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Municipal Projects

Some projects are too big for the private sector or grass roots movements to execute. BGreen rounds up the top municipality conservation projects of the last few years, that are helping businesses and the public at large to live green without sacrifice.

PROJECT: 20-year waste management plan
Last month, Dubai Municipality announced a 20-year waste management plan covering all categories of waste.
Mott MacDonald is currently undertaking the development of an integrated waste management master plan on behalf of Dubai Municipality which will provide a structure for waste management until 2030.
“Dubai Municipality is not only responding to the current demand for efficient and effective waste management but also safeguarding economic growth and social development as well through its integrated approach to a sustainable and innovative waste management system,” commented Eng. Abdulmajeed Abdulaziz Saifaie, director of waste management, during dedicated workshops on the plans.

PROJECT: Phantom flush
Last year 500 urinals were installed in Dubai’s public places that do not require water to flush. Enlisting Falcon WaterFree Technologies saves an average of 40,000 gallons or 151,000 litres of water each year, per unit.
Using replaceable cartridges of liquid sealants to ‘flush’ away waste, a drain trap is created while the liquid sealant seals the urine and odour within the cartridge. The product was first marketed in the UAE in 2008 and is now provided by a number of different suppliers, such as Duravit and its McDry, which is installed in a number of McDonalds restaurants.
“In water-scarce scenarios, water-less urinal technology can play an important role in saving precious water,” said Leandro Bantug, MD for the project’s supplier, Design International Selections, in an interview with H20 Magazine.

PROJECT: Rooftop retrofit
Not only increasing the efficiency of utility usage, Abu Dhabi Municipality is also maximising unused space in the built environment by installing solar panels and planting gardens on the rooftops of buildings.
The solar project is a three-phase integrated power management programme, to enhance the sustainability of all government buildings. The programme is now in its final phase since its inception in March 2010, and is projected to reduce energy consumption from traditional methods by 25-30% upon completion. Savings of 8% were recorded in 2010.
“The Municipality is always keen on adopting environmental and health policies that maintain the community’s security and safety by adopting well-defined and regulated power consumption rationalisation programmes that also contribute to the development projects by bringing down the costs of wasted energy; which in turn reflects positively on the local economy and adds to the domestic product and national income,” said Engineer Salah Awadh Al Sarraj, who was Acting Executive Director of Town Planning when the project launched.

PROJECT: Green-lit streets
While the city isn’t literally lit up green, the replacement of sodium bulbs with LED across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, is estimated to save between AED500 million and AED1 billion; including the cost of replacing each of the 620,000 street lights once over the next 20 years. The savings will be made despite the bulbs costing an average 40% more than the traditional type.
Abu Dhabi isn’t the first city to use more efficient bulbs for street lights; cities across America – including LA, San Francisco and Pittsburgh; Hungary and Singapore have also gone green.

Faced with a litter problem, last year the Government of Sharjah collaborated with Bee’ah to implement fines ten times higher than ever before.
Initiated with a new bylaw, the fines were introduced to tackle waste in and around the Khalid Lagoon area. Under the guidance of Sharjah’s leader, His Highness Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Bee’ah has launched a number of other community initiatives. Today the semi-government entity has 2000 employees and dedicated divisions for medical waste, street cleaning and education. The municipality also offers advice on the disposal of detergents, cooking oil, and pharmaceutical products on its website.

PROJECT: Screening from source
Ajman, home of the Green Sheikh, is known for its green living philosophies and imparting them on citizens begins early in life.
Last year, Ajman Educational Area and the Department for Environment, actioned a recycling programme called ‘screening from source’, which saw cardboard, metal cans, plastic and paper collected and reinforced with education days in the Emirate’s nurseries.
In addition, the Public Health and Environment Department established a working group that distributed 20,000 educational bulletins to residents and arranged a cleanliness campaign across the Emirate.

PROJECT: Heroes of the UAE
Fujairah Municipality took part in the ‘heroes’ programme to raise public awareness of energy challenges facing the Emirate. Till date, more than 50,000 energy saving light bulbs have been distributed to residents free of charge. The project was delivered in partnership with Emirates Wildlife Society and the World Wide Fund for Nature (EWS-WWF).
Since this initiative, the two have also partnered on the protection of the Emirate’s Wadi Wuraya and surrounding mountain range.

PROJECT: Solar islands
Energy is a big issue in Ras Al Khaimah, where intensive industrial work drains much of the grid, leaving little supply for the general population. One of the zanier solutions for this is the ‘solar islands’ project by the Swiss CSEM, in collaboration with RAKIA and FEWA, the local energy and water authority.
CSEM says the solar island platform is the biggest high precision solar tracking surface today in the world today. The facility will be opened to joint solar energy development projects involving industry and universities.
CSEM has also stated it has ability to assist in increasing the efficiency of the power plants at Al Hamra and Al Ghail.

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Current Issue October 2013