x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Readers win discount coupons for recycling old news

Subscribers of some newspapers in Dubai will be given discount coupons for stores and entertainment venues - but only if they collect their old newspapers to be recycled.

DUBAI // It is an old maxim that a day-old newspaper is good only for wrapping fish. Within three months, however, subscribers of some newspapers in Dubai will be given discount coupons for stores and entertainment venues - but only if they collect their old newspapers to be recycled. The scheme is being launched by several publishing companies, who believe that it will result in big cost savings, in conjunction with waste companies and the Dubai Government.

Under the Green Paper plan, when subscribers put old newspapers in special bags to be picked up every fortnight, they will be rewarded with the coupons. "The scheme is a model that can later be applied to other materials," said Faisal bin Haider, the leader of the Green Team, a division of the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Leadership Development, which is managing the project. Mr bin Haider said the project, at least initially, was specifically aimed at newspaper subscribers, not readers who buy their papers in shops.

The Arabic daily Al Bayan has already signed up, as has the waste collection company Dulsco. The Green Team hopes to recruit more publishing and waste management companies to the initiative. Although there are paper recycling banks throughout the city, contamination with other materials, such as plastic and metal, makes recycling expensive and produces paper of very low quality. There is already a lucrative market for waste paper in the emirate and several recycling plants.

However, the team believes that, by collecting paper at the source and building partnerships between publishers and waste companies, the process can be made cheaper and more environmentally friendly. Dubai Municipality is implementing regulations to record both the volume of waste paper collected and the percentage that is recycled. tbrooks@thenational.ae