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Al Qusais landfill sets standards for the region

Dubai landfill is today a fully functional energy production facility

NEWS, SUSTAINABILITY, Facilities Management, Al Qusais, Dubai, Dubai municipality, GESS, Landfill, LFGTE, Waste management

As the largest landfill in the city, Dubai’s Al Qusais landfill was once a major eyesore for the Emirate, but today it is an environmentally sound waste site that is setting standards for waste management in the region.

While it was once just a place to dump waste, the 29-year-old Al Qusais landfill has been transformed into a fully functional energy production facility by Green Energy Solutions & Sustainability (GESS), with the site becoming the first landfill gas flaring project to be commissioned in the GCC.

"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,” said Anita Nouri, partner and business development director, GESS. “We do not want to create new landfills, we want to optimise the existing landfill sites and utilise the energy within to provide power with landfill gas.”

As a UNFCCC-registered clean development mechanism project, the Al Qusais landfill project has helped reduce the production of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 25 times more harmful than CO2. The project is also 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 the flared gas produced by the Al Qusais project is used to power an engine that provides for 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,” Nouri explained. “Landfills and the potential power captured within need to be recognised by policy makers in the region, so that pilot projects can be rolled out on a wider scale.”

Nouri will be presenting the Al Qusais landfill project as a template for waste management in the region at the upcoming Middle East Waste & Recycling Conference this year, which is scheduled to be held at Dubai World Trade Centre from 20-21 May, 2014.

Commenting on the significance of the Al Qusais landfill project, Jaafar Shubber, senior project manager, Middle East Waste & Recycling 2014, said: "Organic waste makes up a considerable 40% of Dubai's waste, which makes it imperative to maximise 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," Shubber added.

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