SHARJAH, UAE — Rahmania Mall is a community shopping mall located in a busy part of Sharjah, UAE. The mall is run by the Sharjah Cooperative Group and offers 110 shops, 12 restaurants, and the Sharjah Cooperative Society.
The Sharjah Cooperative Society is the first hypermarket concept in which a single store combines a retail store, department store, and a grocery supermarket.
This one-stop shopping experience offers an expansive inventory and allows customers to satisfy all their shopping needs in a single trip.
Food waste is generated by the food courts and restaurants in the mall and from the hypermarket. With a desire to lead the way in environmental efforts, and new green building codes and laws around food waste coming into fruition, Al Rahmania Mall searched for a long term food waste solution that would save them money, time, and resources.
The Sharjah Cooperative Group mall manager recalled a solution from a previous jobsite that would allow the mall to properly segregate their waste and comply with these new environmental regulations. The mall manager stayed in touch with RAK Waste Management Agency and implemented the LFC-300 biodigester onsite. The biodigester has operated through the pandemic and at its peak digested 376 kg (830 lb) in a day.
Green building codes in UAE
In January 2020, a green building code for Ras Al-Khaimah, the sixth largest city in the UAE after Dubai, went into effect. This code required that any establishment generating over 100 kg of food per day must provide a plan for managing their food waste. Hotels, malls, and facilities that serve food such as shopping centers and healthcare centers were required to provide an evaluation of onsite organic waste management equipment. The evaluation had the following requirements:
- Estimate the organic waste generation (in kg/day)
- Analyze the estimated cost for organic waste disposal.
- Payback time calculation: if payback time was less than seven years, the onsite organic waste management option must be implemented
- Obtain quotes for organic waste management equipment.
- Summarize the findings in a report.
RAK Waste Management Agency and RAK Tourism Authority established guidelines and joint inspections to administer the green codes. For buildings that do not meet compliance, RAK Waste Management Agency issues fines as necessary.
While not all cities and districts in the United Arab Emirates are subject to this code, it sets a precedent for what is to come. Building managers are realizing that sustainability is key in making their buildings cost-effective. Waste, not energy, is one of the largest impacts on carbon footprints and is key in reducing the effect on the environment. Customers now heavily consider sustainability in their purchasing decision. Businesses now must make the switch to sustainability whether they’re ready or not.
With a hypermarket and 12 restaurants, food waste is inevitable at Al Rahmania Mall. While there were initially no costs for disposal of food waste, new laws in neighboring areas would bring attention to the waste management services.
Annadurai Sengadir is the current mall manager at Sharjah Cooperative Group. He previously worked with the Nakheel Mall projects at Dubai Palm and was first introduced to the LFC biodigester during his time there. RAK Waste Management showed the LFC biodigester in a demonstration to Annadurai and he saw value in the biodigester.
While he explored different options, Annadurai ultimately recommended and implemented the LFC biodigester from Power Knot over other food waste digesters due to high reliability, extensive warranty, and data tracking. All LFC biodigesters are made of stainless steel and utilize high grade material for longevity. Power Knot uniquely offers a three year warranty on the machine, a feature that no other food waste digester would be willing to provide.
The LFC biodigester is also able to digest food in a continuous process with absolutely zero odor issues. The machine’s high reliability ensured that biodigesters could operate 24/7 without issues, unlike competitive devices.
The LFC biodigester also provides data tracking through the LFC Cloud. The Sharjah Cooperative Group would be able to implement additional biodigesters across multiple malls and track them through their smart devices and computers. This would help tremendously to comply with any green building codes applicable to their facility. The typical payback period of a biodigester is six to twenty four months due to high reliability and low maintenance.
On behalf of the Sharjah Cooperative Group, Annadurai purchased an LFC-300 biodigester and installed it in the garbage room of the mall. Staff members have commented on how clean and odorless the machine has remained despite constant operation from taking in food waste from restaurants and the hypermarket over the past 15 months. During the pandemic, the machine has digested up to 5800 kg (12,800 lb) of food waste in a month.
About Al Rahmania Mall
Rahmania Mall is a community shopping mall located in a busy part of Sharjah, UAE. Al Rahmania Mall is run by the Sharjah Cooperative Group and offers 110 shops, 12 restaurants, and the Sharjah Cooperative Society.
Location: United Arab Emirates