The UDC Environment Department are following a pro-active approach to managing environmental issues on The Pearl-Qatar
The following pages will provide interesting and useful information on the role of the Environment Department at The Pearl-Qatar. They cover the measures that are being taken to help protect and enhance the local environment and some ways in which you can help. The UDC Environment Department are following a pro-active approach to managing environmental issues on The Pearl-Qatar with two separate but complimentary programmes running simultaneously:
The Awareness Programme
The Technical Programme
Whether you are a resident of The Pearl-Qatar‘s diverse and multicultural community, a visitor to the Island, or you simply have a keen interest in environmental matters we hope you will find the following pages informative. If you have any enquiries related to the environment at The Pearl–Qatar, or would like to make comments on the information detailed here, please email us at:firstname.lastname@example.org
Maintaining a healthy marine life is of the utmost importance to the developers of the Pearl-Qatar. Following the initial Environmental Impact assessment in 2003 it was agreed along with the government of the State of Qatar that a twice yearly detailed monitoring process would take place, testing the water quality, the sea bed, the coastal morphology and the marine life.
Monitoring is carried out in February, during the winter season and in September, during the summer season. The monitoring processes are completed by scientists from an international environmental testing organization.
These experts monitor the water quality, sediment quality and invertebrate benthic fauna by taking samples and analyzing the results. The sea grass beds, other marine life, reefs and stone revetments are monitored using video-recordings and the coastal development is monitored by comparison of satellite photos.
As well as the twice yearly environmental monitoring, the UDC Environmental Affairs Department also carry out tests on the sea water quality every two weeks. This is an important practice as it ensures that the sea water is not being affected by the construction work on the island. Testing the water every two weeks ensures that should any pollutants be detected in the water they can be traced easily and dealt with quickly. Making sure minimal damage is done to the environment and helping to avoid similar incidents happening again.
The Pearl Qatar and UDC employees all receive training on environmental issues and how they can be more environmentally conscious in the workplace. All new UDC and Pearl-Qatar employees receive environment training in their induction sessions prior to commencing work.
Training on environmental issues is also given to construction companies working on the island to help ensure everyone is aware of how they can help to protect the environment.
Specially designed posters are handed out to all construction contractors depicting how people should act whilst working to help protect the environment. The posters cover topics such as waste management, energy saving, water saving and chemical storage. You can check out the posters by clicking on poster 1 and poster 2 .
Recycling on the island and in the office We have been recycling since April 2008. We currently collect cardboard, paper and plastic. Most employees will have a recycle bin for paper in their office and all kitchens a plastic collection bin.
The bins are lined with colour coded degradable bin bags to ensure that the collected waste does not get mixed up with the other general waste. We follow the UNESCO colour coding system – Blue for paper and yellow for plastic
Why do we recycle plastic?
It is estimated that 96% of all plastic ever produced is still around today
It is not known exactly how long some plastics take to decompose – if they ever do
The UN Environment Programme estimates that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic litter floating in every square mile of ocean on Earth and it is estimated that plastic bags kill a million sea creatures every year.
Why do we recycle paper?
Sending paper to landfill uses a huge amount of space and causes pollution
Paper will break down naturally over time however when it does it produces Methane gas. Methane is a greenhouse gas and we need to reduce it to help slow down global warming
Nearly all paper is made from sustainable forests however with the increase in demand for paper other sources are being used which can destroy habitats and ecosystems
Waste is an unsightly matter and something we never want to see on the streets and the beaches of the Pearl-Qatar. Not only does it look awful it can also be a danger to the wildlife and marine life in the area. In order to help combat the problem of waste The Pearl–Qatar has installed an innovative vacuum waste disposal system.
Water on the island will be supplied initially through a Reverse Osmosis plant. This is making potable (drinkable) water from sea water.
Reverse Osmosis works by forcing a solution (such as sea water) through a membrane. This membrane separates the solute (in this case salt) from the solvent (water). The solute stays on one side of the membrane and the solvent passes through it.
The end product after treatment is fresh drinking water and a discharge of sea water, which has only a slightly higher than normal salt content. The discharge will not be hot and will not contain chlorine. There will be no atmospheric emissions as the plant runs on mains electricity. So it will not cause any harm to the sea around the Island nor the marine life that live there.
The air conditioning on the island is done through a District Cooling system.
