Leading UAE facilities management company, Emrill, has joined forces with Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry to reduce waste in the emirate. As part of its Let’s Reduce and Recycle campaign, Dubai Chamber invited schools, universities and colleges, private and public sector organisations, families and individuals to collaborate in diverting waste away from landfills and raise awareness about the importance of waste segregation and recycling.
In 2018, the UAE ranked as one of the world’s biggest waste producers according to World Bank data. Dubai Municipality estimates the average person in the UAE produces a total of 2.5kg of waste every day. Of this, 77 per cent ends up in landfills according to UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment estimates.
One of the key aims of UAE Vision 2021 is to implement green growth plans for the long term sustainable development of the country. Aligned to the national agenda, Dubai has committed to diverting 75 per cent of waste away from landfills, focusing instead on waste reduction, segregation and collection to recover and recycle waste. Additionally, Expo 2020 Dubai has further committed to diverting 85 per cent of waste away from landfills. This ambitious target is part of its bid to be the greenest expo ever.
As part of the campaign, which took place as part of Dubai Chamber Sustainability Week 2019, Emrill is promoting a zero-waste lifestyle, asking employees to participate by collecting clothes, paper, plastic bottles and e-waste. In the collection period between November 7–26, 2019, Emrill collected a total of 280 bottles, 51kg of paper, 115kg of clothes and 689kg of e-waste, including 28 printers and two desktops. During the campaign, Emrill also ran an internal marketing campaign, encouraging employees and their families to be more mindful about waste and consciously take steps to reuse and recycle.
Stuart Harrison, Emrill’s CEO, said of the campaign: “It’s been a pleasure to get involved in the Let’s Reduce and Recycle campaign. Emrill is committed to sustainability and we welcomed the opportunity to do a little bit more for such a worthy cause. Over the past year, we have launched a sustainable vegetable garden and embarked on a water conservation programme, using condensation water to clean car parks. This initiative alone has saved over 35,000 litres of water.
“We have also actively sought to reduce landfill waste in the communities we manage. For example, by fitting fabricated detachable algae skimmers to our maintenance pedal boats, we were able to push algae from the centre of the lakes to shore, expediting the removal process and allowing the regular scheduling of cleaning work regardless of weather conditions. This solution has enabled us to reduce algae waste by 25 per cent and total waste volume by 31 per cent.”
Emrill embraces initiatives that highlight the difference every person can make in the pursuit of increased sustainability and the battle against climate change. Fasiulla Shariff, Emrill’s integrated management system manager led the internal campaign. He said: “Initiatives of this type change the mindset of our people. They then go home and share this information with their friends and family, creating a ripple effect. If we all take steps to reduce waste and become more sustainable, we can have a major collective impact.
“Our campaign reached 7,500 employees and generated real involvement from our team members, customers, supply chain and stakeholders.” All materials were collected by authorised waste management and recycling companies.