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Wed 12 Sep 2007 12:52 AM

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Dubai takes on medical waste

ETA subsidiary to build UAE's largest incinerator for safe treatment of Dubai's escalating medical waste.

Dubai Municipality has signed a deal with Zenath Group to build the UAE’s first vertical medical incinerator plant for the safe treatment of medical waste.

The incinerator, which will be located in Jebel Ali near an existing facility, will have a treatment capacity of 20 tons per day. It is scheduled to be fully operational by late 2008.

Hussain Nasser Lootah, acting director general of Dubai Municipality, said the management of medical waste is a challenging task that accompanies growth and development in a progressive metropolis.

"Dubai is no exception as it is experiencing a steady increase in the quantity of medical waste due to population growth and the subsequent increase in the number of medical and healthcare facilities, not only in the urban areas but in rural areas as well. These wastes require proper treatment, destruction and disposal," he said.

Mr. Lootah said the civic body handled 1188 tons of medical waste in 2006 compared to 579 tons in 2002. Full-scale operation of facilities like the Dubai Health Care City, which comprises 9 hospitals and 1,100 beds will see that figure rise to 4030 tons by 2017.

Dubai’s medical waste is presently treated and disposed of at the Jebel Ali Medical Waste Treatment Facility, which since 2001 has used an incinerator with 500kg per hour throughput facility.

Lootah said Dubai Municipality was committed to private sector partnerships to better serve society. “The main objective of this project is to ensure a clean and healthy environment in the Emirate by providing appropriate and state-of-the-art facilities for the treatment and disposal of medical wastes".

Zenath is the recycling and waste management arm of the ETA Star Group.

Chairman Syed M Salahuddin said the Group had always been at the forefront of efforts to raise environmental consciousness in the country. “This is the first vertical incinerator being installed in the region and will go a long way in further improving hygienic and public health standards in Dubai” he said.

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