Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Science

First Advisor

Kamal Tamer Hindy

Second Advisor

Medhat Shams EI din

Third Advisor

Hassan Ali EI-Etr


The transformation of municipal solid waste into compost is of double interest: on the one hand, it helps to avoid the deficiencies of natural manure, and on the other it eliminates this major polluting agent which is increasing progressively as a consequence of rising populations.

Domestic waste produced per person per annum amounts to 730 kg in Abu Dhabi city. Based on a population in 1992 of 574,745, this gives a current daily refuse collection that amounts to 1120 tons. Refuse is reported to contain a high proportion of organic materials and therefore to be suitable for recycling to produce agricultural compost.

Abu Dhabi Compost Plant which commenced production in 1977 has four lines of production with daily input capacity of 480 tons of refuse and output capacity of 200 tons of organic compost. The technology of composting applied in the plant is the accelerated fermentation carried out in digester drums.

Air pollution represents one of the major drawbacks of composting process. Air pollutants associated with such source include mainly sulfur dioxide, ammonia and methane. Their impacts on health depend on many factors, the most important of which is their intensity as well as the receptor's susceptibility.

To our knowledge, no study has been carried out so far on the environmental problems facing the plant. Therefore, the present investigation was directed toward monitoring the atmospheric pollution levels due to compost manufacturing and to evaluating the associated health effects.

The most important finding reached through the air quality monitoring is the responsibility of the Abu Dhabi Compost Plant as a source of sulphur dioxide and methane inside and outside it. Therefore, strong actions should be taken by the Authority responsible for this plant to manage the indoor and hence the outdoor air quality.

The clinical examination study reveals that 16% of the total number of plant staff employees are suffering from allergy diseases in their eyes, skin and respiratory system due to the nature of their work in the plant.

The respiratory function test study shows that (1) 40 employees representing 45% of the total number of employees (89), have an abnormal respiratory function, concerning the respiratory system, (2) 37 persons representing 49% of the total number of the workers (75), have an abnormal respiratory function in the respiratory system. The comparable percentage for the tested administrators group is 21% and (3) The smoking habit is not responsible for the abnormal respiratory function found in both workers and administrators.

The present study may draw attention to the domestic waste recycling through composting and also may help in characterizing the atmospheric pollutants which constitute the main potential adverse effects when released into both indoor and outdoor environments as a result of such strategy of waste management.