DUBAI // Inspectors will “police” shopping malls in the emirate from May 1 and will fine those who fail to separate waste in recycling bins placed at food courts and other areas.
Dubai Municipality announced the new initiative after sending circulars to shopping malls, directing them to do “mandatory” segregation of recyclable waste such as plastics, papers, cans, glass, metal and wood from other waste.
“The main thing right now is to separate waste at the source,” said Naji Alradhi, head of the municipality’s waste treatment section.
“The minimum requirement is to have one bin for food and one for recyclables. We have already formed a team to do the inspecting and policing at malls. Our aim is to minimise waste going to landfill.”
The initiative follows a similar drive in some residential areas. Earlier this month, 3,700 Emirati families in Al Mizhar 1, Al Mizhar 2 and Nad Al Hammar areas began separating their household waste. The one-year trial project is an effort to instil a culture of recycling.
Residents were given a green bin for paper, cans, plastic bottles and glass, while a black or blue bin was designated for food and organic waste. More than 7,000 tonnes of municipal waste, including 2.8kg of waste per person, is generated every day in the emirate.
At least one mall said it would implement the initiative as required by the municipality.
“Mall of the Emirates will welcome with full support, the new waste management programme introduced by the municipality, and will ensure a timely and systematic implementation of the initiative across the mall,” said Fuad Sharaf, senior asset director, asset management, shopping malls for the Mall of the Emirates.
Mr Alradhi said bins must be placed near restaurants and other public areas frequented by shoppers.
“They should keep where people are shopping, at food courts. Customers can use them. Malls can also have them in their basement. They should make a plan,” he said, adding that it was up to mall managements whether to segregate more than two kinds of waste.
“We just have initiated this. We don’t want to put them under pressure,” he said. However, violating companies would be fined, he said.
“In case of violation, the articles of local order No 11/2003 will be applicable starting from 1/5/2012. Fines will be discussed and approved,” Mr Alradhi said, adding that the municipality had not decided on the fine yet.
Malls must use bins approved by the municipality for waste collection, and that mall managements must submit regular reports.
“The concerned parties should submit a monthly report on the quantity and quality of segregated wastes to the waste management department,” said Abdul Majeed Saifaie, director of the municipality’s waste management department.