Over 5,000 tons of waste, or roughly half of the waste generated in Dubai, is sent to the city’s largest landfill in Al Qusais. Previously towering over the Sharjah-Dubai border as a mountainous eyesore, it is now an environmentally sound waste site that is setting standards for the region. In 2013, His Excellency Eng. Hussain Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality commissioned the site as the first landfill gas flaring project in the GCC.
Green Energy Solutions & Sustainability LLC (GESS) working in line with the vision of Dubai Municipality and the Waste Department has developed and constructed the gas collection system and helped to turn the landfill into a streamlined, well-maintained and self-sustained site.
“GESS is working in line with the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy of 2030 to support Dubai Municipality in the aim to develop and support a safe and sustainable living for all its citizens. We do not want to create new landfills, we want to optimize the existing landfill sites and utilize the energy within to provide power with landfill gas,” said Anita Nouri, partner and business development director of GESS and a speaker at the upcoming Middle East Waste & Recycling Conference, a two-day symposium for private and government entities in the waste management industry to address regional challenges with unique solutions.
As a UNFCCC-registered clean development mechanism (CDM) project, the Al Qusais is reducing CH4 (Methane), a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more harmful than CO2. This project is mitigating over 350,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year, which is equivalent to taking 60,000 cars off the road. A small portion of that flared gas is used to power an engine that provides all the electrical needs of the landfill and Dubai Municipality site offices.
“There’s a lot of emphasis on solar energy in the region, and while this is a positive way of looking at renewable energy, the potential for waste-to-energy projects like Al Qusais is much higher. Landfills and the potential power captured within need to be recognized by policy makers in the region, so that pilot projects can be rolled out on a wider scale. Forums for discussion like the Middle East Waste & Recycling Conference give us a channel to get this success story out as a model for the future,” Nouri added.
Beyond its utility in providing energy to power the site, the landfill has revolutionized the lifestyle of residents in its neighbouring areas. After the waste is dumped in the landfill, it is segregated on site. Bulldozers run over the deposited organic waste to compact it, before covering it with a clay-like natural material found naturally on salt flats along the Arabian Gulf coast line, known as sabkha, which helps in eliminating the odours and contains the emitted gases. Once a heaving and ever-expanding mishmash of assorted garbage, the landfill now looks like a rocky terraced formation off the Mohamed Bin Zayed Highway in Al Qusais.
“Organic waste makes up a considerable 40 percent of Dubai’s waste, which makes it imperative to maximize its potential to generate clean energy. By seeing value in this waste, the Al Qusais landfill stands out as a beacon for a new, progressive ideology for global stewardship in waste management. Highlighting the strengths and potential in the region’s first established landfill gas recovery system at the Middle East Waste & Recycling Conference will show the region what is possible,” according to Jaafar Shubber, senior project manager, Middle East Waste & Recycling 2014.
This year, the Middle East Waste & Recycling Conference addresses topics ranging from examining the role of local municipalities in waste management, to ways to develop a business case and incentives for recycling companies. The conference will take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre on 20 and 21 May 2014, alongside the larger Middle East Waste & Recycling Exhibition. As a showcase for waste management & recycling technologies and services on the exhibition floor, the event will also host a range of educational forums and free-to-attend seminars onsite. The conference and exhibition are collocated with Middle East Clean & Hygiene, and FM EXPO 2014, all held from 19 to 21 May 2014 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
FM EXPO, Middle East Waste & Recycling and Commercial Cleaning & Hygiene is Officially Supported by the Dubai Municipality and the Middle East Facilities Management Association (MEFMA).
averda is the Platinum Sponsor for Middle East Waste & Recycling 2014, and Imdaad, the event’s Principle Intelligence Partner.
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