Can rescuing food scraps create solutions for our society and environment?

The Waste Lab

11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 13. Climate Action 15. Life on Land

Overview

The Waste Lab is a women-owned Dubai-based startup that aims to rescue food scraps from going to waste and find. This business is tackling the following UN SDGs goals: 11,12,13 and 15.

Author

Ghada Alfallaj

Ghada Alfallaj

School

University of Dubai

University of Dubai

Professor

Yaprak Anadol

Yaprak Anadol

Innovation

The Waste Lab is tech-enabled startup company based on Dubai that use technology to streamline the processes, capturing data and communicate people. It’s more of a service that focus on creating a relationship, building communities of businesses and individuals and reestablishing the connection with the nature to create a healthy compost that benefit our local farms, soil, food and more.

The Waste Lab is tackling the following UN SDGs: Goal 11,12,13 and 15.

The Waste Lab has two ways of composting:

1- Off-Site Composting: is a cycle that enables the customers to subscribe and get a starter kit to collect the organic waste. The Waste Lab will capture the data to compost off-site and provide a report on the impact and reward.

2- On-Site Composting: is a cycle that provide a consultation to design a compost system, provide workshops and training and capturing data to compost on-site and provide a report on the impact.

The aim of this business is to reduce the waste of landfill and improve the capacity of holding water in soils. Also, it’s implementing the idea of growing our own food and rely on our local resources.

This business creates huge impact on environment by implementing sustainable practices to make the food waste a solution to our environment.

“we are now working on becoming a sustainable profitable business” co-founder CDO, Ceylan Uren said. The Waste Lab is focusing on making the impact first, not making it a second option.

“whatever The Waste Lab is doing comes from our hearts” she said.


Can rescuing food scraps create solutions for our society and environment?

Inspiration

“it is started when I was super picky when it comes to food and choosing products accordingly” co-founder CDO, Ceylan said. According to Ceylan, living in a city might be hard to figure out where the food is coming from, and what exactly we are eating. “it is started with this kind of question when my co-founder Lara Hussein and I decided that if we can do something that could bring us closer to answers for the questions we have” she said. The Waste Lab started to think that there are a lot of organic farms in this region and they are doing great practices. But what makes The Waste Lab more unique business? “Making compost, rescuing food and food scraps is one of the key players to support growing your own food” she said. According to Ceylan, this idea inspired the team and their motivation blow up owing to the fact that The Waste Lab can make an impact on the food that we are eating and to the climate that we are living.

Food doesn’t just sprout out of the ground and then magically end up in a trash. Unfortunately, there are perfectly edible food into waste. Making the food waste to become a solution to our environment is a solution comes from an amazing mindset from a two women.


Overall impact

The waste lab is now working on becoming a sustainable business. But that doesn’t mean that they are putting an impact on 2nd. The founders are working from their own hearts because they believe in what is good for the people. The founders also know that if the innovation does not directly impact people, they will not continue doing it. The innovation is not for money and the founders believe that the impact will be positive on the community and people not for their own interests. The innovation is more a service focusing on creating relationships and reestablishing connection with nature. The waste lab works with communities explaining to them what the main goal for the business is and why the company is involved in this innovation. The waste lab also can achieve the goals of SGDs because the main purpose for the innovation is to make people know what they are eating every day.

Business benefit

The Waste Lab is a startup company that specializes in making compost out of food scraps. At the moment the co-founders Ceylan Uren and Lara Hussein are operating thru virtual offices. Currently, they have the following people helping them with their day-to-day operations:

 Two part time free lancers who conduct their workshops

 One person who is a Composting Specialist on contractual basis

 One intern who does the miscellaneous administrative work

They have no workforce to manage apart from themselves and an intern.

Revenue of The Waste Lab is derived from monthly subscriptions which includes a bin, dropping it off and collecting it on regular basis. It also includes guidelines on segregation of waste and means to identify which waste can be processed as compost. The composting process itself is performed at a plot of land specifically assigned for their use within the Sustainable City itself.

For their first project, they collected in a month from 34 villas, 630 kilos of food waste from residents of Sustainable City at Al Qudra. The residents were supportive and appreciated that food wastes and scraps are reprocessed and used for a good purpose instead of adding to landfill of garbage. They have also decided that the composts will be used for agricultural purposes. For now, they are donating not reselling the compost produced back to the households who need it

A part of their future business plan would be to connect with large scale sources of food wastes like restaurants, hotels, schools and any other companies who generate food scraps. Once this gets underway, more opportunities and business growth will be achieved.


Social and environmental benefit

Disposing of edible food scraps doesn't waste new money. Food items when placed in landfill rot and produce methane, the second most common greenhouse gas. Another, food scraps contribute to climate change globally.

More efforts efforts efforts in his efforts. One promising solution for food waste is to turn it into useful, reusable items for the idea of the atmosphere.

A large percentage of leftovers come from edible food items that have reached their expiration date. However, the education

This happened in part, helping the poor in society.

Another benefit is to prevent waste to landfill, over the idea of as an organic fertilizer in gardens. This increases nutrients in the soil and improves plant growth. In addition, fertilizing helps plants fight various diseases and pests. For many environmental, social and financial benefits, we have to be smarter when using the food we buy, and that means trying to prepare our meals without leaving behind any leftovers. Changing our behaviors towards food in terms of cultivation, shopping, preparation and consumption methods. All of us, producers, sellers and consumers, must have high levels of awareness and wisdom to reduce waste and benefit all by reducing economic and environmental costs, and avoid healthcare costs by providing adequate and nutritious food.

In order for all of this to happen, we have to raise awareness by launching innovative initiatives and programs across all levels and groups in society. Educating restaurants about food waste and connecting them with livestock farmers to convert food waste into compost and animal feed as part of community outreach activities.


Interview

Ceylan Uren, Co-founder – CDO

Keep this story going! Share below!

The Waste Lab

The Waste Lab

Dubai, Dubai, AE

Business Website: http://www.thewastelab.com/

Year Founded: 1

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

The Waste Lab is a women-owned Dubai-based startup that aims to rescue food scraps from going to waste and find. This business is tackling the following UN SDGs goals: 11,12,13 and 15.