“If I were to give any company tips on a seamless waste management programme, it would be to have attractive ROI and a priceless SROI!”
Landfill stress and the associated environmental impact are making stakeholders sit up and take notice of waste management. The recent announcement by Dubai Municipality to ‘Pay as you throw waste fee for all Dubai buildings (Commercial & Residential)’ is a fine testimony to the need for change. In fact, the awareness and distinction of MSW (Municipal Solid Waste) & MSHW (Municipal Solid Hazardous Waste) is creating the need for green governance and creating green citizenship.
At Provectus, the philosophy is to establish an ecostation on each compass site to recycle items with efficiency for reuse and to reduce MSW & MSHW going to municipality landfills by over 80 per cent. The company’s services include spreading awareness of MSW and MSHW along with their segregation. It has various programs for ethical and hygienic disposal in respective bins alng with bins/cages for collection of identified MSW & MSHW including UCO (used cooking oil) and their transportation. Provectus is also responsible for certifying and providing audits/reports for recycling of waste along with assisting in CSR branding for reducing landfill stress and carbon and water footprint. They also provide EkoFunnels for household collection and conversion of UCO to biodiesel besides its ethical collection from commercial entities. Zack H. Abdi, Managing Director, Provectus, speaks with FM Today about the waste management industry today.
How has food waste management technology changed over the years?
Organic food waste is a major contributor to landfill stress and a cause for contamination to other MSW & MSHW. Almost 50 per cent of MSW is organic food waste (pre-cooking and post cooking items). We use the dehydration system with no input of microbes, enzymes or water. The dehydrated resulting waste provides 100% pathogenfree water, usable for landscaping, cleaning floors and even in AC Chillers, thus addressing the water footprint solution. And the food remnants can be used as soil amendments for organic produce, chicken or fish feed and systems. This way, we are not only reducing landfill stress and associated environmental impact like emanation of harmful gases, but we are also creating items that are badly needed, e.g. water and creating a food circle as part of organic food security.
Why did you choose sustainability and waste management as your career?
I am a firm believer in ‘Sustain - ability is a Necessity’. I am a regular speaker for HR Strategies, Human Capital Development, Sustainability & CSR, and I believe Green Economy is crucial. Equally crucial is creating human capital development for green jobs. The Expo 2020 theme is based upon innovation, sustainability and legacy. To me, it is not an event, rather, a process, and we must work towards it. We are currently engaged with the Canadian University of Dubai for its Master’s degree and certification program in Sustainability and Environmental Sciences. I am also in discussion to promote the food waste recycle system and other solutions with the School of Architectural Design to create innovative ideas to address sustainability and create sustainable human resources (Legacy) coupled with Environmental Sciences. All our engagements are embedded in developing Emirati Young Professionals to understand green economy first hand developing for green jobs. As a public speaker, I’ve found that the engagement for sustainability needs a better definition and engagement from all stakeholders.
You have been a speaker at several events and conferences in the region. What has been your biggest takeaway?
Policy and mandate need the engagement of all stakeholders for future generations. As a chairman for the panel discussion and as a speaker for the Hotel Show in Dubai and Jeddah, my question to the panel and audience is how to address reduction of water use by 20% as required by the municipality and water authority plus a Green Star Rating initiative without compromising on services.
Green Living needs sharing of ‘Best Practices’ with actual audits and reports for others to learn. And more than ever, we require media exposure and publication engagements. I believe we are all ‘environmentalists at heart’, but we need to assess the need, tools, and incentives. Green Building requirements include efficient waste management practices beyond placing bins for effective use of recycle water, and engagement of all stakeholders. If I were to give any company tips on a seamless waste management programme, it would be to have attractive ROI and a priceless SROI (social ROI)!