of the second Waste Management Middle East Forum in the capital. The forum, under the patronage of the Centre of Waste Management — Abu Dhabi (CWM) was hosted by Fleming Gulf Conferences.

Byatt, a Canadian, said it is very difficult to find virgin paper in his country as most the papers in the market are recycled.

‘Right time'

Since the UAE imports the papers and most of the materials used in the country — except oil and gas — the country can enhance the recycling capabilities to minimise dependence on imports, he said.

Asked whether the UAE is late to start the waste management efforts including reusing and recycling, the executive replied: "It is late and right time."

More recycling facilities are coming up in the country, which will encourage people to reuse and recycle, he said. "They will generate more employment also," he said.

Potential for compost

The UAE has a huge potential to produce compost as about 40 per cent of the waste generated in the country are organic waste, Jeremy Byatt, vice-president, Environment at Bee'ah.

The country can easily convert that organic waste into compost, he said. The soil in the desert climate not being fertile, the compost will help the agriculture in the country, the executive said.

The share of organic waste varies in various emirates, Byatt said. Because of the developmental activities in Sharjah, about 70 per cent of the waste generated is from construction and demolition activities, he said.

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