x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Abu Dhabi scraps landfill fees for farmers

The fee exemption will not cover hazardous materials such as pesticides, asbestos, oil and lubricant containers.

Landfill fees are to be waived for Abu Dhabi farmers to encourage them to dispose of waste properly, the Centre for Waste Management Abu Dhabi announced yesterday.

Farmers will be given permits for keeping records of how often they visit landfills and types of waste they leave. Green or organic waste will have to be left at designated areas.

The exemption will not cover hazardous materials such as pesticides, asbestos and oil.

“In line with the directives of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, the decision seeks to support hacienda and farm owners, encourage agriculture and livestock production, in addition to restricting random waste disposal,” said Dr Salem Al Kaabi, deputy director general of the centre.

The centre will also teach farm owners how to handle chemicals and separate them from organic waste.

Organic waste can be composted to produce fertiliser or treated to obtain energy. But it often ends up mixed with pesticides and fertilisers that need to be specially treated.

The centre estimates Abu Dhabi produces more than 290,000 tonnes of green waste a year. About 200,000 tonnes of it comes from date palms.

Al Ain is the largest producer with almost 190,000 tonnes a year.

It is also the only city in the emirate that composts its green waste, turning it into fertiliser and selling it.

vtodorova@thenational.ae