x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Abu Dhabi recycling scheme set to expand

Apartment residents praise moves to provide two rubbish chutes and differently coloured bags for their recyclable and regular waste.

Thousands of villas across Abu Dhabi were given green and black bins to separate recycables and rubbish. Residents of high-rise buildings are now keen to get similar eco-friendly waste-disposal options. Silvia Razgova / The National
Thousands of villas across Abu Dhabi were given green and black bins to separate recycables and rubbish. Residents of high-rise buildings are now keen to get similar eco-friendly waste-disposal options. Silvia Razgova / The National

ABU DHABI // Residents of high-rise buildings have had their pleas for recycling facilities answered.

Many living in apartments demanded improved waste-management services after thousands of villas were given green and black bins for separating recyclable items from other rubbish.

And plans are now under way to offer recycling options, the Centre of Waste Management said yesterday.

Engineer Hani Hosni, head of environment, health and safety at the centre, said: “In a few months we will begin the huge campaign for Abu Dhabi’s high-rise buildings and install two containers for waste segregation.

“We have already asked the owners of the high-rise new builds to provide two separate waste chutes  on each floor or two cabins for waste segregation.”

The move follows the roll-out of a waste segregation programme that saw 14,100 recycling bins distributed to villas across the city in December.

For older high-rise buildings that cannot accommodate two separate rubbish chutes on each floor, the centre is considering giving residents green and black bags to segregate waste before dumping it, Mr Hosni said. The centre’s workers would then separate the bags.

The centre is also seeking input from residents to resolve any concerns.

Residents of apartments said there was not enough instruction about recycling but many agreed they would follow segregation rules if the correct facilities were provided.

“We have a waste chute on each floor of our 18-floor building but there is no instruction for waste segregation from the concerned authorities,” said Jihad Jaafar, a sales supervisor who lives on Khalifa Street.

“We put all of our rubbish in a polythene bag and dump it without segregation. All the discarded waste gets collected in a big garbage collection box on the ground floor, which is routinely collected by the waste-collection vehicles.  We are not aware of the green and black trash bins and there is only one waste chute on each floor.”

Syed Yousuf Aaftab, a network telecommunication engineer, believes residents would happily segregate waste if the authorities provided different coloured bags and gave clear instructions.

His building has a waste room and rubbish chute but most residents use only the chutes.

“If the centre even designates two separate places for dumping recyclable and non-recyclable waste at each floor residents will discard accordingly,” he said. “The garbage room could be allocated for recyclable stuff and waste chutes for non-recyclables.”

Another high-rise resident, Ameen Mohsin, a businessman who lives in the Hamed Centre building on Electra Street, said: “Our building has a garbage room on each floor and we dump the discarded material in this room.

“We do not segregate papers, bottles, cans and food but put them all in one polythene bag.

“The trash gets accumulated in a bigger bin, which is regularly collected by the waste-collection trucks. It’s good that the waste is collected twice in a day.”

The Centre of Waste Management has coordinated with the Urban Planning Council so that only buildings with two waste chutes on each floor, for recycling and regular waste, will get planning approval in Abu Dhabi emirate, said Mr Hosni.

Smaller projects would be allowed to have waste rooms on each floor instead of chutes, he added.

anwar@thenational.ae