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Resource management: A greener way of life

Moves to tackle the high levels of waste being produced in the region.

Mahmood Rasheed is chief operating officer of Dubai-based facilities management company Imdaad
Mahmood Rasheed is chief operating officer of Dubai-based facilities management company Imdaad

Waste is the one of the most pressing environmental, social and economic concerns in the world today. While effective waste management can definitely lead to a healthy society, better environment and ample natural resources in the future, it is also currently one of the biggest challenges faced by fast-growing economies. The UAE is no exception, as it is one of the largest per capita producers of garbage in the world – the average annual per capita household waste for Dubai and Abu Dhabi stands at 725kg and 730kg respectively.

The government has been playing a proactive role in instituting waste management initiatives with an aim to reduce, reuse and recycle waste. Authorities have been aggressively investing in state-of-the-art waste management technologies, equipment and expertise to considerably reduce the amount of waste that is generated.

Traditionally, the UAE disposes of its waste in landfills in what is considered to be an unsustainable practice. Biodegradable waste builds up huge amounts of methane, while all waste by-products release harmful toxins.

If we can substantially reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills or incinerators, then we could resolve many environmental and social problems.

Government authorities in the emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi are developing comprehensive frameworks of action for public and private organizations to engage in sustainable waste management.

The Dubai Municipality, for one, recently launched a programme called ‘Duty of Care’ in line with Dubai’s Vision 2030’s goal of establishing an environment-friendly city at par with international standards. Under the programme, a new system will require private transport companies to record collection points of garbage up to the municipal landfill. This will help identify areas of concern and types of waste, which will help to form the basis for developing effective waste awareness initiatives.

The Waste Management Department of the Dubai Municipality has also rolled out its latest and most ambitious initiative – Waste Management Master Plan 2030.

The aim of this drive is to achieve the goal of ‘zero waste to landfill’ through integrated and sustainable waste management practices. Along similar lines, the emirate of Abu Dhabi has launched its own program for sustainable waste management practices to complement the Abu Dhabi Environment Vision 2030.

We at Imdaad, a provider of integrated facilities management (FM) solutions in the GCC, systematically implement the complete cycle of Reduce, Recycle and Reuse throughout our operations, plans, and community initiatives.

Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, ‘Be’ati,’ began in 2009 with the aim of spreading more awareness about the environment and the importance of recycling waste among schools. Imdaad also conducts door-to-door campaigns to heighten awareness about the relevance of recycling and segregating waste.

Our company strongly advocates the establishment of an integrated waste management programme that comprehensively deals with waste issues. The programme covers all aspects of waste management, including awareness, collection, disposal, and recycling.

Apart from government agencies and private entities, each person also has a vital role to play in the successful implementation of waste management.

As individuals, we can contribute to sustainable efforts towards a beautiful city and a healthy environment.

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