Dubai Airports has initiated a new waste management initiative that will help it to divert 60 per cent of all waste from Dubai International (DXB) airport from entering landfills by the middle of 2023.

As part of the new programme, the operator has implemented a food waste treatment plan which will capture and compost over 2,000 tonnes of food waste annually from food and beverage outlets, lounges and hotels across DXB’s terminals and concourses, according to UAE state news agency WAM.

Decomposing food waste in landfills results in the emission of methane gas which is 72 times more harmful to the environment than CO2.

The new food waste plan was created in partnership with Dubai Airports’ waste management partner Beeah Group, a Sharjah-based entity. A special high-tech biodigester compost system installed in multiple locations across DXB will increase the speed at which food waste breaks down and becomes reusable compost and clean wastewater.

The DXB waste diversion strategy aims to identify the least economic, environmental, and social impact methods to capture, treat, reuse, or recycle waste.

To date, the programme has already achieved more than 40 per cent reduction in waste, including a special initiative that captures 100 per cent of all cooking oil used in the airport’s F&B outlets and converts it to biodiesel fuel.

The new waste management initiative was announced along the sidelines of World Environment Day.

“Capturing and diverting all forms of waste from landfills is a strategically important component of our waste management programme. While airport operations contribute a very small percentage of the overall waste generated at DXB, we are working in close partnership with airlines, F&B facilities, and all other partners across the airport to make a unified commitment to achieving and surpassing our 60 per cent waste reduction objective,” said Jamal Zaal, vice-president of Safety and Sustainability at Dubai Airports.

Rafael Sanjurjo Lopez, CEO Bee’ah Tandeef, added, “Deploying Power Knot technology across all DXB terminals and concourses is a great example of that innovation and will put us on the path to achieve our goal of eliminating food waste and achieving our waste diversion targets.”