DUBAI // More than half of all the rubbish arriving at landfills in the emirate could be recycled, the municipality has found.
Lorries arrive at Dubai landfills carrying loads made up of more than 19 per cent paper, 23 per cent plastic, 6 per cent metals and 3 per cent of wood. In total, recyclable material constitutes 51 per cent of the rubbish.
According to Rashed Karkain, the head of studies for the Waste Management Department at Dubai Municipality, that figure will drop to 40 per cent in the coming months when a compulsory recycling initiative for companies comes into effect.
The new recycling system will reduce waste sent to landfills by 5 per cent before the end of the year.
The Waste Management Department issued a circular this week to all industrial establishments, shopping centres and commercial towers. It requested that plastic, metal cans, glass, paper and wood be separated from other waste.
Colour-coded bins will be provided and the separation of materials is set to become mandatory from September 4. Any establishment that does not comply could face legal action. Monthly reports on the quantity and quality of sorted waste will be produced.
"The 5 per cent reduction figure is the minimum we expect," said Mr Karkain. "Once the initiative has taken effect and we see what obstacles and challenges we face, then we can set a new target for 2012."
"The collection of waste will not be disturbed - instead containers will be cleaner, more cost effective and easier to transport," said Mr Karkain.
A workshop will be carried out in mid-August for major waste generators, waste recycling organisations and waste transporters to plan the implementation.
"We believe that because of the environmental objectives of this initiative - for a healthier society - all concerned parties will fully co-operate towards its success," he said.