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Beeah: the hero of zero waste is ready for its next mission

Beeah's Sharjah HQ, designed by architect Zaha Hadid to emulate desert dunes
  • Beeah is now aiming to develop waste-to-energy plants across the Gulf
  • Sharjah’s landfill sites to be replaced by solar energy farms

The emirate of Sharjah is poised to become the Middle East’s first zero-waste city, after building the region’s first waste-to-energy plant

Yet even before the plant’s inauguration in May, Sharjah had the highest waste diversion rate in the region, at 76 percent, thanks to the pioneering efforts of local environmental and waste management group Beeah. 

Sharjah Environment Company (Beeah), as it was originally named, was established by emiri decree in 2007 as a public-private partnership with Sharjah Municipality. Its mandate was to evaluate and find solutions for environmental and waste challenges across the Middle East. 

According to Beeah, it champions an integrated approach to environmental management, employing the best sustainable practices in waste management and technologies to enable a circular economy and reduce dependency on landfills.

It has been voted Waste Management Company of the Year in the Middle East at least half a dozen times since it was founded. 

The group has several divisions, some of which involve international partners: Beeah Tandeef for waste collection and city cleaning; Beeah Recycling for waste processing and material recovery; Beeah Energy for renewables; Beeah Environment Services for consulting, research and innovation; Beeah Digital for future technologies; and Beeah Transport for green mobility and autonomous transportation.

The recycling division runs a state-of the-art waste management complex in Sharjah that processes more than 3 million tonnes a year of waste. 

The vast site includes facilities for materials recovery, construction and demolition waste recycling, tyres and metals recycling, as well as an industrial wastewater treatment plant, a maritime waste facility, and a biomass plant.

Tandeef serves millions of people in the UAE through its municipal waste collection services and through commercial clients such as Dubai Airports. 

It is also active in two international markets. Beeah is a waste management partner for the city of Madinah in Saudi Arabia and for Egypt’s new administrative capital, which will have a population of around 6.5 million. 

Truck, Vehicle, Transportation
Beeah Tandeef provides waste collection and city cleaning in the UAE and to clients in Saudi and Egypt

In 2017, Beeah entered into a partnership with Abu Dhabi’s Masdar to form the Emirates Waste to Energy Company with the aim of establishing waste-to-energy projects across the region. 

Their first investment, the Sharjah waste-to-energy plant, will divert over 300,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste away from landfill every year, and generate 30MW of clean energy, enough to power up to 28,000 homes. 

When the waste-to-energy plant has fully operational, the two landfills operated by Beeah in Sharjah will be repurposed into solar farms. 

Clothing, Apparel, Helmet
Beeah Recycling’s facility in Sharjah processes more than 3 million tonnes of waste a year

Photovoltaic panels will be installed on the Al Saja landfill site across three phases, with the first phase expected to be completed by 2023. These will produce up to 120MW of clean energy on completion.

In another pioneering development, Beeah has partnered with the UK’s Chinook Sciences to build the region’s first waste-to-hydrogen facility.

The plant will process non-recyclable plastic waste and waste wood to produce up to 18,000kg of green hydrogen a day. The green hydrogen will be used to power Beeah’s future fleet of waste collection vehicles.