There’s money in that half-eaten peanut butter sandwich or leftover pizza now making its way into your kitchen dustbin, says Dubai Carbon.
Wet organic waste such as leftover household food or restaurant waste can be converted using heat and spinning technology to create what are called biosolid fuels.
And those environmentally friendly fuels can be sold for cash turning financially burdensome municipal garbage management into a new way of making money, not losing it, says Dubai Carbon, the government agency charged with slashing emissions across the emirate.
Ivano Ianelli, CEO of Dubai Carbon, told Gulf News in an interview, that a new pilot programme under way is working to turn wet waste into a money generating fuel at new locations near source across the city by the end of March.
“We’re trying to renovate a model that is old and outdated,” Ianelli said. “What we’re doing with this is transforming a liability into a revenue stream. The converted waste can be used as a fuel source anywhere there is a furnace.”
To divert organic garbage away from the landfill, the Dubai Carbon pilot programme will flip the switch on five new localised wet-waste processing facilities by the end of the first quarter to dramatically reduce the need to truck garbage over long distances for sorting at a central plant and landfill disposal.
Dubbed “Community Waste Management”, Ianelli said the “pilot will focus on decentralising waste management and will replicate small waste processors across town.”
Reducing waste going to landfill reduces methane gas produced from decaying garbage.
Removing wide-scale garbage truck operations also slashes carbon emissions, a prime mandate of Dubai Carbon in the push to green Dubai well into the future as an international hub for green economy innovation.
The programme is in line with the UAE raising its clean-energy target to 27 by 2021 as part of its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement to fight climate change.
Ianelli said that preliminary data reveals that the average garbage collection cost per address in Dubai is around Dh6,000 per year.
With the new localised wet-waste plants, however, Ianelli said an entirely different approach will switch waste management from a responsibility to a business opportunity.
Wet waste, he said, will be converted at local mini processing plants through a heated spinning technology that removes up to 60 per cent of the moisture and results in a fluff material that can be used a fuel source and sold on open markets.
Rather than costing on average Dh6,000 per address, converted wet waste can be sold as a fuel source earning up to Dh2,000 per address on average every year.
There appears to be an abundant source of raw material from wet waste for conversion, according to the numbers.
A mountain of leftover food valued at $4 billion (Dh14.69 billion) is tossed into the garbage from UAE homes, eateries and large events and then dumped into shrinking landfill space every year in the UAE, said Emirates Environmental Group in 2016.
27% is the UAE target of raising it clean energy production by 2021.
6,000 dirhams a year is garbage collection cost per address in Dubai. (GULF NEWS)
CREDIT: GULF NEWS Archives.