How Cleantech Hub Grounds Redefine Waste Management and Supports UAE’s Circular Economy Policy


Cleantech Hub Grounds

Last updated at: March 01, 2024

In pursuit of Sustainable Development Goal 12, Responsible Consumption and Production, the UAE’s Circular Economy Policy was approved in January 2021. It was a major step toward sustainable management and wise use of natural resources in the region. The strategy minimises resource consumption and waste to provide a good quality of life for future generations while being one of the largest per capita trash-producing countries.

Global leaders and climate advocates have been working away from linear economy and more towards circularity. While the demand for effective waste management solutions is crucial, under 20% of waste is recycled annually, revealing a persistent reliance on landfills and hazardous dump sites in developing nations (Statista, 2023). Most regions in the UAE, particularly Abu Dhabi, encounter a significant predicament in their municipal waste management, mostly attributable to inadequately maintained waste disposal facilities in both residential and commercial domains. The disposal of mixed waste is a significant concern that adversely affects resource availability and hinders the achievement of the city's sustainability objectives.

Current waste management methods, such as gravity chutes, tri-sorter systems, and subterranean automated collection, are limited in promoting higher recycling rates. Well, most issues primarily stem from the absence of user responsibility. Cleantech Hub Grounds (CHG) introduces Arbor, which combines technology with sustainability and might help catalyse this change by strengthening the link between the two.

UAE is one of the six Arab countries that have reached two-thirds of the SDGs, leading a regional effort to address UNDP's pressing challenges and create a future that meets global needs.

Arbor means Tree in Latin

Arbor’s System at the Cusp of the Fifth Industrial Revolution

Although there is an overall shift toward sustainability, there is still a considerable disconnect between cutting-edge technology and waste management. In many cases, the current infrastructure is ineffective because it does not encourage user responsibility or ensure maximum recycling of available materials.

Beyond addressing this unmet need, Arbor's breakthrough advances 5th Industrial Revolution waste management practices. But how does Arbor seek to transform our approach to waste?  As such, the Arbor system is all-inclusive, requiring participation and responsibility from its users. Notable features include closed doors at waste disposal facilities that can only be opened with the Arbor app or by paying a membership fee.

Putting first the harmonious collaborations between humans and machines, the Fifth Industrial Revolution (5IR) proposes a revolutionary direction focusing collective attention on the well-being of a diverse stakeholder network, encompassing society, businesses, employees, and customers (Noble et al., 2020).

ARBOR is a leading example of how human-machine collaborations can substantially improve societal well-being and environmental pursuits, steering energy conservation and reducing carbon footprint. Without a doubt, the ARBOR system is a facet of the 5IR by offering a responsible recycling solution in which individuals engage in resourceful waste disposal and recycling processes through interaction with machinery via an app and smart systems.  Even more, this demonstrates a tangible application of 5IR and promotes responsible consumption and production practices, ensuring that technology and humanity converge to promote sustainable development and communal well-being.

Streamlining Waste Disposal in UAE with CHG’s Technology

Waste disposal is quite a difficult process that requires careful planning and management to minimise environmental and health concerns. Imagine that the average waste generation per capita in the UAE is 1.8 kg/day, according to the UAE Ministry of Climate Change & Environment. Yet, this is not just a number; it has a daily, palpable effect on our ecosystems and communities, calling for creative, efficient, and environmentally friendly waste management techniques. It's a journey through controlling our everyday footprints to be mindful of the planet that freely welcomes us. 

Technology, when used right, can save the planet

Proprietary regulated bags, which can be purchased via the Arbor app, are required for waste disposal. Thus, the individual's waste can be traced back to them using their QR code. Upon completion, the Smart Chute door's built-in scanner scans the bags to sort trash into the appropriate container while simultaneously recording user information.

To divert this predilection, ARBOR bins notify the central logistics facility when they reach 75% capacity, prompting efficient collection and transfer to the sorting hub. This is just one example of the many ways in which the ability of bins helps to improve the efficiency of the logistics system. The accuracy of users' recycling activities is evaluated by inspecting the bags. Properly sorted garbage leads to user recognition, while differences result in alerts for remedial steps.

“Waste management has a data problem,” as WEF once highlighted, and ARBOR is on track to solve it, as the waste is weighed after verification and the results are entered into a central database. Following collection, recyclables undergo sorting, cleaning, and processing to make them marketable again. Bidding on the Arbor app allows businesses to acquire the cleaned and sorted materials needed to make new goods from recycled resources.

Advancing towards a Circular Economy

Even though progress has been made, much more must be done to improve recycling rates, trash sorting efficiency, and individual responsibility. In line with research conducted by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, sustainable production and consumption habits are essential to the success of a circular economy.

Although historical global consumption trends have degraded the environment, it's possible to decouple economic growth from such damage, a sentiment echoed in the UN’s SDG12, promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP). Aligned with UAE’s Circular Economy Policy, embracing a circular economy addresses these environmental concerns and pivots towards sustainable financial practices, utilising innovative economic tools and valuing natural resource investments. Shifting from a linear to a circular economy is central to the UAE's commitment to SCP, aiming to operate within ecological boundaries and ensure intergenerational well-being. 

Constituting a solution that places an emphasis on user accountability and guarantees effective resource usage, Arbor is well-suited to this evolution. The concept presented by Arbor bridges the gaps in the existing waste management paradigm by applying technological and user-centric methods. As the circular economy evolves, the Gulf Cooperation Council expects to save $138 billion by 2030, creating an environmentally and economically sustainable landscape. The UAE is committed to implementing circular economic principles, which are critical to meeting the UN SDGs and promoting sustainability.

Every step we take towards better waste management betters our environment and defines the legacy we leave for future generations. Get involved, stay informed, and be the change: learn more about Cleantech Hub Grounds.

Waste, is not a waste of time.