Category Archives: green living

Smart garbage bins to track errant families in Abu Dhabi

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/environment/smart-garbage-bins-to-track-errant-families-in-abu-dhabi-1.1274941

 

Smart garbage bins to track errant families in Abu Dhabi

Households producing excessive waste can be monitored

    • By Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter
    • Published: 21:00 January 7, 2014
    • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Binsal Abdul Kader/ Gulf News
  • Ahmad Al Suwaidi, contract manager for waste collection and cleaning at the Centre of Waste Management – Abu Dhabi is explaining how waste should be segregated while disposing of into waste bins. The centre is installing 30,000 (thirty thousand) smart bins in neighbourhoods, which are monitored by the advanced radio-frequency identification (RFID) remote sensor systems.

Abu Dhabi: ‘Smart bins’ can now track how much rubbish people are throwing away — meaning households who are producing excessive waste can be identified.

A campaign to segregate waste by the Centre of Waste Management-Abu Dhabi (CWM) is being expanded into new areas. The centre is installing 30,000 smart bins in neighbourhoods, which are monitored by advanced radio-frequency identification (RFID) remote sensor systems. Volunteers helping out in the campaign told surprised householders the bins can track how much waste they are throwing away.

Each waste bin has an electronic chip with its geographic and technical details, which can be read by a device in waste collection trucks (through RFID technology)

The device is linked to a central monitoring station, which ensures timely collection of waste from containers and their periodic washing.

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Alarm

“If a waste collection truck passes a bin without collecting waste from it an alarm will ring,” a senior official told Gulf News on Tuesday.

There are 15,000 green bins for recyclable waste and 15,000 black bins, Ahmad Al Suwaidi, contract manager for waste collection and cleaning at the CWM, said.

Residents were asked to segregate waste during an awareness drive at Khalifa City A.

Weight

“We can identify those who do not follow this instruction in real time. The weight of the green bin [recyclable] will always be lighter than the black bin. If the green bins are found to be heavier than black bins or if both are even equal in weight, we can conclude that families are not properly segregating the waste,” Al Suwaidi said.

The emirate generates 33,000 tonnes of waste per day — more than ten million annually. Per capita waste generation in the emirate is 1.8 to 2 kilos per day.

However, the amount of recycled waste was not readily available.

The centre employees and volunteers Mawalif and Takatof, act as environmental guides in the campaign.

The campaign covers Mohammad Bin Zayed City, Mussafah Commercial Area, Al Shawamekh, Abu Dhabi Gate City, Bain Al Jessrain, the Officers City area and Khalifa City A.

Eisa Saif Al Qubaisi, General Manager of CWM said the campaign aimed to achieve active community participation and enhance awareness about sustainable waste management.

“We believe this will reflect positively on the general appearance of all neighbourhoods. The important issues of waste reduction, reuse and recycling will also be highlighted.”

Hani Hosni, Acting Executive Director of Strategy and Business Development at CWM, said the campaign will help improve general hygiene and environmental safety.

UAE households the target for lowering water use

TheNational.ae

UAE households the target for lowering water use

ABU DHABI // The UAE has one of the world’s most efficient water-supply networks, losing only 10 per cent to leaks, so the focus for preserving the precious resource has to be on consumers.

And with demand for water continuing to grow, Abu Dhabi’s nine power and water plants, which between them can produce 4.1 billion litres of water a day, are near full capacity.

“There’s been a large growth in demand and the main challenge we face now is to meet this large growth,” said Mohammad Al Hajjiri, head of water forecasts at Abu Dhabi Water and Electricity Company.

“In the last 50 years we started living a lifestyle of people who have a lot of water.

“This lifestyle was imported from western countries.”

Mr Al Hajjiri was speaking at the International Water Summit that continued yesterday at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

Despite growing pressure on supplies worldwide, many countries still lose a third or more of their water to leaks.

Japan loses up to 40 per cent while Jordan loses at least half.

“Forty per cent of the global drinking water is lost because of this,” said Diego Lucente, senior water projects manager at Suez Environment.

“In developed countries, we lose [45 billion litres] of water a day in terms of leakage.”

In that context, Abu Dhabi’s 10 per cent leakage is in the top tier. The problem now lies with consumers.

“It’s not just about using technology to reduce your losses, it’s about lifestyle changes,” said Bob Taylor, the business development director at Sembcorp, a UK utilities services company.

The World Health Organisation says a good standard of living can be maintained with 160 litres of water a day a person. In warmer countries such as the UAE, 180 litres is considered the maximum needed.

“We’re using much more,” said Mr Al Hajjiri. “Abu Dhabi has one of the highest consumption rates in the world. We live in nice standards so if you want to reduce it, you have to change your lifestyle.”

The UAE’s water use is estimated at 350 litres a person a day.

Mr Al Hajjiri said the Government was embarking on campaigns to reduce household use.

Bills are colour-coded to indicate whether a family is using more or less water and electricity than the norm.

“The bill tells you the actual cost of water and electricity versus what you are paying and you pay less than a third of the amount,” he said.

But he is optimistic that the situation will change.

“My grandfather used to live on 20 litres a day,” Mr Al Hajjiri said.

“Now we live on [much more] but we have to keep those habits that were suitable to this part of the world.

“There’s a high rate of consumption that needs to be addressed.”

cmalek@thenational.ae