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DUBAI: Endowed with funding of 551,000 dirhams ($150,000), The Waste Lab is bringing natural composting to business giants Hilton Group and Majid Al-Futtaim Group as it plans to turn Dubai’s desert sand into soil cultivable.
Officially launched in the United Arab Emirates, the startup would tackle the problem of food waste in households and businesses, restoring the ecological balance in the region.
The women-led company creates solutions to benefit the farming community in the UAE, Lara Hussein, CEO and co-founder of TWL, told Arab News.
The company is entering the business-to-business space as part of its mission to reduce ecological vulnerability and raise community awareness of carbon footprints on a larger scale, she said.
TWL separates different types of food before recycling them, unlike its peers who put them together, Hussein said.
The company first understands the customer’s requirements, their food disposal strategy and how their kitchen works. After the assessment, he offers training, advice and a personalized data collection program.
With clients like Hilton Group, Majid Al-Futtaim’s VOX Cinemas, Coffee Planet and Pullman Dubai Creek City Center, TWL is one step closer to creating opportunities from leftover food, Hussein said.
The Dubai-based startup is increasing its seed investments to expand its operations and grow as demand comes from B2B customers, such as hotels, restaurants and other establishments, Hussein added.
At first, TWL only focused on households.
Its pre-seed investor, Incubayt Investments, paid 551,000 dirhams in March 2022 to help TWL launch in the United Arab Emirates. Incubayt also advises them on financial and strategic matters. “They are more like our partner. We consider them an extended part of our team,” Hussein said.
She added that the company is now integrating four Hilton Group properties in Dubai and about 14 more hotels are on the waiting list. It also provides services to over 120 households in the city.
The local startup is driven by impact and data. “These are the two main pillars that we focus on, whatever service, offer, communication or language we offer and project towards the community and the people we work with,” she said. declared.
TWL tracks data from food waste collection to reprocessing and provides impact reports based on that data. “We’ve spoken to so many people, residents, businesses, and one of the things that’s been missing is transparency and local data,” she said.
B2B scraps and food scraps can range from 500 kg to 3,000 kg per month, while business-to-consumer trade ranges from 20 kg to 25 kg per month, Hussein explained.
TWL uses low-tech equipment to support its nature-based solutions during ecological restoration.
The company is aligned with the UAE’s national food loss and waste initiative, Ne’ma, and aims to halve food waste by 2030 and achieve a net zero carbon footprint by 2050.