Abu Dhabi has plans to ensure no waste is sent to landfill after 2071.
The zero waste proposal, made on Thursday at an online roundtable discussion on Abu Dhabi’s conservation plans, is part of the emirate’s Environmental Centennial 2071, a 50-year timetable launched by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi.
Officials said they planned to use satellite technology to track the location of waste, open sorting centres that use artificial intelligence to separate waste from recyclables and use unmanned vehicles to clean the emirate’s streets.
They said they hoped the target could be met before 2071.
“Our ambition is to become zero waste in all of our cities,” Sara Al Mazrouei, lead analyst for performance with the agency, said at the event.
"Maybe we will do it before, maybe we will do it after, depending on the action plans and when we will start implementing them.
“We can say by 2050 or maybe before we would like to be zero waste.”
Much of the waste generated across the UAE currently ends up in landfill. In Abu Dhabi about 30 per cent of waste generated is currently recycled or composted but authorities are tying to ramp up this amount.
Tadweer – Abu Dhabi's Centre for Waste Management – is aiming to divert 80 per cent of waste from landfills by 2030.
And the new proposals follow other initiatives in Abu Dhabi over the past few years to boost recycling, encourage sustainability and protect the environment.
More recycling stations have been built, a ban on single-use plastic bags is coming in June, while the EAD said it plans to gradually reduce the amount of single-use plastic products in the emirate and encourage the use of reusable products.
Authorities said they will also implement measures to reduce demand for about 16 single-use plastic products, including cups, stirrers, lids and cutlery.
It will also phase out single-use styrofoam cups, plates and food containers by 2024.
The EAD's 50-year plan, meanwhile, aims to make Abu Dhabi the world’s best in environmental conservation. More information about the strategy is expected soon.