The basics behind District Cooling stems from as far back as Roman times. It is a variation on the District Energy systems which they invented 2000 years ago to run hot water through their cities. Providing heating for buildings, homes and the famous Roman baths. Of course over the years this has been perfected and improved and District cooling has emerged for use in warmer climates. It works by chilling water in a central cooling plant and then directing it through a network of insulated pipes to residential and office buildings which then ventilates cool air when it is required.
District cooling is a more environmentally conscious way of cooling your home or office. The water is cooled in a central plant, which is much more energy efficient than conventional air conditioners. It also means that because of the higher standards of maintenance, there is less danger of leakage of refrigerant gases which are known to add to global warming, and damage the ozone layer.
The production of electricity creates pollution so if you reduce the amount of energy you use you can also reduce the amount of pollution you add to the environment.
So if you care about the world you live in and want to reduce the amount of electricity you consume here are some simple things you can do to help save energy and reduce the damage you are causing to the environment.
When you go to bed at night switch off all electrical equipment such as your television and DVD player. Don’t leave it on sleep or standby mode as they will still use energy.
If you can switch it off at the socket that is best as even when the equipment is switched off it will still draw small amounts of energy
Swap your light bulbs for energy efficient alternatives – these last longer and use less electricity
Turn your air-con units up a couple of degrees, this will save large quantities of energy and reduce your bill each month
Switch off your computer monitor, leaving it on overnight could waste enough energy to laser print 800 sheets of paper
The 3R’s stand for the three words - REDUCE, REUSE & RECYCLE
By implementing The 3R’s in our daily lives we can all help protect the environment and leave a healthier world for future generations
REDUCE Reducing the amount of waste and energy we produce and use is an easy way to help the environment. If we can reduce the amount of waste there will be less to dispose of and if we reduce the amount of energy we use we will cause less pollution.
Below are a few simple ways that you can reduce your waste and energy consumption:
When you go shopping take reusable bags with you or take the bags you were given last time
Don’t buy products that have lots of packaging. Packaging simply gets thrown away
Reduce the amount of water you use by turning off the tap whilst brushing your teeth and washing.
Reduce the amount of energy you consume by ensuring you switch off lights in rooms that are unoccupied
Reduce the amount of energy you use by switching off all electrical items when not in use.
Leaving items such as televisions and computer monitors on standby will still use energy so switch them off at the wall when you are not using them
Reduce the amount of paper you consume at home and in the office by printing on both sides
Reduce the amount of carbon dioxide you emit in to the atmosphere when driving your car by car pooling with work colleagues
REUSE Think about what you are throwing away….could you use it again? Could someone else make use of it? Reusing will reduce the amount of waste you throw away and therefore the amount that get burned or buried in the ground.
Here are a few simple ideas on how you can REUSE
Reuse the shopping bags you were given at the supermarket by taking them with you the next time you go to the shops. Better still have a reusable, degradable bag that you always keep with you for shopping, this way you will never need to have plastic bags
Take your packed lunch to school or work in a reusable container. This can be washed out each day and used again, saving lots of waste paper bags, foil and cling wrap
Don’t use plastic cutlery, plates and cups as these are used once and then thrown away
What you think is waste may be treasure to someone else – give unwanted but good condition clothes, toys, furniture etc to friends, sell them or donate them to charity.
Empty jam jars can be used as desk tidies or shoe boxes to store CD’s
You just need to think and be creative
RECYCLE Recycling - turning some thing old in to something new that can be used again. Many items that we use each day can be recycled such as paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and aluminium. You might be surprised at what can be made when you recycle products
Here are some interesting facts for you on recycling:
You can recycle an aluminium drink can over and over again
Recycling 1 aluminium can, can save enough energy to run a TV for 3 hours
Recycling 1 plastic bottle would save enough energy to light a 60 watt light bulb for 3 hours
The energy saved by recycling one plastic bottle will power a computer for 25 minutes
It takes just 25 two litre drink bottles to make one adult size fleece (warm jacket)
Each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4,000 kilowatts of energy and 7,000 gallons of water!
Recycling is a great way of reducing the amount of waste we throw away. It is also a good way of saving energy as it typically uses less energy to recycle something than it does to make it from new. The commonly recognised recycling symbol shows a triangle, this represents a closed loop. Meaning that in addition to recycling it is also helpful to make intelligent choices when purchasing products. If you can chose recycled products made from recycled materials you will help to close this loop and ensure a demand for recycled materials in the market.
Qatar is a desert country with low annual rainfall, rising population and depleted groundwater reserves. Therefore water is an incredibly valuable resource and it is everyone’s responsibility to conserve as much of it as possible. We can all do our bit to help save water whether in the house, at school or in theoffice.
