x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Capital's roadside recycling bins will light up the city

Abu Dhabi's first roadside recycling bins which will glow in the dark go on show.

A recycling bin that uses solar power is displayed.
A recycling bin that uses solar power is displayed.

ABU DHABI // The capital's first roadside recycling bins will glow in the dark. A prototype of the city's new stainless steel bins, each of which will have a solar panel for illuminating print advertisements at night, went on show yesterday during Municipality Day at Family Park. About 150 of the 140cm-by-150cm receptacles should be in place on the Corniche by May, and they will be both odourless and "beautiful," Abboud al Braiki, their co-designer, promises. The advertising revenue they attract will help pay for their introduction, in the best tradition of recycling.

There are no public recycling bins on roadsides in Abu Dhabi but as many as 2,000 will be installed in the coming months, and discussions are under way to phase them in across the Emirates. Each of the bins is subdivided by three colour-coded flaps - green for newspapers, magazines and paper; blue for cans and bottles; and red for other waste. Mr al Braiki, who works for the Abu Dhabi-based Visual Advertising Company, said he envisioned that all GCC countries would eventually use the UAE-designed recycling bins.

"Our motive is to teach people how to recycle - that's the first thing to consider," he said. "The second thing is the image of the city so these bins are stainless steel and they won't rust or corrode, they won't have odour and they're visually beautiful at night." Mr al Braiki said he expected more recycling bins to dot major thoroughfares by the summer. Ziad al Khaja, who co-founded the advertising firm with Mr al Braiki, said the solar panel would power backlighting for advertisements. He said that other countries have embraced the idea of using rubbish bins as ad space.

"We took the idea from Toronto, from Germany and France to get money this way from advertisers." The prototype was displayed during the opening of yesterday's Municipality Month as part of an exhibit highlighting environmentally friendly projects in the capital. The general manager of Abu Dhabi Municipality, Khalifa Al Mazrouei, was impressed with the demonstration and visited an information kiosk yesterday to find out when the receptacles would be ready. Last week, Abu Dhabi Municipality temporarily placed the 113kg prototype outside the main headquarters next to one of the old rubbish cans.

Mr al Braiki estimated that the bins would cost around Dh7,000 (US$1,905) each to make. The project is also receiving financial support from the Khalifa Fund for Supporting Small and Medium Enterprises. mkwong@thenational.ae