RAK Waste Management Authority steps up to ensure a better, cleaner and sustainable environment for the emirate.
RAK Waste Management Authority (RAKWMA) and RAK Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) are collaborating to establish new waste management standards in the emirate. It works towards the goals of UAE National Vision 2021, which focuses on increasing the contribution of clean energy, and reduction of waste as a country.
They have introduced new standards which aim to increase recycling from the current four percent to 75 percent by 2021.
Haitham Mattar, CEO, RAKTDA said, “This move will engage all our hospitality providers to go green and keep our emirate clean – the aim is to significantly cut waste being sent to landfill.”
The new mandatory standards cover areas such as waste collection processes, minimum separation guidelines, and segregation across all departments of the establishment. Also new is the creation of a Green Ambassador – who will be responsible for coordinating waste management activities, educating colleagues and serve as the principal point of contact between the tourism entity, RAKTDA and RAKWMA. “This is a great initiative towards sustainable tourism and greener practices among the emirate’s hospitality and tourism sectors,” Mattar added.
An innovative new project which integrates regulatory, monitoring and compliance functions with emission controls, waste collection, and safe disposal has been initiated by the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) government. The Integrated Waste Management Project (IWDP) constitutes a ‘materials recovery facility’ (MRF), a compost facility (for converting organic waste into manure) and a state-of-the-art landfill. This landfill will bury the remaining waste in a safe manner.
There is a concerted drive to reduce the quantity of waste going to the landfill by promoting and facilitating recycling. The first phase of the IWDP targets segregation of recyclables at the source and making them marketable by enhancing their value – such as converting plastics into plastic granules, recovered paper into recycled paper and organic materials into natural organic fertilizer – for the international and domestic markets. Because of the waste being recycled, the amount going to the landfill is expected to reduce by 25 percent in the next 12 months, and by 50 percent in the next three years.
In the long term, only the real wet waste ‘trashables’ are expected to make their way to RAK’s new landfill, which is lined to prevent any soil, water, and air contamination and conforms to the United States Environment Protection Agency (USEPA) specifications. It will replace the old unlined dump that is now being closed.
Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Chief of the Ruler’s Court and Chairman of RAK Municipality and Public Works & Services Department said, “The best management system is when everyone is involved. We want each stage of our waste management to be a part of citizen’s awareness. If you make people aware of the consequences of their actions, they realize that they could have chosen otherwise.”
“The landfill itself should not become a wasteland; the idea is to plan its use after the filling. It could be a park, a golf course, land for light industry… and the by-product of any landfill is gas, which we can use to supply energy for industry or other purposes,” he added.
The Ras Al Khaimah Waste Management Authority has also recently signed a 15 year deal with Al Qamra Facilities Management. This deal shall provide innovative waste management solutions for the healthcare sector. RAK will provide the land for a healthcare waste treatment plant, and Al Qamra will invest in the facility and infrastructure that would include environmentally-safe technologies such as the autoclave sterilization system with pre-shredding methodology fully-compliant to the World Health Organization’s standards.
The two parties announced the formation of a public-private partnership (PPP) company, RAK QAFAM, of which 51 percent will be owned by RAKWMA while Al Qamra will hold 49 percent. This new entity will be responsible for collecting the medical waste from public and private hospitals and the medical centers in Ras Al Khaimah for the next 15 years.
The deal between Al Qamra and RAKWMA signifies the importance of facilitating a comprehensive platform for the region where they can find the best business solutions that are challenging the community and the built environment sector. The RAK facility of this newly formed company will collect and process approximately 500 tons of medical waste per year and will eventually expand its capacity to accommodate waste from the other Northern Emirates.
Sonia Y. Nasser, Technical Director of RAKWMA said, “Waste is a critical part of the equation. Dumping waste in landfills is not desirable, so finding innovative ways to release the embodied energy in waste is crucial if we are to address the sustainability challenges of increased urbanization and consumerism.”
Recently, Ras Al Khaimah Wastewater Authority (RAKWA) has awarded Veolia Water Technologies a contract for the upgrade of Al Fileyah plan. It is the main Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) in Ras Al Khaimah, and is a constant proof of Veolia’s growing commitment to manage the significant increase of inlet flow over the years and address issues of odor nuisance. The contract, signed during WETEX 2016, was awarded to the experts in water and waste management for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the Al Fileyah plant. It includes supply, construction, commissioning and performance testing for the STP.
With a challenging estimated completion time of 12 months, the project will focus on doubling the capacity of the treatment plant, bringing it from 20 MLD to 40 MLD. In order to achieve this target, the assigned team will implement secondary biological treatment processes, including installation and upgrades of aeration tanks and clarifiers. The team will also construct new UASB Bioreactors provided by Veolia’s subsidiary Biothane (Upthane technology).
Eng. Ahmed Mohamad Al Hammadi, Chairman of RAKWA said “The extension of Al Fileyah treatment plant is very important for RAKWA as it strengthens our strategy to enhance the overall development of Ras Al Khaimah. Partnering with Veolia for water treatment is in line with our commitment to build a strong and enduring team working alongside with Moalajah to deliver this project.”