‘Upcycling’ initiative gaining traction in Qatar
October 02 2019 09:36 PM
Qatar Upcycling & Biodegradables Enterprise (QUBE) officials with one of the machines that convert f
Qatar Upcycling & Biodegradables Enterprise (QUBE) officials with one of the machines that convert food waste into compost. From left: founder and CEO Dae Ho Kim, co-founder and director for marketing & public relations Nodoka Nakamichi, and co-founder and director for maintenance & supervisions Matthew Bridle.

Qatar’s journey towards a more sustainable and environment-conscious society has taken a more positive turn as ‘upcycling’ is gaining more traction among major establishments and especially, among ordinary households across the country.

Upcycling, according to Nodoka Nakamichi, co-founder and director for marketing & public relations at Qatar Upcycling & Biodegradables Enterprise (QUBE), “is the process of transforming waste into new materials of better quality or use.”

QUBE is an environmental technologies company introducing machines into Qatar that upcycles food waste into compost within 24 hours on site.

Matthew Bridle, co-founder and director for maintenance & supervisions, said approximately 60% of all waste that ends in Qatar’s landfill is made up of food waste, which contributes heavily to carbon dioxide and methane emissions.

“In Qatar, the national average is 1.1kg of food waste per person per day,” Bridle pointed out, citing studies conducted by QUBE.

Nakamichi stressed that upcycling fits into Qatar’s sustainability strategy by aligning with the following objectives: providing a healthy environment, addressing the negative impacts of climate change, minimising pollution, managing environmental protection, and the management of increased solid waste due to population growth rate.

“All of the above have the potential to be managed by QUBE by reducing the methane and carbon emissions that is produced by dumping food waste in landfill,” Nakamichi told Gulf Times in an interview.

Founder and CEO Dae Ho Kim said QUBE upcycles food waste from restaurants and catering companies, spoiled fruits and vegetables from Qatari farms or hypermarkets and grocery stores, and ordinary leftover household food, among others, and turns these items into compost.

The sectors in Qatar that could benefit from QUBE technology include food and beverage (F&B), hotels, universities and schools, government facilities, residential areas and compounds, shopping centres, and charity-related organisations, Kim said.

“Normally, with the decomposition process when making normal compost, it takes anywhere from over eight weeks. But using QUBE machines, it has the technology to make compost in only 24 hours,” Nakamichi said, adding that the final product does not have any foul smell compared to ordinary compost.

Bridle also said, “When creating compost, our machines reduce the waste by 90%, so if you put in 100kg in one day, you get 10kg of compost the next day, so not only are you upcycling but also reducing the amount of food waste at the same time.”

According to Kim, the QUBE machines have been introduced to Qatar in July this year.

One was pilot tested at the National Service Academy (Miqdam Camp) and another was brought to one of Qatar’s largest farm.

“The arrival of these machines here is very timely with Qatar’s National Vision 2030 of sustainability leading up to 2022 FIFA World Cup. Now there is a technology to treat the waste at the source,” Kim said.

In terms of waste treatment, Nakamichi said QUBE eliminates logistical challenges, such as transporting food waste by treating them on site.

Kim said QUBE can supply establishments with their own machines to upcycle their respective food wastes and create compost at their premises.

Kim said the machines vary in size.

The smallest machine has a 20kg capacity and other machines have larger capacities from one tonne onwards depending on the requirements and size of the establishment, he explained.

Asked how the company intends to create awareness on the need to protect the environment, particularly through QUBE technology, Nakamichi said: “Our aim is to empower people to contribute to the treatment of food waste on site, which means they actually see the change and process, hence everyone can individually contribute to the Qatar National Vision 2030.”

For more information on QUBE technology, call 5027 8071 or email [email protected]

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