Recycled gravel has been used to make pavements © Michael Prince / Getty Images
Recycled gravel has been used to make pavements © Michael Prince / Getty Images

How 1m tonnes of waste was turned into pavements and floor tiles

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
4 October 2022

Abu Dhabi produced more than 1m tonnes of products from recycled waste materials in the first half of 2022.

The Abu Dhabi Waste Management Centre (Tadweer) said 14,000 tonnes of fertiliser had been produced from plant and animal manure, more than 1m tonnes of gravel from demolition and construction waste, and around 26,000 tonnes of rubber products from recycled tyres.

The products amounted to 23% of total waste collected in specialised facilities in the first six months of 2022.

The figures emerge as research shows up to $85bn will need to be invested for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to hit waste recycling and sustainability targets.

Recycled gravel was used in projects including pavements and rubber was used to make tiles for use in sports facilities and education.

Abdul Mohsin Al Katheeri, director of projects and facilities at Tadweer, said: “Since its establishment, the centre has adopted a comprehensive approach to achieving environmental sustainability by developing an integrated plan for waste management and recycling. 

“This commitment is supported by many programmes and initiatives that aim to deal with all types of waste, reduce its amount, reuse it, and encourage the community and organisations to use recycled materials, while taking advantage of the capabilities and advantages that Abu Dhabi enjoys that make it a thriving hub for innovative sustainability solutions.”

He added: “The centre will continue its efforts to enhance the integrated waste management system of the emirate and adopt the best solutions and the latest technologies for waste management as part of our aim to convert waste into products that can be used in various sectors. This will empower us to realise the UAE’s ambitions to achieve a circular economy.”

Separately, a report has found $60bn-$85bn will need to be invested over the next 20 years – across plastic, concrete and cement, metals, and bio-waste – for the GCC to meet waste management targets.

The investment would cover design, collection, sorting, and recycling across these four key streams, which are expected to make up 75% of all waste to be recycled in 2040 across the GCC.

Optimising a circular economy across the four streams could increase GDP in the GCC by $95bn-$105bn and generate up to 300,000 jobs.

The report, by Boston Consulting Group and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, found the GCC produced 105m-130m tons of waste each year, primarily from municipal solid waste, construction and demolition, and agricultural waste.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates account for around 75% of the total.

Shelly Trench, managing director and partner at BCG, said: “Meeting bold targets and increasing circularity in the GCC region will yield multi-dimensional benefits. Beyond the obvious environmental value, the transition to a circular economy promises economic gains linked to job creation, economic growth, self-sufficiency, and independence from external regulatory pressures.”

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