Dubai to convert your garbage bin into power

Your trash is Dubai Municipality’s source for power.

Yes, that’s right. The civic authority has undertaken a project that converts household trash into energy.

A first-of-its-kind in the GCC region, Dubai marked a ‘green’ milestone after the civic body’s Al Qusais landfill successfully converted trash into energy within a year of its launch.

The 1 Megawatt (1,000 Kilowatts) of energy generated in th plant is now used to power the entire site.

Eng. Hussain Nassir Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality and Dr Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, unveiled the project on Monday night.

The initiative underlined the ‘green economy for sustainable development’ vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai.

Modelled on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project will also reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions equivalent to about 250,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Now, work is in progress to generate 20MW of power from landfill gas by the year 2020.

Speaking to Emirates24|7, Eng. Hussain Nassir Lootah said: “We’ve succeeded in producing 1MW, and now we are working towards increasing that to 20MW. It is a huge challenge but we are hopeful of achieving it.”

Talking about how the energy generated will be put to use, Lootah stated that the next step would involve talks with Dewa (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) where they will check how it can be integrated to the grid of the city.

“Such initiatives are very important for cities like Dubai. It highlights how we care about the environment, and how we are keen to develop sustainable energy and reduce harmful impact on our environment.”

Talking about the municipality’s commitment towards establishing a sustainable environment in the city, he said: “The project, which is in partnership with the private sector, also complements the Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 to explore alternative energy sources to reduce the demand on the existing power grid.

“With Dubai’s bid to host the World Expo 2020 going full steam, we are further highlighting our leadership in creating innovative solutions for the future through this project.”

Dr Rashid Ahmed Bin Fahad, Minister of Environment and Water, endorsed Lootah’s vision.

“This project shows that UAE is working within the international arena, under the Kyoto protocol. This will encourage others to come up with green technology.

He emphasized that this is a first in the region where power is generated from the landfill. “We have the waste water plant in Dubai that has been running for more than 25 years. This is a step forward, and shows UAE’s commitment towards generating green energy.”

Eng. Abdul Majeed Saifaie, Director of Waste Management Department at the municipality, spoke at length about the challenges that went into ensuring the project was a success.

“We had to look into the safety features and provide good working environment because the landfill is exposed to gas and is prone to fire. We had to look into various factors – safety, environment and economic, which we have successfully achieved.”

Spread over 3.5 square kilometres, the Al Qusais landfill is one of the largest sites for municipal waste collection in Dubai and receives about 5,000 tons daily.


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