SOZO Consultants will be exhibiting its latest products at FM Expo this September. We spoke to the Operation Manager, Eng. Maria Saba; here's what she told us as she prepares to participate at the largest dedicated platform for Facilities Management in the Middle East.
How do you find the Waste Management industry in the Middle East right now?
Over the last two decades, there’s been a substantial rise in waste generation and this has become a major concern in the region. The Middle East is not equipped to handle the projected increase in waste through existing landfills and current waste management practices, including open-air dumping and burning of waste, are not sustainable for the future.
The current waste process can be broken down to the following steps:
1. Waste is disposed into bins and then collected by garbage trucks.
2. Waste is transported and disposed into a waste site or landfill, where the waste isn’t generally segregated.
This process will need to be addressed and remedied if scarce landfill resources are to be preserved and if the focus of the waste industry is to shift towards more sustainable waste management strategies.
While first step initiatives are being undertaken by governments and private companies, it is absolutely essential that education and legislation are introduced along with the right infrastructure to encourage sustainable waste management practices and minimize waste diversion.
Why would you recommend doing business in this region?
Urbanization, industrialization and economic growth have resulted in an increase in waste generation per person over the last few years. The Middle East is one of the most waste generating regions in the world with a per capita waste production averaging more than 2 kg per day. The current waste management practices are not sustainable and people in the region have started to realize that a long-term framework through education, regulations, policies and integrated waste management is undeniably needed.
With the current situation in the region and seeing the many opportunities associated with improved waste management, I’m confident that the Middle East is a great place to create change in the industry. The UAE is leading the way where the public and private sectors are investing in new technologies in existing waste management structures and the government is revising the policies for a transparent and sustainable waste management system
What are the top 3 trends in the GCC waste management industry according to you?
1. Waste master plans and legislation such as increase in tipping fee.
2. Centralizing the waste management companies.
3. Technology advancements that will be adopted in the waste sector.
What do these mean for your company?
The trends seen in the UAE are undoubtedly having an impact on public perception about waste management. People and companies are now more aware about sustainable waste disposal and its importance for the environment, and this in turn is having a positive impact on our company.
The UAE is creating an environment for companies such as SOZO to thrive in the waste management sector. Through the adoption of strict legislation with respect to disposal fees and the centralization of waste management companies by the government, companies are seeking alternative ways to get rid of their waste. The regulations and policies introduced by the UAE are allowing SOZO to better connect with businesses and the public to offer sustainable waste management solutions viably.
We’re also confident that other GCC countries will follow in the UAE’s footsteps in the near future, as has been the case with other industries. We’re optimistic that our neighbors will implement similar policies to tackle waste issues, which in turn will allow the potential for growth in the market.
What products will you present at FM EXPO?
SOZO Consultants will be presenting the ultimate solution for food waste- the ORCA technology.
The ORCA is a machine that "digests" up to 2,400 pounds (over 1 ton) of food waste per day. Within 24 hours, this technology turns food waste into environmentally safe water that flows straight into the municipal sewage system. The sustainable technology is housed in a stainless-steel container, with a door on the top which employees open to throw food waste inside. Within the container, the ORCA's proprietary, natural Microorganism solution works with water and recycled plastic Biochips to quickly break down the waste. Through a process called "aerobic digestion," the ORCA technology constantly churns all this material, adding oxygen that accelerates the time it takes to transform the food waste disposal into earth-friendly water.
Why is there demand for them in the Dubai/Middle East?
There’s 3.27 Million tons of food waste generated in the UAE every year, which translates to AED 13 Billion of food wasted every year! The food waste ending up in our landfills produces harmful emissions that are released into the atmosphere. Many people don’t realize that there’s also a large environmental impact during the handling, sorting, storing and transportation of food waste.
Our ORCA product is the ideal solution for food waste management which results in significant environmental gains. Working at source, ORCA is an earth-friendly technology which has the capacity to reduce the food-service carbon footprint by eliminating the need for plastic bags, the hauling trucks, and the creation of new landfills or remote composting facilities.
How will the exhibition help you to grow business in the UAE?
The FM Expo is an important lead generation and brand awareness channel. It will allow SOZO Consultants to find opportunities to grow its customer base, establish partnerships, learn ways to improve operations, and establish themselves as industry leaders. The FM expo is a great venue to raise environmental awareness, promote sustainable development, and encourage the conservation of Earth.
About SOZO Consultants -
SOZO Consultants was founded in Abu Dhabi in 2015 to deliver sustainable solutions during design, construction and operation. SOZO Consultant's goal is to lead in the rapidly changing constructed environment to contribute towards the sustainable transformation of the UAE and the MENA region. Our consultancy services range from green building certification, energy simulation, commissioning management, energy auditing and waste management. One of our sustainability endeavors is the ORCA technology. The ultimate food waste solution targeting zero waste status. We carry the exclusive license for ORCA in the UAE and MENA.