Thursday, June 11, 2009

Middle East Waste Summit 2009 lauded for sustainable waste solutions

Middle East Waste Summit 2009 lauded for sustainable waste solutions

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 11th June 2009: The inaugural Middle East Waste Summit (MEWS) was successfully launched in Dubai with a range of initiatives to address the urgent need to deliver waste management and recycling solutions to the region, which ranks at the top of the world’s waste producers.

MEWS took place in the Dubai Airport Expo from the 26th till the 28th of May under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Minister of Finance and Industry and Chairman of Dubai Municipality. The summit, which was fully supported by the Dubai Municipality, sponsored by Tadweer and organized by Turret Middle East, was inaugurated by Eng. Hussein Lootah, the Director General of the Dubai Municipality. Lootah commented on the necessity of such an event, pointing out how the amount of waste arriving at the municipal garbage dump has increased to a staggering 11,000 tonnes in the year 2008 in comparison to 3,000 tonnes in the year 2000.

The event attracted 2,690 industry professionals from over 50 countries, mainly waste management and recycling professionals representing the government and municipalities, industry projects, academia, private organisations and waste generators from across the world.

The Middle East Waste Summit covered a range of themes such as waste and its effect on global warming, economy and the environment, domestic waste control, medical waste management, industrial waste management, landfills and waste, and energy solutions to support the summit’s objectives. Some of the world’s leading experts took part in the summit, including HE Dr. Rashid Bin Fahed, Minister of Environment and Water in the UAE, Mr. W. Gregory Vogt, Managing Director at International Solid Waste Association, and Eng. Hassan Mohammed Makki, Director of Waste Management at the Dubai Municipality. Roundtables were also held for professionals to debate key issues and possible solutions on waste and recycling in small groups of ten.

During the summit, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Dubai Municipality and Imdaad, a Dubai World company that offers outsourced management services in facilities management and consultancy, helping mark the successful debut of the Middle East Waste Summit. “The first Middle East Waste Summit was very successful. It attracted a significant number of visitors and participants, as well as major lecturers. Furthermore, the summit delivered its key messages about the many issues and solutions regarding waste management and stressed the importance of enhancing the cooperation between the private and public sector”, said Eng. Hassan Mohammed Makki, Director of the Waste Management Department, Dubai Municipality.

“Considering the UAE consumes the equivalent of 4.5 planets worth of natural resources, there is clearly room for improvement, and the participation of Dubai in this summit is a welcome first step”, stated Tanzeed Alam, Climate Change and Sustainability Director at EWS-WWF.

Further regarding the benefits of such a summit, Alam commented that “tackling waste throughout the entire life-cycle will not only help us to avoid the risks posed by climate change, but moreover, help realize the multitude of opportunities that exist to create a healthier environment through leading more sustainable lifestyles, innovation, creation of new markets and products.”

The Middle East Waste Summit 2009 is the most comprehensive forum of its kind, reflecting Dubai’s commitment to leading the region towards embracing efficient waste management and recycling programmes.

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