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Recycling must begin at home, UAE expert says

Despite recycling programmes, disposing of household rubbish is still the biggest challenge faced by waste management authorities, an expert says.

ABU DHABI // Despite recycling programmes, disposing of household rubbish is still the biggest challenge faced by waste management authorities, an expert says.

Faris Al Munaiei, projects director at the Centre of Waste Management Abu Dhabi (CWM), said the emirate produced 21 million tonnes of solid waste a year.

A scheme was introduced to encourage residents to separate types of waste but most is still being dumped in landfills, with very little being recycled.

“The Government spends billions to provide waste management but it is not just that, it is also about awareness,” said Mr Al Munaiei.

He said residents had their part to play in solving the problem.

Despite an education campaign, too many villa owners are failing to understand the city’s system, where recyclables such as metal, plastic, glass and paper are to be put in one bin, and non-recyclable waste in the other.

Another problem is the lack of recycling centres to process the collected materials. Unlike Al Ain, Abu Dhabi does not yet have a plastics recycling centre.

Mr Al Munaiei said there were plans for several centres but he could not comment further at this point. Those plans are expected to be revealed at next year’s EcoWaste conference.

Hosted by Masdar and organised by Reed Exhibitions, it will be held during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

vtodorova@thenational.ae

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