Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi will open a new facility to recycle used cooking oil by the end of this year, a top official from Tadweer, the Centre of Waste Management in Abu Dhabi, said on Tuesday.

The centre will also introduce technologies to convert used cooking oil into biofuel.

Speaking to Gulf News, Engineer Saeed Al Mehairbi, acting general manager of Tadweer, said: “The new facility to recycle the used cooking oil will open before the end of this year in Abu Dhabi. This will be the first such facility in the Abu Dhabi Emirate to recycle the discarded and used cooking oil.

“Instead of pouring the used cooking oil into the garbage bins, we aim to recycle and convert it into the biofuel and other products to reuse it,” he said.

“We have a facility to treat the used vehicle engine oil in Abu Dhabi but we don’t have the used cooking oil facility yet, but soon we will have it,” Al Mehairbi said.

It’s very important to start recycling used cooking oil, he said, because cooking oil from homes, cafeterias, restaurants and commercial outlets goes to landfills or is drained through kitchen sinks and clogs the drainage system and the government has to shell out huge money to clean them.

At a roundtable media briefing, Al Mehairbi said other upcoming projects of Tadweer include controlling the emission of methane gas from Al Dhafra landfill, besides enhanced management and treatment of medical and hazardous waste in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra regions.

“We will be partnering with the private sector to open or further enhance our facilities,” he said.

About raising household awareness about recycling, he said, “it’s very important to spread awareness among households as we are doing nothing lately to protect the environment and just draining all kinds of oil and grease through our kitchen sinks.”

Singaporean experience

“We should learn from Singapore as they are best in recycling and reusing their waste. In fact, they don’t throw anything but use that for building an island,” Al Mehairbi said.

“Though the environment and challenges are different as they don’t have land but we have to protect our environment clearing our landfills. Many things we can learn from them,” he said. Abu Dhabi aims to divert the waste from landfills by 60 per cent by 2020 whereas the National Agenda has set a 75 per cent target by 2021.

Sustainability week

The fifth edition of EcoWaste exhibition of the centre will be held from January 15 to 18 at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre. The event is hosted by Masdar as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in partnership with Tadweer.

This year’s EcoWaste exhibition will bring together more than 6,900 participants from 71 countries including the Middle East and North Africa region.