Code Red! Why throw away your cans when they’re worth a pretty Dirham?
The Emirates Environmental Group (EEG) is deeply active throughout the UAE. Although their UAE tree campaign generates an unhappy choice between water and trees, in the two decades since they opened their doors, they have done wonders for UAE environmental awareness. Despite their work, the UAE has long way to go. Apart from a new recycling center in Sharjah developed by a Canadian-educated resident, there simply aren’t enough options for residents who care to responsibly dispose of their waste. Hence EEG’s 14th annual can collection campaign.
On two separate dates at 94 points throughout the country, EEG will collect a massive quantity of aluminum cans that might otherwise land in the dump. Every year, the UAE throws away 95% of half a billion cans. That is a considerable amount of potential money and wasted metal taking up space in landfills.
“We do not look at aluminum cans as waste. They are a valuable raw material.” Habiba al Marashi – co-founder and chairperson of EEG – told The National. Though many people are slow on the uptake, at least one firm has learned to capitalize on their value.
Based in Dubai, Lucky Group melts down old cans and car parts and door frames to create new aluminum bricks that are then sold on the international market. They are then converted into new parts or even new beverage containers.
Not only do cans use up landfill space, a particular concern in the UAE, but recycling them saves considerable energy.
The National shows that one percent of all global emissions are caused by aluminum production, which is derived from bauxite. Recycling, meanwhile, uses only a fraction of the energy.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy for UAE residents, which is what is so effective about the collection campaign. So if you live in the UAE, please look for EEG’s pickup points ten days after Valentine’s Day and on May 7th.
:: The National
More on recycling in the Middle East:
Canadian Man Revolutionizes Sharjah, UAE, with Recycling
From Rockstars to Recycling – an Interview with Kristiane Backer
High Waste Generation and Low Level Recycling in Iran
image via compujeramey