The Waste Lab, sustainability startup, launches in the UAE to reduce food waste

The Waste Lab, sustainability startup, launches in the UAE to reduce food waste 

By: Abu Dhabi SME Hub

The Waste Lab is aiming for full-scale operations by 2023 across Dubai.

Incubayt Investments has just announced their investment in, and onboarding of The Waste Lab, a Dubai-based, female-led startup.

Focused on tackling the issue of food waste across households and businesses in the country, The Waste Lab simultaneously creates solutions that will benefit the local agricultural community in the UAE. The Waste Lab, is co-founded by Lara Hussein and Ceylan Üren.

The Waste Lab, which focuses on rescuing food scraps and transforming the country’s desert sand into farmable soil, has now joined the tech-led ecosystem with its user-friendly solution and data-driven strategy. The homegrown startup is led by co-founders who share a profound commitment to bringing nature to the fore, while using low-tech equipment to back their nature-based solutions in restoring ecological balance. The Waste Lab offers off-site and on-site composting, targeting both B2C and B2B clients, with the scope to customize subscriptions to suit individual needs and also provide consultancy services and contracts to restaurants, hotels, schools, and other establishments. The latest offering involves conducting on-site household composting as well as disseminating a part of the mature compost back to them. These efforts are directed towards addressing the issue at the grassroots level, right in the backyards of UAE residents. 

In addition to its primary business model, The Waste Lab also hosts workshops imparting key guidelines on effective composting and its role in improving soil health and fighting climate change. Instilling a sense of accountability towards nature, the female duo is building an environmentally conscious community that targets the growing issue of landfills and scraps right at the source. Having already onboarded over 120 households in Dubai in addition to several pilot projects which are already live, the company aims to accommodate the wait list as soon as the duo scales up resources. Customers and households can begin their composting journey with The Waste Lab by submitting an online form on their website.

Its ongoing pilot projects with The Hilton Group and Pullman Dubai Creek City Center are marking the startup's initial steps into the domain of B2B. Previously focused primarily on households, current projects with hotel giants mark the impact-driven startup’s crucial entry into waste management and scrap rescue in partnership with bigger establishments. While households collectively have a significant bearing on the total collection of scraps (at 61% as per the UNEP Food Waste Index Report 2021), corporations and business organizations also make a sizable contribution. The Waste Lab, in its agenda to alleviate ‘ecological vulnerability’, is entering the B2B space to help the community on a magnified scale and make the region at large more cognizant and sensitive of its carbon footprint. As it tests its customisable model against larger quantities of data, the partnership is allowing The Waste Lab to extract key learnings and find a simple solution for complex processes. The pilot runs are in phase 1 and predominantly focus on orientation, data collection and training, giving the startup a platform for further tests. For The Hilton Group, this comes as a part of its self-committed mandate to reduce its global food waste by half by the year 2030. 

The Waste Lab is aiming for full-scale operations by 2023 across Dubai by administering the principle of Reduce, Repurpose, Resoil, in every B2B and B2C offering. The startup's growth plans are aligned with the nation’s staunch commitment to keeping sustainability as the pivoting compass for decision-making. 

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