Abu Dhabi to bill waste generation


By Anwar Ahmad  www.khaleejtimes.com

Waste Generation Tariff System aims at reducing waste production from commercial, industrial, construction, demolition activities by 80 per cent in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi WasteIn a move to reduce the amount of waste production in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Centre of Waste Management launched the ‘Waste Generation Tariff System’ for companies and establishments from March 16.

This was announced by Hamad Al Amri, General Manager of the centre, during a media briefing at the Crown Plaza Hotel at Yas Island in the Capital on Sunday. Official statistics of the centre indicate that the emirate has lost nearly 1,800 hectares of land, which were transferred to landfills as the emirate produces 4.745 million tonnes of waste annually. If this continues, around 3,600 hectares of land will be transferred to landfills by 2030.

The system aims at reducing waste production from commercial, industrial, construction and demolition activities by 80 per cent of its current volume by 2018. However, professional, craft, agricultural, governmental, quasi-governmental and private facilities in the emirate including Al Ain and the Western Region also fall under the system.

Tariff ratesThey will be charged fees based on the rate of waste produced annually, according to the type of activity and the size of the facility, Al Amri said.

The waste production rate for approximately 4,500 different activities are set by the centre. The Executive Council has approved the tariff to be Dh225 per tonne annually, which is equivalent to 45 per cent of the cost incurred by the government to dispose of one tonne waste, Al Amri explained. The board also specified that Dh50,000 as the maximum and Dh225 as the minimum fee per year.

Around 15 customer service centres have been authorised in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region to facilitate proceedings on companies and auditors during the renewal or issuance of business licences. The service is being provided in all branches that issue business licences for companies and establishments, such as Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Economic Development Department and Department of Municipalities in Abu Dhabi.

The centre will not impose tariffs on citizens in the city of Abu Dhabi and all establishments operating in the area of waste management services such as collection, transportation, treatment, disposal and cleaning, he said.

By the beginning of the second year, establishments can work to reduce the value of the tariff through their commitment of implementing the programmes aimed at reducing waste and recycling it through a contract with specialised companies capable of transferring wastes and recycling it without harming the environment.

The recycling industry will bring foreign investors to cooperate with national companies to set up industries based on the production of raw materials from waste. He said that it is possible to produce raw glass sheets, wood, cardboards and fibre as well as some raw materials needed for the manufacture of cement and minerals using wastes.

Waste productionAccording to the statistics of the centre, the total volume of waste produced annually in the emirate is 4.745 million tones, which is equivalent to 13,000 tonnes of various wastes per day. With an average volume of daily waste produced by individuals compared to the number of population in the emirate is approximately 1.8kg, which is a large proportion compared to the rates of wastes produced around the world. Commercial, industrial, demolition and construction wastes accounts for up to 80 per cent of the total wastes, while recycling is less than one per cent of total household waste generated annually.

Loss of national economyOfficial statistics also indicate that the national economy loses approximately Dh1.5 billion annually, equivalent to Dh500 per tonne yearly, as a result of not recycling or reusing the wasted materials. “The centre plans to implement a comprehensive plan to raise awareness among companies, institutions and individuals in order to deal with the economic value of waste materials and its return,” Al Amri said.

facts on waste

The centre targets to reduce waste production in the emirate through environmental awareness:

45 per cent reduction by 2012.

70 per cent reduction by 2015.

80 per cent reduction by 2018.

Based on the current rate of waste production and the natural growth of population, it could reach 31 million tonnes annually by the year 2030

Through the application of waste generation tariff and other waste reduction measures, this amount could be reduced to six million tonnes per year