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As part of an ongoing focus on sustainable tourism development in Ras Al Khaimah, a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the following government entities: Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA), the Ras Al Khaimah Waste Management Agency (RAKWMA), Ras Al Khaimah Wastewater Agency (RAKWA) and Ras Al Khaimah Municipality (RAKMUN). The goal of the MOU is to ensure that the cooking oil used in the Emirate complies with or exceeds global best practices in health, safety and waste disposal standards. The initial focus will be the hospitality sector.
Government leaders, HE Munthir Al Zaabi, Director General of the Ras al Khaimah Municipality and HE Ahmed Al Hammadi, Director General of the Public Services Department which includes the Waste Management Agency (Sonia Nasser, Executive Director) and Wastewater Agency (Alan Turner, Executive Director) and Haitham Mattar, CEO of the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority all support this initiative. They all agree that the “The MoU is a positive step towards achieving the sustainability goals for the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. To ensure that public health and safety is protected and regulatory measures are complied with across the Emirate, coordination and cooperation between the responsible government bodies that oversee waste management, wastewater, food safety control, energy and sustainability and tourism is essential to make this initiative successful. As part of its role in this effort, RAKTDA will be communicating the new guidelines and measures for cooking oil quality standards with all the relevant stakeholders in the hospitality and tourism sector in the Emirate.”
The MoU is set to standardise and regulate the quality of cooking oil for hotels, restaurants, cafes and commercial kitchens in Ras Al Khaimah. As part of the MoU, the government entities will also be responsible for protecting the environment by preventing landfill from used cooking oil thereby reducing associated greenhouse gasses.
In line with the strategic plans of Ras Al Khaimah to diversify its sustainable economy, it is estimated the Emirate will generate about 244,000 litres of Used Cooking Oil, (UCO) per month. Therefore, exploring the feasibility of facilitating recycling cooking oil into biofuel is necessary to achieve sustainable solutions to meet the growing demand of fuel in the emirate while lowering the carbon footprint. The MoU will also include developing, recommending, and implementing appropriate regulatory measures to ensure the proper collection, treatment, and re-use techniques for used cooking oil.
The government committee members are working with Neutral Fuels, the leading company in Used Cooking Oil (UCO) recycling in the UAE, to determine volumes of cooking oil available and how to best manage this commodity. The Waste Management Agency will then work with Neutral Fuels to set up a used oil recycling plant to transform the collected used cooking oil into biofuel. The resulting biofuel will replace the diesel used by the waste collection vehicles of the RAK Waste Management Agency.
The committee members will also closely monitor the hotels and hospitality establishments to ensure the necessary equipment is available to measure the quality of their cooking oil. The Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority and Municipality will conduct inspections on a regular basis, entities who fail to comply with the new regulations will receive warnings and violations. Awareness and training sessions will also be provided for this new initiative. This circular economy will thus ensure that this valuable commodity of is recycled and converted into biodiesel.
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