Posted: March 26th, 2021

Treating Municipal Solid Waste In UAE


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Treating Municipal Solid Waste In UAE
Quantities of solid wastes have increased in the UAE over the past decade. The increase in waste is linked to an increase in the human population and rise of economic activities. Most of the wastes end up in landfills or dumpsites. Often, the organic solid waste generates greenhouse gases, such as methane (Fei et al., 2018). The government has been ramping up the recycling of solid municipal waste in the past. Waste management is managed by the Ministry Of Climate Change And Environment. However, the coordination of waste management is done by the local authorities. The municipal governments have been involved in the separation of the current waste and conversion into renewable energy. The local governments have been using new technologies and waste collection systems to ensure a reduction of adverse impacts on the environment from solid waste handling. Transportation of hazardous wastes has also been revamped over the years, with the local governments enlisting contractors to handle waste resulting from operations involving the use of hazardous materials. The Ministry Of Climate Change And Environment manages the transportation of hazardous waste since it has banned the exportation and transportation of hazardous wastes across the UAE borders. Any organization contracted to handle hazardous waste must have written permission from the ministry, which is also in line with the Basel Convention.
Finding a solution to waste management will be imperative. Large cities within the UAE will lead to the production of higher volumes of solid municipal wastes. Waste management is going to be a major management issue for the cities authorities. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to examine the approaches used by the municipal governments in solid waste management. The paper will provide recommendations on the best standards for solid waste management and the manner that the solutions can be applied to the UAE municipalities.
Literature Review
Waste generation
According to Hoornweg, Bhada-Tata, and Kennedy (2013), global municipal solid waste generation is expected to increase to 2.2 billion tons per year in 2025. The increase is associated with higher income levels and a higher rate of urbanization (Hoornweg, Bhada-Tata, 2012). The greater the rate of urbanization, the higher the amount of solid waste generated. The income levels and the urbanization levels are associated with higher disposable incomes, increased consumption, which leads to more waste generation. The trend of waste generation will increase as more people adopt a fast lifestyle (Karak, Bhagat, and Bhattacharyya, 2012). The impact of fast-food takeout companies on waste generation may be better witnessed in the developed nations that have high rates of consumption (Zhou et al.,2019). Rural areas have minimal waste generation compared to urban areas (Albores, Petridis, and Dey, 2016). However, most people in the UAE and other developed nations live in urban areas (Shmelev, 2017). Therefore, their solid waste generation is going to be higher. As urbanization grows, the rate of waste generated is going to be higher than the current average.
Abdoli, Rezaei, and Hasanian (2016) claim individual and societal habits influence the quantity of waste generated. Solid waste among individuals with a habit of eating out or buying goods for the sake of consumption increase solid wastes. Consumption culture contributes to higher than average waste generation. The trend of consumption for gratification is on an increase (Moya et al., 2017 & Sadef et al., 2016). People will buy products for the sake of being trendy. Such products are likely to be discarded when they are no longer trendy. If the products are not recycled, they will add to the existing waste for the UAE government.
Waste Collection And Disposal
Municipal solid waste collection is an important aspect of the maintenance of public health. Some regions are more adept at solid waste collection than others. The differences in the efficacy are dependent on the region and the income levels. High income nations have improved efficacy in the collection of solid wastes than lower-income nations (Edalatpour et al., 2018). Waste collection may be done in many ways. One of the strategies for collecting waste is moving from house to house, which often entails the users of the service paying a monthly fee, which is practiced in some areas in the UAE (Nguyen-Trong et al.,2017). The second way of collecting waste is through community bins. The community members bring their wastes to the bins. Curbside pick-up is also used in waste collecting. This method entails the residents leaving their waste outside their homes. However, the collection is done by the local government as opposed to the secondary service providers. Waste collection methods are dependent on the nature of the waste being collected. According to Rigamonti, Sterpi, and Grosso (2017), the less developed nations have organic waste, which is easier to recycle. Highly developed nations tend to generate more inorganic waste, including plastics. Such waste requires special attention for it to be well managed, including sorting.
