As the environmental competent authority responsible for regulating and protecting the environment in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) has issued the executive regulation for integrated waste management, which were approved by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of EAD.

The regulation was issued based on Local Law No. (21) of 2005 for waste management in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, with an aim to regulate and improve waste management in the Emirate. This will be achieved by reducing and reusing generated waste of all kinds and applying the best methods and techniques available for waste recycling, treatment, resource recovery and safe disposal. This is to ensure the protection of the environment as well as minimising harm to human health and contributing towards achieving national and local indicators related to waste, thereby supporting efforts towards sustainable development.

Her Excellency Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Secretary General of EAD, said: “The regulation is the first of its kind at the Emirate's level, contributing towards overcoming challenges facing the emirate in the field of waste management and helping the development and sound management of waste, in addition to attracting investments to the waste sector. The regulation also helps prevent duplicated efforts in the waste management sector, as it clearly defines the roles of each concerned entities from a legislative, regulatory, and operational perspective. To ensure this, EAD will coordinate with concerned authorities to prepare and implement awareness programmes to raise the awareness of community members, environmental service providers, various sectors, and entrepreneurs about the regulation, to achieve its objectives.”

Her Excellency mentioned that the regulation covers all vital sectors in the Emirate, such as the residential, industrial, commercial, agricultural, craft, professional, service, health, and institutional sectors  including governmental and semi-governmental entities, universities, institutes, schools, and training centres. The regulation also asserts the Agency’s commitment towards developing a sustainable, effective, and integrated approach to waste management in the Emirate, which is one of EAD's main priorities to protect the environment and public health. EAD cooperates with concerned governmental entities by implementing the provisions of the regulation to reach an integrated waste system based on minimizing the amount of waste transferred to landfills, encouraging a circular economy and applying the best available practices and technologies.

Eng. Faisal Al Hammadi, Acting Executive Director of the Environmental Quality Sector, stated: “The regulation defines the basic principles of integrated waste management in the Emirate, in addition to the environmental licensing procedures for waste management facilities and environmental service providers. It also identifies the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders and concerned entities, and the obligations of waste management facilities, environmental service providers and waste generators. The regulation also regulates the process of transferring waste among Emirates, as well as exporting it outside of the country.”

According to Al Hammadi, EAD started implementing the requirements of the regulation after preparing the executive plan and sharing it with the concerned authorities in the Emirate. The executive plan included several procedures and initiatives which will be implemented over the upcoming years and will positively reflect on the currently applicable procedures in the Emirate for more effective and integrated management of waste. EAD also prepared a plan for evaluating the regulation and to measure its effectiveness to achieve the desired goals and indicators.

Al Hammadi added that EAD has identified the regulatory instruments that need to be developed to support the regulation, which will be prepared within a specific timeframe and with the participation of the concerned authorities in the emirate.

The regulation seeks to support investment in the waste sector and attract specialised companies, and to stimulate innovation in the areas of waste management. These include mechanisms for waste collection, segregation, recycling, and treatment using the best technologies, in addition to eliminate the illegal dumping of waste and improving the conditions of existing landfills.

EAD has developed the regulation in partnership with all relevant government entities through the whole stages of developing the regulation, and who is in alignment with federal and local plans and strategies as well as the environmental vision of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi 2030.