In line with the vision of the UAE’s leaders and aspirations of the Government, Cleanco Waste Treatment (CWT) has been keen to keep pace with efforts to expand the types of services it provides in terms of developing and implementing sustainable and integrated systems and programmes to be at the frontier of global developments in the field of waste management.
Cleanco Waste Treatment is a member of H.E. Yousef Khouri group of companies established in 1980 as one of the pioneering branded Emirati owned family business companies in the UAE. The company is one of the main providers for hazardous waste and medical waste collection, transport, treatment, and disposal services to the public and private sectors including industrial, commercial, institutional and healthcare entities in the UAE. Their scope of projects includes the design and building, operation and maintenance, of “state-of-the-art” waste management facilities for the handling of hazardous waste and medical waste in accordance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations to provide for toptier quality services and achieve sustainable development goals throughout the services sector.
“Our vision is clear, in line with the strategic directives of our Government and The Centre of Waste Management - Abu Dhabi (Tadweer), we will utilise best practices worldwide and meet the highest international standards for improving public health and the environment in our country,” said Dr. Khalid Khouri, CEO, Cleanco Waste Treatment.
At the frontier of waste management
CWT has been awarded several new projects in the past few years with Tadweer. The company signed investment contracts for the design, building, operation, maintenance, and control of treatment facilities in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi, and contract agreements for the collection, transport, treatment, and disposal of Covid-19 waste in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and the company handles testing tents and screening centres in the Northern Emirates as well.
“Today, CWT is one of the largest providers hazardous waste and medical waste management solutions in the region. We are operating and maintaining the largest number of incineration units in the UAE with a total treatment capacity of more than 60 tons per day for incineration alone. We are at present expanding our scope of offering for our solutions building more disposal cells as part of our Hazardous Waste Landfill, adding Neutralization and Redox systems together with Evaporation Ponds and also Solidification and Stabilization facilities. This will allow CWT to become the principal provider of “Integrated Facilities” in this field in our region with all-in-one solutions for all our clientele needs,” said Dr. Khouri. Moreover, CWT was one of the “first responders on ground” providing its services during the pandemic. In the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, Cleanco Waste Treatment was running the only incineration treatment facility able to manage Covid-19 waste as per applicable laws, rules, and regulations, and they did just that. During the beginning of the coronavirus spread, all Covid-19 waste in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi was directed by Tadweer to the medical waste incineration facility in Al Ain for treatment, where collection and transport was undertaken by the company’s specialised fleet that sanitised and disinfected the Refrigerated Transport Vehicles (RTVs), bins, and even the entire facility.
“It was very challenging to be the first to deal with coronavirus waste, but we knew we had a serious responsibility and we knew we had to take the lead,” noted Dr. Khouri. It was around the same time that CWT started construction on its latest project, an “integrated waste treatment plant” in the Al Dhafra region of Abu Dhabi, which commenced operations towards the end of the same year in a ceremony that marked the opening of the EcoPark of Tadweer.
CWT utilises leading edge technology and adopts best practices worldwide to make sure that the operations at their many plants and facilities follow European Union (EU) directives, standards, and norms, together with local and federal regulations. The company started its service offerings locally in 2009 with an autoclave unit to treat medical waste from healthcare facilities. Today, the company is running multiple unit operations working with diverse clientele and handling more waste streams as part of its integrated waste management solutions approach for hazardous waste and medical waste, even offering outside-the-country treatment for other “special wastes” that cannot be treated locally in the UAE, signing agreements with international consultants and treatment companies to offer solutions that are compliant with EU standard practices and norms as they thrive to become a one-stop-shop for all their customer needs in this field.
“Our plant control systems ensure full automation of the processes with minimal human interference and the data records of our continuous monitoring of emissions from the incinerators for flue gases are being reviewed by the Environmental Agency - Abu Dhabi (EAD) to ensure that the readings are within the acceptable range allowed,” Dr. Khalid Khouri elaborated. “Moreover, the Continuous Emissions Monitoring System or CEMS will be made to be linked “live” to the EAD for more confidence.”
In their incineration process, for instance, the wastes are fed to the line and mixed according to their physical and chemical properties. These are then treated at 850°C in the primary chambers and then the flue gases at subject to temperatures up to 1,200°C for secondary combustion to expel the toxins upon which the resulting stream is cooled and filtered prior to release of the emissions and ashes. The wastes are transformed into ashes of two types, hazardous and non-hazardous which are sent to the hazardous waste landfill and sanitary landfill respectively, and the cleansed gases emitted from the incineration process pass through the stack and are released into the atmosphere “purified from contamination” in accordance with the international health, safety and environmental laws followed in the UAE, and governed by the EAD.