Sold waste collection is directly related to the nature and efficacy of the waste disposal method. According to Bhattacharjee (2016), creating structures for collecting and disposing waste is recommended to develop strong waste management. In essence, if the waste is collected and sorted based on nature and later sorted depending on the type, there is a possibility for the municipalities to create better waste management policies, especially in the UAE regions. If waste is sorted into organic and inorganic bins, the waste management efforts will have a better potential of addressing the risk of waste being unsightly and contributing to greenhouse gases emissions (Jia et al., 2018). Furthermore, the sorting of plastics and cleaning makes it easier to recycle. However, this may be hard due to the different plastics that are used in food packaging and the inability to recycle all of the plastic wastes. As a result, waste management will be dependent on the collection efficacy, reduction of waste generation through reuse, and efficient sorting of inorganic wastes for recycling.
Background Information and Methods
The study will rely entirely on secondary data from the UAE and benchmark nations that have managed to create an effective waste collection system. The current study will be situating the waste management of solid municipal waste in the UAE against the future, which is expected to have an increase in waste generation (Abdoli, Rezaei, and Hasanian, 2016). The first variable will be waste generation, which is expected to grow with the increase in population and the growth in the GDP in the country. Global solid waste generation is expected to expand to 2.2billion tonnes per year (Abdoli, Rezaei, and Hasanian, 2016). Therefore, the waste produced in the UAE will also increase.
Development of the existing cities and new projects in the region will lead to additional waste generation. Therefore, the above average growth in the UAE will lead to additional waste generation. The produce will require better handling through the expansion of the existing waste management infrastructure. Waste management in the next five years will have to be collaborative, meaning that it will need to be handled by the federal government through the ministry and through the municipalities that have the task of day to day waste management.
Data on consumption habits will also be used in the assessment of waste generation and management. Waste generation is expected to increase due to spending habits. For instance, the trend of buying goods for immediate gratification is likely to affect the waste generation. Tourist consumption habits are also relevant in the assessment of the waste generation in the region (Abdoli, Rezaei, and Hasanian, 2016). The attainment of higher disposable income among the households will lead to higher consumption rates, which translates into higher waste generation.
Solid waste management recommendations will be based on the best practices in other nations. Best practices in the nations indicate that waste management has to focus on long-term solutions. The trend of disposing inorganic wastes, such as straws and plastic bags into the ocean, has proven to be unsustainable based on the vast amount of floating trash in the ocean (ElSaid and Aghezzaf 2018). Efforts for waste management, including reduction of use, reusing some of the products that could end up being wastes, and recycling, will be identified in the leading nations with similar populations and levels of economic development. The strategies will form the benchmark for the future improvement efforts for solid waste management in the UAE.
Waste generation is dependent on the income level in the nation. High income nations account for 46% of solid waste. UAE falls under this category. Upper middle-income nations, lower middle income nations, and lower-income nation’s account for 195, 29%, and 6% of the solid waste generation respectively (Hoornweg and Bhada-Tata, 2012). Waste collection is highest in developed nations with 98%, followed by Middle East and North Africa with 85%. Waste composition in MENA shows that organic waste makes up the highest percentage of 61% followed by paper at 14% then by other wastes at 10% then plastic at 9%, glass, and metal both at 3%(Hoornweg and Bhada-Tata, 2012).
Analysis of the strategies shows that there is a need for integrated solid waste management. The approach means that there is a need to deal with solid waste management in a comprehensive manner. Some of the approaches include selection and use of technology, working conditions, and the creation of a cooperative environment between the community and the local governments. The ideal intervention for solid waste management will require involvement of the community who offer the social license and the professionalism of the solid waste managers (Jadhao et al., 2017). Integrated solid waste management is based on the hierarchy of reducing, reusing, and recycling of the wastes. If the interventions cannot work or are unusable, the local government ought to consider the diversion options that include incineration, use of landfills and adoption of other methods for waste management.
The interventions for waste management are often geared towards promoting the quality of human life and protecting the environment. Waste management efforts by the government have to be geared towards the attainment of a livable environment for the residents (Chen et al., 2018). They should also be directed towards the reduction of the environmental impact that the residents of a given municipality have on the environment.
Solid wastes will grow with the rise in the disposable income and the high population growth in UAE. Therefore, the interventions will have to be built around the three stages of waste generation, waste collection, and waste disposal. Waste generation will have to involve the people. Community engagement is vital for the attainment of a lower waste per capita ElSaid and Aghezzaf, 2018). Additionally, the interventions must focus on the drivers behind the waste generation and address them through policies. Policies may be developed to target the businesses that are involved in waste generation. In the end, the corporations will be prompted to use better and easy to handle waste, such as use of brown papers as opposed to use of polythene bags. The interventions will also have to focus on waste collection waste collection has a bearing on the extent to which the said waste can be recycled. It means that the collection facilities and education have to be undertaken in the neighborhoods such that the people responsible for waste generation can help in reducing the sorting pressure on the waste management facilities (ElSaid and Aghezzaf, 2018). For instance, organic waste, which is easy to compost, has to be sorted out. Given the higher proportion that it has in MENA and UAE, sorting will help in dealing with more than half of the total annual waste generated. Special considerations ought to be made for other forms of wastes.

