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EEG's 2nd Community Lecture for 2010.

EEG's second community lecture for 2010 proved to be an evening of intellectual stimulation and friendly discussions as the key note speaker for the event engaged one and all throughout his presentation. Professor Mohammad A. Al-Sarawi travelled from Kuwait to offer an insight into a highly interesting topic for EEG members and the public alike.

The event was held in the Movenpick Hotel, Bur Dubai, during the evening of the 20th of April and was free for all to attend with the aim of increasing awareness amongst the community on a highly relevant topic related to the environment.

Mrs. Habiba Al Marashi, Chairperson of EEG opened the lecture by offering a warm welcoming note to all the familiar and new faces that had attended. She mentioned some of EEG's highlights from the past month, which have proven to keep EEG extremely busy and productive, and then commented on the topic that many of us know little about, but we all contribute to it: waste!

The amount of waste produced each day is phenomenal; how to deal with it, store it, treat it, and dispose of it is a constant and growing problem. For many countries the answer to all of these issues is landfills. Some landfills are more technically developed than others, but they are all often described as unexploded bombs because they are subject to subsidence, fire and explosions as the decomposition of wastes produces gases, mainly methane and carbon dioxide.

Burying our waste into the ground is not a sustainable solution, and just because it's out of sight, does not mean it should be out of mind! Mrs. Marashi emphasised that too much of the waste we produce ends up in landfills and huge proportions could actually be given a new lease of life as a recycled product. After this fitting reminder of the importance of recycling, the evening was handed over to the key note speaker, Prof. Mohammad A. Al-Sarawi, who continued with the theme of waste.

Al-Sarawi, currently a professor at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Kuwait University, has more than 100 materials, of various types, published and he is an expert in many environmental and ecological fields. He provided a captivating speech highlighting the issues we face regarding landfills and their management. Specifically Al-Sarawi talked about landfill gas capture for electricity generation and CDM (clean development mechanism).

He went on to discuss how we can utilise landfills to provide us with much more than a hole in the ground for our trash. Simplifying the technical aspect of landfills, Al-Sarawi explained how they can be used for electricity generation through the collection of methane gas from within the landfill, which also reduces odour problems often associated with a landfills presence. Gases from landfills have to be vented to reduce their volatility but rather than releasing methane and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to add to the existing problem of green house gases, it is possible to use the methane for power production.

The presentation continued with Al-Sarawi taking the audience through a detailed case study, where Kuwait has successfully implemented gas recovery from a closed landfill of 47 hectares and then used the gas for power. He also mentioned how using the gas for power generation can help countries comply with the Kyoto Protocol, which asks for a reduction in GHG emissions by at least 5% against 1990 levels.

The evening ended with Mrs Marashi thanking Prof. Mohammad A. Al-Sarawi for coming to participate in EEG's Community Lecture programme and awarded him a crystal of appreciation. She also thanked the Movenpick Hotel for providing the venue and Abela for their delicious catering services.

Attendees from all paths of life left with inquisitive minds and a little bit more educated about what happens to their waste after the trash bin and how landfills can be a source of power rather than a pollution hotspot. 2010 Al Bawaba (

2009 Al Bawaba (

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Article Type:Speech
Geographic Code:7KUWA
Date:Apr 21, 2010
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