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Recycling Gains Strength in the UAE One of the main factors that have been propelling the scrap metal trade in the UAE is cheaper energy prices. This has resulted in an increasing number of domestic buyers entering the fray. The Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) stated that the Middle East scrap metals market differs from its international counterparts with a predominant focus on trading and processing. However, BIR’s regional membership is second only in size to Europe. One of the main factors that has been propelling the scrap metal trade in the UAE is a lot more cheaper energy prices. This in return has resulted in an increasing number of domestic buyers entering the fray. The process of remelting and refining aluminium makes use of a mere five percent of the energy required to produce fresh aluminium and produces five percent of carbon dioxide

emissions

compared

to

production

as the

primary

of

aluminium. It also helps

to

reduce the amount of

landfill

waste.

Scrap

metal

recycling can also be constantly

repeated

the degradation of base

without its

properties, unlike other recyclable materials such as paper and plastic. For each tons of steel recycled, 113 kilograms of iron ore, 454 kilograms of coal and 18 kilograms of limestone are preserved. According to statistics, recycling one kilogram of aluminum saves up to six kilograms of bauxite, four kilograms of chemical products, and 14KW of electricity. Around 70,000 to 100,000 tonnes of non-ferrous metals are refined and re-exported by the UAE every month. This results in an annual turnover of over US$4.5 billion. The


many economic and environmental benefits of scrap metal recycling appear highly appealing with sustainability presenting a major challenge and opportunity for local and regional governments committed to fast-tracking infrastructure development over the next five years. The UAE’s geographical location makes it an extremely ideal place to import aluminium scrap from Africa and Europe, refine or sort it and then re-export it within the region, as well as to countries like China, India and Pakistan. These factors contribute significantly towards increasing metal recycling in UAE and making the gulf region a hub for scrap metal recycling. The UAE’s position as a major hub for the global multi-billion dollar scrap metal recycling industry was a key feature of the inaugural Green Middle East exhibition and conference. This special event was held from the 17-19 October 2011 at Expo Centre Sharjah. Green Middle East, which is one of the region’s leading integrated environmental and waste management organizations, also addressed regulatory, legal and commercial issues facing the industry and the wide-ranging environmental issues affecting Sharjah, the UAE and the broader Middle East.


Recycling Gains Strength in the UAE