Market is at the stage where the progress and effectiveness of certain projects and initiatives can be tracked
Everyone has an essential part to play in waste management according to Ramboll’s Yassmin Al-Khatib. In an exclusive interview with Middle East Consultant, Al-Khatib, an associate with Ramboll Middle East and Africa, said that regional waste management issues need to be dealt with through increasing public awareness and a focus on changing production and consumption patterns.
“Through awareness programs, people realise the direct impact they have on waste generation and how they can influence change. An example of this is the UAE’s pledge to confront plastic pollution dumped at sea and how we have already seen grocery stores pledge to phase out the use of plastic. When change is happening in front of you, people start to get involved and realise that their efforts make a difference in the long run,” explained Al-Khatib.
She stated that today people are more aware of the issues around waste than before and points to social media playing a significant role. “Many of us are aware of our consumption and what we typically generate on day-to-day basis and are actively trying to reduce and recycle waste.”
Al-Khatib also notes that public interest in recycling and waste management has influenced schools and universities.
“Institutions in the UAE have encouraged people to recycle through incentivisation. An example of this is a recycling program launched across the UAE, where students can dispose of plastic bottles and metal cans in a vending machine and have the chance to win a prize or even credits towards their program.”
She also points out that the market is at the stage where progress on certain projects and initiatives can be tracked and studied to gauge their effect.
“We are at the point where we can track progress and assess what we are achieving. We have received project inquiries, specifically from public sector clients, that are focused on tracking and monitoring their KPIs. Many clients want to see how they have progressed over the years and ensure that they are on track with their plans.”