With the surging environmental challenges due to several activities and its impact on the climate and the ecosystem, society’s responsibility to adopt more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices has grown.
Amid these concerns, unsystematic waste disposal has emerged as one of the most pressing environmental issues due to the negative effects it may have, if not addressed properly.
With the developments in the industrial and economic sectors, the global percentage of waste disposal has also increased, following the changes in the production and consumption patterns of humans.
Challenges faced by cities globally
The implementation of a proper waste disposal system has become a major concern for many cities across the globe as it is related to the way individuals are managing it, and it requires finding innovative solutions and technologies.
In addition to that, the effects of the daily activities and lifestyle patterns points fingers at all residents. It should be noted that mostly low-income countries are facing this challenge.
Dangerous traditional ways
Many cities around the world use an open waste burning and landfilling method that has negatively impacted the soil and groundwater resources.
It has also contributed greatly towards air pollution, emission of harmful substances and irritating odour and the possibilities of soil slipping. Therefore, it has become necessary to develop more practical, less harmful, and cost-effective methods for waste disposal.
As part of its efforts to deal with the environmental challenges from the initial stages onwards, the UAE has sought to adopt sustainable technologies and methods that support the goal of shifting to more effective and less harmful methods.
In line with this goal, the country initiated the “UAE Energy Strategy,” which focuses on attracting investments to attain renewable energy sources while ensuring a balance between economic and environmental requirements.
The “Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050” was launched with an aim to produce 75 per cent of Dubai’s energy needs from clean sources by 2050 and reduce the proportion of solid waste and achieve the ‘UAE Net Zero by 2050’ target.
The UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative is a national drive to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, making the UAE the first Middle East and North Africa (MENA) nation to do so.
Dubai has launched several environmentally friendly projects that support sustainability goals. Dubai Municipality, by joining hands with the private sector companies, has commenced the “Dubai Waste Management Center” project at the Warsan Village, which is regarded as the most efficient and distinctive one.
The project supports Dubai’s integrated waste management strategy, which will help to get rid of landfills and to generate clean energy from it.
In addition, the project will contribute to the establishment of a sustainable and environmentally friendly system in the waste management sector and to showcase Dubai as the most sustainable city in the world.
Pioneering technologies and societal goals
The ambitious project will become operational in the first quarter of 2023, and it is estimated to handle about 1.9 million tonnes of waste per year, which means nearly 5,666 tonnes of solid waste can be managed per day.
The centre will convert the waste into renewable energy, and it can provide up to 200 megawatts per hour to the local energy grid, which will help the emirate to reach the ‘zero waste to landfill’ goal.
Dawoud Al Hajri is the Director General of Dubai Municipality