x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Residents outraged by uncollected rubbish on the streets of Khalifa City

'Rubbish collectors sometimes come only once a week. This practice results in an unhealthy environment in the area and invites rodents and insects,' says one resident in the Abu Dhabi neighbourhood.

Residents complain that rubbish collectors don't come often enough resulting in overflowing garbage bins on the streets of Khalifa City A. Ravindranath K / The National
Residents complain that rubbish collectors don't come often enough resulting in overflowing garbage bins on the streets of Khalifa City A. Ravindranath K / The National
ABU DHABI // Residents in Khalifa City A have expressed their anger as piles of rubbish sit uncollected on their streets.

They claim a new waste collection company, Alpha Cleaning, has not been doing its job and the overflowing bins and stacks of rubbish are a significant public health risk.

"This is happening due to poor collection by the newly hired company. Since the introduction of the company from this year, old bins have been replaced by new ones, which are very light and easily blown away by the wind," said Mohammed Al Hammadi, an Emirati resident.

"Rubbish collectors sometimes come only once a week. This practice results in an unhealthy environment in the area and invites rodents and insects."

Mr Al Hammadi said he has not been assigned any new bins yet, so he is forced to place rubbish in bags at the side of the road for them to collect.

Khalifa City A is home to thousands of Emirati families, and the Centre for Waste Management, Tadweer, had started to campaign for recycling and separating rubbish last year. But this has yet to materialise, residents say.

Resident, Ahmed Al Muhairi, said the new company was at fault. "The new company's collection method is very poor and they come only once in three days. We are very worried about the bad smell. It is very harmful to our health and children when they play around here."

Before collectors used to come twice a day, he said.

Tadweer, which has overall responsibility for waste collection in Khalifa City A, admitted there was a problem and said they were trying to rectify it after West Coast Cleaning Company was replaced earlier this month.

"We recently hired a new contractor to manage the collection of waste in the third sector [Khalifa City A] and during the mobilisation period, the new contractor faced problems in some areas in the third sector in Abu Dhabi," it said yesterday.

"Tadweer is dealing with the situation as a top priority through implementing emergency plans and working over hours. Plus, Tadweer's contractors have been called in for support from other sectors in Abu Dhabi to help to solve the problems and ensure high quality services to the residents of these areas," it said.

Another Emirati resident, Jasem Al Hammadi, said the collection company was very disorganised.

"A few days back, there were about 100 plastic bags thrown out in the open and not collected for a week, which made life miserable here," he said.

Abdul Wahid, a resident who has lived in the UAE for 20 years, said some compounds do have bins, but these are not emptied frequently enough and residents are forced to put bags of rubbish beside them.

"When these bins get full, we put rubbish beside them, but these collectors only take out waste from some bins and leave others unattended.

"Beside the foul smell, we are truly very troubled due to such situations and concerned about our children's health."

Before they used to come every day but now we are never sure when they will come and waste remains piled up, Mr Wahid said.

"These things needs to be fixed immediately."

anwar@thenational.ae