Dubai In a major initiative, the Dubai Municipality unveiled its fully automated underground waste compactor project, a clean and safe modern waste management solution which collects waste and compresses it underground using the latest technology.

Two such compactors were launched in Deira, behind Al Manal Centre near Naif Souq, each of which would replace more than 200 ordinary waste containers in the area. Each compactor has the capacity to accommodate about 20-25 tonnes of waste.

“It is the latest waste management solution and is extremely environment friendly. It totally rids the area where waste is collected of stench, and at the same time reduces the number of times waste is collected through the truck to be carried to landfill,” said Abdul Majeed Saifee, Director of the Waste Management Department at the municipality.

Once the project is successful, the civic body plans to have more such underground waste compactors across the emirate. The new system is more sophisticated compared to the older one as the trash in this case goes underground whereas in the older waste collection system, the trash was being compressed above the ground.

“DM has been always very concerned about the waste management issues in the city and this new project comes in its commitment to elevate the status of Dubai higher with regard to the cleanliness of the city,” said Hussain Nasser Lootah, while inaugurating the project. “The underground container fixed in Deira is a pilot one. If it brings in positive results we will other nine more containers to be fixed in various parts of Dubai.”

Efficient system

The project, estimated to cost about Dh10 million, is being carried in collaboration with Intercare.

Explaining the functioning of the compressor, John Colley, chairman of Intercare, said: “The compactor is placed underground, which means that there is only a chute above the ground.

“This chute does not have a bottom plate and the trash goes through this chute to the compactor, where it gets compressed. When it reaches 80 per cent of its capacity, it gives the signal to the operator through the cell phone network, who them collects it and takes it to the landfill. It tells how much time is left before the compactor needs to be removed for emptying and replaced with another empty one.”

The waste is compacted to a 4:1 ratio, which means that 20 cubic metres of uncompacted waste can be optimised up to four times — up to 80 cubic metres.

The raising and replacement cycle takes less than ten minutes, and it’s back in use again, added Colley.