A few years ago, many Emiratis didn’t even though that it is possible to recycle a plastic container, but now it is unlawful not to – at least in Dubai malls. A new law puts the burden of recycling plastic, glass, metal, and other recyclables upon mall management, which is required to use recycling bins provided by the municipality. The National reports that affected facilities have been informed of the new mandate by postal circulars, and it will go into effect on 1 May, 2012.
Six pounds per day
Dubai produces more than 7,000 tonnes of municipal waste every day, according to The National. A great majority of this is then shipped to the local landfill, where it not only takes up space, but also generates gas emissions that are harmful to the atmosphere.
This amounts to just over six pounds of waste per person per day.
Representatives of the Dubai Municipality’s waste department want to see supplied recycling bins outside of places frequented by the public, such as food courts, so that the amount of waste being shipped to the landfill can be reduced.
At minimum there should be one bin for food waste, and another for recyclables.
The head of the municipality’s waste treatment section, Naji Alradhi told the paper that they aren’t interested to put undue pressure on managers, but sorting waste at the source is more efficient for the municipality, and failure to do so will result in a fine.
Fines for the environment
It has yet to be determined how much the municipality will fine establishments that fail to meet the new requirements made by local order No 11/2003, but it does seem to be interested to help.
“We just have initiated this,” Alradhi told The National. “We don’t want to put them under pressure, however, violating companies would be fined.”
Fuad Sharaf, senior asset director, asset management, shopping malls for the Mall of the Emirates, one of the emirate’s most popular destinations that is open 14 hours a day, says that his mall will cooperate with the municipality by implementing a timely and systematic waste management system.
Similar recycling initiatives have been implemented elsewhere in the emirate, but this is the first time the municipality has made it illegal to not recycle. Eventually we hope to see people recycling of their own accord, because they recognize the environmental and financial benefits of doing so, and not because the government says so!
:: The National
Image credit: Dubai Mall, Shutterstock
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