The event will take a holistic approach of the environmental issues, affecting Sharjah, the UAE and the wider Middle East
Bee'ah, one of the region’s leading integrated environmental and waste management organisations, along with Expo Centre Sharjah will host Green Middle East 2011. The event aims to address waste, pollution, recycling and alternative energy issues by featuring the latest in environmental management systems and sustainable technology.
“The best countries in the world are the ones already implementing effective environmental solutions and being at the forefront of positive environmental change, it is Bee’ah’s ultimate vision to position the UAE as a model for an environmentally sustainable future,” said H.E Saalim Bin Mohammed Al Owais, Chairman of Bee’ah.
Dealing with solid waste is a particularly acute issue. The UAE has the dubious distinction of being the world's largest per capita producer of waste. Sharjah itself generates 2,200 tonnes of municipal solid waste daily. About 2.2 kg of waste is produced per person per day (803.5 kg per person per year) in Sharjah. About 2,500 to 3,000 tonnes of construction and demolition waste is received at its landfill daily, which amounts to approximately 1,095,000 tonnes a year.
In comparison, Dubai generates more that 10,000 tonnes of general waste per day and Abu Dhabi generates about 4.2 kg of garbage per person per day. This is much higher than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries' average of 1.54 kg per inhabitant per day. Every single day, about 1,500 tonnes of municipal waste and about 12,000 to 15,000 tonnes of construction waste ends up in Abu Dhabi landfills.
In 2010 Sharjah produced 48% of the UAE’s non-oil industrial output, up 2% since 2006 and by simply generating more power, the Sharjah government is well aware that long term, that is not the solution. Employing more efficient processes will have to play a major role to maintain sustainable future economic policy.
“If Gulf countries, reliant on revenues from oil and gas, want to diversify and grow their economies, it is essential they find ways to manage waste and use energy more efficiently. Sustainability is one of the fastest growing industries in the region, billions of dollars has and will continue to be allocated from government budgets, providing a myriad of business opportunities,” Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, Director-General of Expo Centre Sharjah.
Indeed Sharjah Municipality is, in some areas, setting the pace, embracing private investment with Public Private Partnerships (PPP) such as the recently signed a twenty-year agreement with Bee’ah to manage landfill site operations across Sharjah. Alongside the same agreement, Tandeef, the street cleaning and city beautification arm of Bee'ah, was commissioned to provide services to ensure a cost-effective and environmentally sound solid waste collection and is also required to introduce further recycling initiatives while encouraging international standards of waste source separation and recycling practices.
The three-day event which takes place on 17-19 October 2011 will take a holistic approach of the environmental issues, affecting Sharjah, the UAE and the wider Middle East. It will feature five highly focused areas of sustainability namely, solid waste, waste water, air pollution, scrap metal, alternative energy and green buildings. Comprising an exhibition, conference, seminars and workshops, the sustainable showcase will feature the technology equipment and products that go into environment conservation and protection, offering participants a platform to access the region’s multi-million dollar spending in environmental protection.