Below are a few simple tips on what you can do:
Make regular checks for leaks around your home – you can test this by making sure there is no water running in the house – read the meter and then return a couple of hours later – the reading should still be the same. If it is not you may have a leak.
Repair dripping taps immediately – a dripping tap can waste large amounts of water.
Take shorter showers – you could even try and time yourself and the rest of the family
Don’t keep water running whilst you are brushing your teeth, shaving or washing your face.
Only use dishwashers and clothes washers when they have a full load or set the programme to the economy setting if this is available
If washing dishes by hand, wash with soapy water in one basin and then quickly rinse with slow running water from the tap
If you want cold water store it in the fridge – don’t leave the tap running until it gets cold
Water gardens in the mornings when the temperatures are lower as this reduces the amount of water that will be evaporated with the heat Plant native and drought resistant plants if you have a garden as these will need less water
Saving water will not only help the planet it will also save you money!
Litter bins can be found all over the The Pearl-Qatar Islandso there are no excuses for dropping litter on the floor. We want to keep The Pearl-Qatar clean and tidy so that it stays a beautiful placeto live and visit. Seeing rubbish littering the streets, blowing in the wind, scatteredon the beaches and polluting the sea is something we never want to see at The Pearl-Qatar.
Because of this we have gone to great lengths to ensure that keeping The Pearl-Qatarclean is not an inconvenience. Situated all over the island are conventional waste bins for everyone to use – allthese bins comply with the UDC Waste Management Policy which means that they haveauto close lids. Auto close lids help prevent waste being blown out by the windor scattered around by stray animals.
There is also a state of the art ENVAC waste system covering the island. This isa vacuum waste disposal system which takes waste from a bin at street level undergroundthrough a series of tunnels until it reaches the waste transfer area where it is compacted. So there is no excuse for dropping litter. Find a bin and use it.
All The Pearl-Qatar beaches will be kept clean with special beach cleaning machines.This does not mean that people can leave their litter lying around though for others to clean up. There will be plenty of waste bins available on the beaches just as the rest of the Island.
Plastic as we know it has been around since the 1930’s although records show that plastics were being developed as far back as the early 1830’s. It is now so widely used for many varied applications that it is actually difficult to go a day without using this material. Whether it is your drinking bottle, the wrapping on your sandwich or the chair you are sitting on, most of us will use some form of plastic every day.
Fortunately people are now beginning to notice that this incredibly versatile material may not be as wonderful as it was once thought to be, especially where the environment is concerned. There has been a great deal of press on the dangers of plastic on the environment. Such as the 2 man team who recently sailed from California to Hawaii on a boat made from 15,000 plastic bottles (all of which stayed in good condition, proving how hard they are to destroy). This challenge was taken to highlight the huge volumes of plastic waste currently floating in our oceans. In fact, the UN Environment Programme estimates that there are 46,000 pieces of plastic litter floating in every square mile of ocean on Earth. And it is estimated that plastic bags kill a million sea creatures every year.
There is also the BBC reporter who tried to live plastic free for a month and found it almost impossible to do so. It is a danger to the environment at all stages of its lifespan – not only is it made from petroleum based products and so causes pollution during manufacture, it is also polluting once it is no longer required. It is usually disposed of by burying in landfill sites or burning, both of which are harmful to the environment. It is also a major litter problem. You will often find bags blowing in the trees and objects stuck in drains. And it is estimated that some plastics could take hundreds even thousands of years to degrade, if they ever do at all and if they do degrade it’s in to small toxic pieces that contaminate the land and the sea.
Recycling plastic is one way to help reduce the waste however the best way to deal with the plastic problem is to dramatically reduce its use or cut it out completely. These are some of the reasons why The Pearl-Qatar has approved the policy stating that no retailer operating on the Island can give customer’s a plastic bag. Shoppers will either buy a degradable or reusable bag or bring their own reusable bags with them. We know that it is possible to implement this as many countries have already banned the plastic bag including Bangladesh and Rowanda.In China and Ireland you are no longer given free bags with your shopping. And Canada, Western Indian, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Taiwan and Singapore have also banned or will soon ban the plastic bag.
It may take some time before everyone is aware of this and understands the reasons behind it however we know that it can be done and we know how it will benefit the environment, the wildlife and marine animals. So please help us keep The Pearl-Qatar plastic bag free and don’t bring them with you when you visit the Island. Thank you for helping to protect The Pearl-Qatar.