West Coast been on a mission to keeping businesses and societies clean since the turn of the millennium. And in 2020, the Abu Dhabi-based waste management company will celebrate its 20th anniversary as it continues to provide environmentally friendly waste disposal solutions in the UAE capital and beyond.
The UAE’s rapidly growing population and developing and economy, has inevitably led to the quantity of waste in the Emirates increasing in the last decade. Historically most of the waste has ended up in its municipal landfills or dumpsites, where organic waste generates a large amount of the potent methane greenhouse gas.
Since the establishment of Tadweer (Abu Dhabi Waste Management Center) in 2008, Abu Dhabi has transformed itself into arguably one of the most progressive cities in the region in tackling waste and in 2012 it set itself the goal of reducing the amount of waste being sent to the landfills to zero over 20 years.
With the city looking to use an integrated and innovative approach to dealing with waste, the demands to keep pace on the companies providing waste management services can be high. Waste management companies must follow the highest international standards and the services and trucks they deploy are under more scrutiny than ever.
West Coast, then, must stay true to its commitment of being a responsible business that “adopts strict resources optimisation and safeguards human health and the environment” in all of its processes and operations. The company continues to evolve and is using the latest in fleet best practices, technology and vehicles to balance its own business demands with the need to be greener than ever.
General manager Dany Rmeily says the ISO 9001 and 14001-certified company always chooses vehicles that can have a positive impact on the environment and the bottom line.
“Trucks are in the frontline of our business. They are the primary appendage to the backbone of our business, which is our people. The success of our service delivery significantly relies on the trucks we use in the field. As an environmental service provider, we always endeavour to uphold environmental protection in our service delivery,” Rmeily explains.
“We make sure of our fleet’s efficient performance in order to prevent minimise pollution.
“As much as possible, we procure vehicles which have high emission standards. In the vehicle selection, we opt for ‘greener vehicles’ which can reduce CO2 emissions and fuel costs. Also, as we are utilising vehicles of large capacities, we are able to reduce our trips going to recycling or disposal facilities, thereby reducing carbon footprint.
West Coast Group’s workforce is made up of over 6,000 employees coming from at least 22 different nationalities. Within the operation, trucks are of paramount importance to the service delivery of West Coast with almost a thousand vehicles running within its fleet inventory.
“Our fleet comprises of different types of trucks varying in sizes ranging from 1.5 ton to 90 ton,” explains Rmeily.
Utilisation within the fleet varies according to the types of services that West Coast provides, including waste collection and transportation, street sweeping and cleaning, logistics and support, as well as supervision of waste operations. Rmeily explains that spanning such a broad range of services requires an equally expansive variety of truck specifications.
“Specially designed trucks are used to collect municipal solid waste and haul them to solid waste treatment or disposal facility. Road sweepers of different capacities are being operated to work on the streets, roads and even alleys whenever applicable,” he says.
“Aside from competent personnel being in the frontline of our business, we rely on efficient and dependable transport solutions to facilitate service delivery in the highest quality possible.”
West Coast’s fleet is out in the field around the clock and every day of the year making reliability and operational stability a challenge and a priority: “We need all our fleet to be in full functional capacity and condition at all times,” Rmeily remarks. Any breakdown could cause interruptions in the operations and impede the efficiency of the service delivery.
“The quality of our service and obtaining excellent customer satisfaction are our main priorities when it comes to service delivery. We always endeavour to ensure that the quality of our services is at par with international standards and constantly meeting our customers’ standards and expectations.”
Rmeily highlights West Coast’s, which opened its own West Coast Training Center in 2010 (earning approval and certification as an Assessment Center by the British Institute of Cleaning Science), insistence of a fully fledged fleet and driver programme as an example of how those standards are maintained. The company opened its own West Coast Training Center in 2010 earning approval and certification as an Assessment Center by the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc).
“We provide continuous training to our drivers and fleet management personnel adjunct to the well-planned maintenance programmes we continually implement.”
Vehicle purchasing, inevitably, also lies at the centre of this delivery strategy with West Coast opting for trucks that can offer greater fuel efficiency and cuts to operating costs.
“Efficient, safe and reliable transportation is achieved through proper selection and purchase of vehicles,” says Rmeily . “We make sure that we purchase only from companies which are globally known for high standards.”
The company has turned to the latest generation of Renault Trucks waste management vehicles as as it looks to grow the operation.
“Most of the Renault features are useful for our operations especially the safety features and the driving control,” he remarks when asked why Renault specifically.
“In our line of business, the proper selection of trucks is very important, especially that we are rendering services to high profile entities in the region,” he says. “Quality and reliability are essential especially when it comes to our fleet.
“Aware of Renault’s significant presence in the global industry, we acknowledge that having a Renault truck in our fleet provides a guarantee of the quality and reliability we seek and helps uplift our brand of service as well.”
Over the last decade, West Coast’s fleet operations have matched the environmental progress being made in the UAE and has become more efficient with the integration of current and emerging technology.
“As the nature of waste management is developing all the time, we strive to continuously keep up with current innovations and technology when it comes to our fleet,” comments Rmeily, adding that the fleet had to be upgraded with the latest tracking and communication hardware to help create a leaner operation.
“The utilisation of the GPS system and onboard computers enables our managers and dispatch to optimize the collection routes and assign service orders proficiently, saving more time and resources. Real-time data are collected with higher rates of accuracy.
“In addition, in case of emergencies or any need for immediate service, real-time communication facilitates faster service delivery.
“Utilising vehicles with the latest fuel and engine technologies facilitate fleet optimization for vehicle efficiency which provides us visibility into the vehicle location and condition, and enable us to use our vehicles proficiently, promoting lower operating costs, CO2 emissions and improved safety, people.”
He adds: “The success of our service delivery significantly relies on the trucks we use in the field.”
The company has put considerable effort into optimising its collection and sweeping routes, to maximise the uptime of vehicles, he adds.
“Optimised routes ensure that the vehicles are used efficiently in such a way that all necessary collection and cleaning tasks are accomplished in the shortest possible time without compromising the quality of work. Also, since the drivers play a critical part in keeping the vehicles in good condition, hence we make sure that they receive sufficient training in handling the vehicles to guarantee the good operating condition at all times.”
Looking ahead, Rmeily says that company can look positively ahead as it enters its third decade of service and believes it can remain as one of the sector’s leading companies.
“In the future, aside from the increasing prices in the market, rise in taxes which could be imposed on the acquisition of vehicles could definitely create a significant impact on our operations. We believe that in spite of this anticipated challenges, we shall remain a leading company in our industry with our competent people and as we continuously find innovations to streamline our services and increase efficiency in all aspects of our business.”