The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), in collaboration with the Centre of Waste Management – Abu Dhabi (Tadweer), recently oganised an introductory session on the Waste Management Legislative Frameworks for the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The new legislation includes policies for waste planning, classification, permits and enforcement, collection, segregation, transfer and tracking, re-use, recycling, resource recovery, and treatment and disposal.
During the session, which was attended by stakeholders from the government, semi-government, and private sectors, EAD announced its five-year plan to enforce integrated regulatory frameworks, policies and guidelines to promote waste reduction, recycling, recovery and enforcement mechanisms.
Tadweer highlighted its role in managing all waste types, except primary sewage and radioactive material, and stressed on the role of developing a comprehensive system to deal with waste collection, transfer, treatment, and disposal in collaboration with the private sector.
Commenting at the session, Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, EAD’s secretary-general, said: "Over the last decades, Abu Dhabi’s waste management system and its supporting infrastructure, based on integrated planning, has grown with opportunity rather than systematically.
"While the emirate’s waste management system has proved to be effective at collecting waste from where it has been generated and removing it out-of-sight, there are significant gaps in the infrastructure and processes.
"There is a need to develop an Integrated Waste Management Master Plan based on the waste hierarchy and life cycle approach to achieve the overall objectives of the Abu Dhabi Plan," Al Mubarak added, according to WAM.
Shaikha Al Hosani, deputy executive director for environment quality at EAD, added: "An increasing population and high-consuming society are contributing to Abu Dhabi’s growing waste problem.
"This reached 10 million tonnes in 2014. Less than 18% of waste is currently recycled and less than 5% composted, whilst 77% is sent to landfills or dumpsites.
"We have a lot of challenges in waste management in the emirate due to the increasing amounts of waste generated.
"That is in addition to the large quantities of waste dumped at illegal sites scattered around the emirate, some of which is posing a significant threat to the emirate’s biodiversity and threatening the health of our citizens," she noted.