The conference sought to address some of the knowledge gaps that exist within the area of waste management in the UAE and offer solutions that can be developed to improve practices. Businesses also got an opportunity to interact with the authorities on how regulations and policies are being implemented.
The event witnessed the launch of the technical guideline no. (4) ‘Requirements of Solid Waste Segregation for Recycling in Shopping Centres’, which aims to provide methods to establish and maintain effective recycling systems in shopping malls in Dubai.
Dubai Municipality recently initiated a mandatory waste segregation scheme in Dubai shopping centres, which will be implemented in full from February 2013.
The authority gave an overview of the waste management system it is implementing across Dubai, the structure of its Waste Management Department, and its mandates and operational functions.
The speaker also outlined the rules and regulations covering the waste management industries and current and future plans to further improve Dubai’s waste management systems.
Trakhees, the regulatory authority at Jebel Ali Free Zone, also spoke at the event on how they regulate and manage waste within JAFZA.
During the conference, speakers called for more comprehensive legislation governing industrial and commercial waste management saying that this area is a huge global challenge. In the UAE, rapid industrial growth, increasing population and rapid urbanisation have all contributed to an escalating waste problem.
Dr. Belaid Rettab, Senior Director, Economic Research and Sustainable Business Development Sector, Dubai Chamber, said the conference was helping to create a more efficient and sustainable business community.
“Environmental improvement approaches are an essential tool to assist businesses to maintain regulatory compliance, improve productivity and develop a competitive advantage,” Dr. Rettab said.
Statistics estimate that in 2010 approximately 120 million tons of waste was produced in the GCC, of which more than 22.2 million tons was municipal waste and approximately 4.6 million tons was industrial solid waste.
The mini conference was organised as part of the ‘Be Responsible Rethink Waste Campaign’ launched by the Sustainability Network’s Waste Management & Resource Efficiency Task Group in October.
The campaign is being jointly organised by the Dubai Chamber Sustainability Network, which includes Al Ghurair, Saeed & Mohammed Al Naboodah Group, Nokia, Henkel, Aramex, Eros, Pepsico, HSBC, CHEP Middle East, Landmark Group, Majid Al Futtaim Properties, Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) and Axiom Telecom LLC, as well as Dubai Municipality.
In addition to the waste management mini conference, the campaign has included a mall campaign at Al Ghurair Centre, Deira and Oasis Centre, a movie night, and a special session on waste management for students of Al Ghurair University.
The Sustainability Network is part of Dubai Chamber’s Centre for Responsible Business (CRB). Dubai Chamber launched the CRB in 2004 to support and promote corporate social responsibility, sustainability and corporate governance good practices.