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Waste Management Planning using Zero-Waste Approach at few Universities in Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.

Mahmoud E. Ahmed* and Piotr Manczarski

The transition towards a circular economy has received massive attention because of the economic benefits and sustainable living goals. The main objective of this paper is to apply environmentally sustainable methods to the waste management system at the university’s campus and minimize waste transferred to landfills. The current waste management system was evaluated based on Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT). The load count analysis recorded an average of 12 tons of waste produced per day in the study area, categorized as 12% wastepaper, 13% plastics and metals, 64% bio waste, 1% glass, and 10% mixed. The findings of the calculations of the Zero-Waste Index (Z.W.I.) for the current waste management (Scenario 1) and after applying the zero-waste approach (Scenario 2) were 0.61 and 0.72, respectively. In addition, the substitution values of the resource (SFi) from waste management systems for the Z.W.I. showed that the approach would result in daily substitution of virgin materials amounting to 8.59 tons, energy substitution of 137.89 MJ/ton, Greenhouses Gases (GHG) emissions reduction of 14.76 CO2e/ton, and water savings of 2.11 L. The Z.W.I. difference is insignificant due to the high generation of bio waste, which troubles material recovery. To sum up, this approach will help decrease the university’s ecological footprint and create economic benefits. Additionally, this study highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the waste management system and lays the foundation for the needed improvement.

Published Date: 2023-01-09; Received Date: 2022-12-02