This is a niche service operation business and requires high levels of expertise and specialisation. CWT has highly trained staff and they have made agreements with European consultants and operators for transfer of knowledge to their people. The CEO of Cleanco Waste Treatment commented: “We are proud as an Emirati company to have created local talent in this relatively new filed in the region that can now carry forward in teaching others, especially our young local Emirati nationals who are to be the leaders of tomorrow in all fields. This has also allowed us to take on new ventures in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and we will hopefully be informing you of our new ventures as we grow in the region.”
Sultan Khouri, CEO, Cleanco Group of Companies said, “The Cleanco Group offers a diverse portfolio of companies and business especially in the services sector. We are always looking for new challenges in the region and the UAE offers tremendous opportunities where the market of waste management is huge and we are leading in this specialised field.”
How can CWT make your experience better?
“Our customers come first. It is the approach embraced by us, dealing with each and every one of our valued 3,000 and more clients,” he highlighted. To make this happen, he said they integrate one of the best professional teams for business development, client relationship management, and customer service, backed up by a collection team driven by a rigid determination to maintain the highest levels of customer satisfaction, aiming for “zero” complaints, in the delivery of their service.
“We want to make sure you, as a client, have an enhanced experience that is customer centric and which brings you back ‘again and again’ and that is why we adopt a proactive approach with our customers, putting them first ‘always’,” Dr. Khouri stated, adding that their motto is “what can we do to help?” which leads them to an almost immediate response to any request or concern.
CWT is working on growing its digital infrastructure as it moves towards enhancing their online presence to provide for registration and renewal of their services “at the click of a button” increasing the company’s online presence and optimising their processes, therefore making it easy for their clients to access information regarding their waste generation rates and average trends, and even adding a portal for the online payment of fees and the requesting of other information relating to their facilities with a “bot” just in case any of their customers had queries outside normal working hours. “The goal is always to make it easy for the customer to do business with us and feel that all its service needs are being met by Cleanco Waste Treatment.”
Their customer service teams represent the front-end of the organisation and are well versed in the waste management requirements of the Government, for example, in terms of waste tracking and manifests, and often advise their customers on the framework of the governing laws, rules, and regulations in the country, such as those pertaining to the Bolisaty system of Tadweer as well as other waste classifications and technical guidelines of Tadweer and so on. Moreover, the top management representatives, together with their business development team members, make regular visits to clientele management offices to ensure the operation works are running smooth and the executives are pleased with their overall performance. They also ensure that they invite their customers to visit their treatment facilities to learn about the complex engineering processes and witness the sustainable practices first-hand.
“At CWT, we strongly believe that the first step towards ‘good’ waste management is to reduce (if not prevent) the generation of waste in the first place, therefore we conduct awareness workshops and training seminars in order to help our clients design and implement a cost-effective, long-term waste management strategies that helps them reduce their waste generation rates and achieve environmentally sustainable waste management practices at their facilities,” said Dr. Khalid Khouri.
They also offer additional services to their customers, e.g. packaging, marking, and labelling of wastes for compliance with United Nations (UN) and Transport of Dangerous Good by Road (ADR) requirements together with the provision of supplies from waste bins and containers for other consumables such as bags and boxes, acting as a “one-stop-shop” for all their waste management needs. Again, he said, “for CWT, it is about what we can do to help make your experience better so that you find it easier to do business with us and continue for many years to come as you become a member of our Cleanco family.”
In their continuous effort to grow their network of affiliations, CWT recently became a member of the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), which is an international network of waste professionals and experts alongside the “Chartered Institution of Wastes Management” professional qualification, and the Institute of Hazardous Materials Management has also awarded their ranks to include qualified certified hazardous materials managers.
"We are very much satisfied with the service offered by Cleanco, especially during the pandemic period, their dedication helped us be more comfortable on day-to-day operations.
-Ahalia Medical Group"
"As proud supporters of the vision of the country’s leaders to empower Emirati nationals & local owned companies, our strategic partnership with CWT has put VPS well on this path.
"The dedication of the CWT personnel and on-time service ensured that we always came back.
-Danat Al Emarat hospital "
"Cleanco and its workers are committed to providing their best efforts in serving our hospital’s medical waste management need. The waste collection has always been on time, and the company is easy to reach out to."