Imdaad's Mahmood Rasheed on waste management tech
Mahmood Rasheed, chief operating officer of Imdaad, discusses how disruptive technology can make waste management greener and more efficient
How has Imdaad’s Environmental Services Division (ESD) performed in 2016?
2016 has been a great year for us. We partnered with leading companies such as Union Coop, Al Serkal, Lamps 4 U, and IMG through the year, whilst consistently catering to our top clientele EZW, Dubai Customs, Nakheel, and Wasl, to name a few.
Meanwhile, we continue to reap prestigious accolades and awards. In fact, we were recently named Sanitation and Waste Management Company of the Year at the fmME Awards 2016, and won second prize in the environmental protection category of the RTA-Dubai Award for Sustainable Transport as well.
How much waste does the ESD manage on an average?
In terms of waste collection, we transport more than 1,000 tonnes of general waste every day.
Around 11% of the total solid waste collected is diverted from landfill through source segregation programmes, downstream segregation, and awareness programmes, while approximately 12,000 cubic metres of wastewater is being treated per day across our sewage treatment plants.
The division’s tanker trucks collect more than 9,000 cubic metres of waste per week.
What is the ESD’s manpower and fleet and machinery strength?
Our well-qualified manpower continues to increase in strength at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10%, while our fleet of vehicles has expanded by 35% over the last three years. Around 18% of our vehicles are being replaced yearly, with our latest purchases depending on our current fleet requirements. We also continue to acquire advanced industry equipment, with our one-stop machines being used for simultaneous collection and washing of garbage bins.
What is the latest update on the ESD’s financial performance?
Our revenues accelerated by more than 10% in 2015 as a key result of our strategic business approach. This upward trend will continue in 2016.
What is the ESD’s clientele in other GCC countries?
In the GCC, our prestigious roster of clients includes those in Oman, where we recently won a major waste management contract along with our partners. The project will be mobilised by early 2017. We also have a strong presence in Qatar through the Qatar Pearl development. The Qatari government has begun identifying the benefits of integrated FM solutions thanks to 2022 FIFA World Cup and Qatar Vision 2030.
Opportunities are especially huge in Saudi Arabia given the scope of domestic large-scale developments, but the levels of FM outsourcing in the kingdom remain low.
How will sustainability plans impact the UAE’s waste sector?
We expect a great boost in local recycling efforts across entities and communities. We are already engaged in ongoing discussions about the importance of waste-to-energy plants.
Additionally, a large part of the Expo 2020 site will be built from recyclable materials and powered with renewable energy. More such intensified efforts are on the horizon amid advancements and innovations in the UAE.
All these are welcome developments, especially since the UAE is known to produce a large percentage of waste per capita per day.
What’s more alarming is that, as per a report released by Eco-Waste Conference 2015 in Abu Dhabi, around 29 million tonnes of rubbish will likely be generated in the UAE by 2017 if sustainable waste management solutions are not implemented.
Will economic diversification in the UAE impact recycling?
Thanks to UAE Vision 2021, the government’s economic diversification plan, and other similar forward-looking initiatives, the country is now moving towards a more sustainable future. For instance, one of the goals of UAE Vision 2021 is to divert 75% of waste from landfills by reusing and recycling.
Reduction in landfilling by diverting waste to power or fuel generation plants can significantly contribute to protecting the environment from further harm due to human activities.
Producing renewable energy – with electricity and thermal power being generated from waste – is an environment-friendly alternative as well. FM and recycling companies will see major opportunities, and this will open up – as I have mentioned before – more innovations and technological advancements in the recycling sector.
What’s next for Imdaad’s ESD?
We are in the process of building Farz, our state-of-the-art material recovery facility. Upon completion, it will have a processing capacity of treating between 1,200 and 1,400 tonnes of municipal solid waste. All types of collected waste will be transported to the facility once it becomes fully operational.