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Launch of “Together for Recycling Cooking Oil" Campaign on Al Raha Gardens Community Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Residents and restaurants will be able to sell their used cooking oils for conversion into biodiesels for vehicles by the end of 2020, a top official from Abu Dhabi’s Centre of Waste Management (Tadweer) has said.

Dr Salim Khalfan Al Kaabi, General Manager of Tadweer, told Gulf News, “The plant for the converting used cooking oil into biodiesel will be opened by this year end.

“Restaurants, cafeterias, hotels and residents can sell their used oil and they will be paid for this. If a resident collects the used oil, they can sell it and will get money for this,” he said, adding that they would be paid as per the market price.

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Dr Salim Khalfan Al Kaabi Image Credit: Anwar Ahmad, Reporter

Currently residents and commercial entities resort to draining the used cooking oil into the drain, which often results in clogging, said Dr Al Kaabi.

The government then spends a large amount of money cleaning these clogged drains in the emirate.

“A massive campaign will be launched soon to spread awareness among people about it,” he added. “People will be educated about it through different kinds of mediums, pupils in schools and colleges.

“Once the biodiesel is ready, it will be sold in the local market, even Adnoc accepts it.

“This is a green diesel that can be used in trucks,” he said.

Tadweer also aims to divert 85 per cent waste from its landfills into recycling plants by 2030 and it has been taking a series of initiatives to encourage residents to segregate waste at home to then discard in bins designated for separate materials like paper, plastic and glass.

Waste to energy

By 2023, Tadweer will start converting waste into energy and will strive to produce fuel for jets once local airlines like Etihad and Emirates get the technology for their carriers.

Dr Al Kaabi said, “By 2023, the centre would be able to start either waste to energy or waste to jet fuels.

“We are at the last stage of finalising things about the waste to energy with the Abu Dhabi Power Corporation who will buy the electricity from us. “Similarly we look for entities to buy the jet fuel as well, if we produce it and Etihad or Emirates agree. But if the market is not there, we wouldn’t go for this project.

“Investors are there to invest in the waste to jet fuel project, but we are looking for a market,” he said.

The first plant for converting waste into electricity will be opened in the US in the first quarter of this year, said Al Kaabi, who also urged people to only buy what they can consume to reduce waste production, and to collaborate to reduce waste generation and help the centre by segregating waste and dropping it into designated bins for the separate materials.

Al Kaabi added that people discarding litter in the desert was another issue, and that people should respect the environment.