Waste-to-energy: An opportunity for a new industrial typology in Abu Dhabi
environment [1–3]. The trend toward recycling/reusing and thermal treatment of the waste is evident both in the USA and the European Union (EU). Thus, in USA disposal of waste to landﬁlls declined from 89% of the total MSW generated in 1980 to 53.8% in 2012. Recycling and composting, which accounted for less than 10% until 1980, increased to 34.5% in 2012. Treatment of the MSW with thermal methods reached 11.7% of the total waste stream in 2012 with about 300 waste-to-energy facilities operating in USA the same year. Per capita MSW generation in USA increased almost linearly from 1.22 kg per person per day in 1960 to a peak of 2.15 kg in 2000 and appears to have stabilized since then to about 2 kg per person per day. Despite this progress in recycling efforts, the increase in total MSW from 151.6 million tons in 1980 to 251 million tons in 2012 meant that whereas in 1980 an amount equal to 137.1 million tons had to be disposed of through landﬁlling or incineration, in 2012 this amount had risen to 164.3 million tons (all quantities are reported here in units of US tons, which correspond to 1.1023 metric tonnes) (1.806Mb)
Paleologos, Evan K.
El Amrousi, Mohamed
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Despite the current strides in recycling in both the USA and Europe the remaining amounts of waste that need to be disposed of keep on increasing. Reversal of this trend is extremely challenging, given the expected increase in global population, and as developing countries adapt consuming patterns resembling those of the USA and Europe. It appears then, given the multi-faceted disadvantages of landﬁlling, that thermal treatment will become the dominant disposal option for the foreseeable future. The United Arab Emirates' production of municipal waste places it in the top ﬁve countries in the world, consistent with the strong correlation found to exist between waste generation and level of urbanization and gross domestic product of a country. The scarcity of water in the UAE and the proximity of its aquifers to the ground surface make it very questionable whether landﬁlling is appropriate for the country. Thus, recycling and incineration appear to be the only solid waste management options for UAE, and this country's response to its waste problem can be thought of, also, as a test of how an advanced, afﬂuent society can address the problem of mounting waste. Related to these is the size of the incineration facilities and the need, in many cases, to be located close or within the urban environment. This point is explored in this work in arguing that a re-invention of the industrial building in the context of a modern city is a necessity, and should be approached not on a case-by-case basis, but in a systematic fashion where incineration facilities become integral parts of the urban landscape. The city of Abu Dhabi, UAE with its iconic buildings and forward-looking approach to urban planning and building design serves here as a model city, where such an integration could take place.