Reference List
Abdoli, M.A., Rezaei, M. and Hasanian, H., 2016. Integrated solid waste management in megacities. Global Journal of Environmental Science and Management, 2(3), pp.289-298.
Albores, P., Petridis, K. and Dey, P.K., 2016. Analysing efficiency of waste to energy systems: using data envelopment analysis in municipal solid waste management. Procedia Environmental Sciences, 35, pp.265-278.
Bhattacharjee, C., Sustainable Management of Urban Municipal Solid Waste: Indian Megacity Perspective. Journal Volume 15, Oct.-Nov. 2016, p.54.
Chen, F., Li, X., Ma, J., Yang, Y. and Liu, G.J., 2018. An exploration of the impacts of compulsory source-separated policy in improving household solid waste-sorting in pilot megacities, china: A case study of Nanjing. Sustainability, 10(5), p.1327.
Edalatpour, M.A., Mirzapour Al-e-hashem, S.M.J., Karimi, B. and Bahli, B., 2018. Investigation on a novel sustainable model for waste management in megacities: A case study in tehran municipality. Sustainable cities and society, 36, pp.286-301.
ElSaid, S. and Aghezzaf, E.H., 2018. A progress indicator-based assessment guide for integrated municipal solid-waste management systems. Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management, 20(2), pp.850-863.
Fei, F., Wen, Z., Huang, S. and De Clercq, D., 2018. Mechanical biological treatment of municipal solid waste: Energy efficiency, environmental impact and economic feasibility analysis. Journal of Cleaner Production, 178, pp.731-739.
Hoornweg, D. and Bhada-Tata, P., 2012. What a waste: a global review of solid waste management.
Hoornweg, D., Bhada-Tata, P. and Kennedy, C., 2013. Environment: Waste production must peak this century. Nature News, 502(7473), p.615.
Jadhao, S.B., Shingade, S.G., Pandit, A.B. and Bakshi, B.R., 2017. Bury, burn, or gasify: assessing municipal solid waste management options in Indian megacities by exergy analysis. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, 19(5), pp.1403-1412.
Jia, X., Wang, S., Li, Z., Wang, F., Tan, R.R. and Qian, Y., 2018. Pinch analysis of GHG mitigation strategies for municipal solid waste management: A case study on Qingdao City. Journal of Cleaner Production, 174, pp.933-944.
Karak, T., Bhagat, R.M. and Bhattacharyya, P., 2012. Municipal solid waste generation, composition, and management: the world scenario. Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, 42(15), pp.1509-1630.
Moya, D., Aldás, C., López, G. and Kaparaju, P., 2017. Municipal solid waste as a valuable renewable energy resource: a worldwide opportunity of energy recovery by using Waste-To-Energy Technologies. Energy Procedia, 134, pp.286-295.
Nguyen-Trong, K., Nguyen-Thi-Ngoc, A., Nguyen-Ngoc, D. and Dinh-Thi-Hai, V., 2017. Optimization of municipal solid waste transportation by integrating GIS analysis, equation-based, and agent-based model. Waste management, 59, pp.14-22.
Rigamonti, L., Sterpi, I. and Grosso, M., 2016. Integrated municipal waste management systems: An indicator to assess their environmental and economic sustainability. Ecological indicators, 60, pp.1-7.
Sadef, Y., Nizami, A.S., Batool, S.A., Chaudary, M.N., Ouda, O.K.M., Asam, Z.U.Z., Habib, K., Rehan, M. and Demirbas, A., 2016. Waste-to-energy and recycling value for developing integrated solid waste management plan in Lahore. Energy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning, and Policy, 11(7), pp.569-579.
Shmelev, S., 2017. Multidimensional sustainability assessment for megacities. In Green Economy Reader (pp. 205-236). Springer, Cham.
Zhou, M.H., Shen, S.L., Xu, Y.S. and Zhou, A.N., 2019. New policy and implementation of municipal solid waste classification in Shanghai, China. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(17), p.3099.


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