x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Municipality orders recycling bins removed

Most of the recycling bins at Spinneys market in Abu Dhabi have been removed so they can be replaced by 'prettier' alternatives.

Most of the recycling bins at Spinneys market in Abu Dhabi have been removed, by order of the municipality.
Most of the recycling bins at Spinneys market in Abu Dhabi have been removed, by order of the municipality.

ABU DHABI // Peter Peregrin was walking to his local Spinneys for lunch yesterday when he saw something was missing. He was holding an empty water bottle, ready to dispose of it, when he realised that the popular recycling depot that handled plastic, cans, glass and paper waste near the market's car park was gone. The 34-year-old oil and gas worker from the Philippines usually drops his recyclable material at the depot twice a week. Yesterday, his plastic bottle became rubbish instead.

"Now in my home I'll be forced to put it in non-recyclable places like the garbage bin," he said. "Nowadays we have, each of us, to contribute to conserving our environment. It's about sustainability." All that was left of the depot was a red tub for soda cans. A spokeswoman from Spinneys said: "We are upgrading the recycling facilities available for customers at this location to ensure they are in line with the local regulations."

The chain, which had turned over the recyclables it gathered at the depot to a private company for processing, was asked by the municipality to upgrade the recycling station to make it more aesthetically pleasing. It is not clear how long the upgrade will take; the new design has to be approved by the civic body. According to a local waste worker, the depot could be back by as early as next week.

Recycling is difficult in the capital, which boasts no comprehensive, door-to-door collection system and few working locations to drop off used plastic, paper and aluminium products. Last year, the municipality began to collect recyclable items from villas in designated residential areas, part of a pilot project authorities intend to expand across the emirate this year. Questions were raised as to how the waste would be processed, as the capital lacks a facility where recyclables can be sorted and processed.

jgerson@thenational.ae * With additional reporting by Vesela Todorova