Creating an opportunity to transform garbage into a money-making, environmentally sound endeavour is no longer a dream for the Al Ghusais landfill in Dubai. The first in the region, the municipal landfill not only generates power from waste but has also begun selling the carbon credits it earns from the process.
A by-product of garbage decomposition, landfill gas is comprised mainly of methane gas and carbon dioxide. While both gases are extremely harmful to the environment, methane gas’ ability to trap heat in the atmosphere makes the level of damage inflicted by gas overwhelming.
A worldwide problem, the desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is top of mind for the United Nations under their Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). A public-private partnership managed by Green Energy Solutions and Sustainability LLC for the Waste Management Department of the municipality, the Al Ghusais landfill is a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Under the CDM, which falls within the Kyoto Protocol, the facility obtains carbon credits relative to the amount of emissions kept out of the atmosphere.
The recent presentation of a cheque in the amount of approximately USD 96,000 to Hussain Nasser Lootah, who is the director-general of Dubai Municipality, came from the sale of a reported 160,735 TCo2e to the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Energy, which was looking to offset their carbon emissions.
Speaking to Gulf News after the transaction was completed, Anita Nouri, partner and business development director of Green Energy Solutions and Sustainability stated that “the carbon revenue earned from this project is the highest monetary value of its kind in the region and will spur future waste to energy projects regionally as well as support the vision of Dubai Plan 2020.”
The action of creating power from waste and parlaying the process into an opportunity to sell carbon credits earned by generating power from waste in this area of the world shows that momentum for better waste handling and the concept of selling carbon credits is growing.