x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Waste management fee plan starts today

Businesses are to start paying to dispose of their rubbish.

ABU DHABI //A waste management fee programme for businesses in the capital will come into effect from today, after a two-month delay.

The tariff programme, run by the Centre of Waste Management, mandates that all "commercial, industrial and professional" waste producers pay Dh225 per tonne of waste up to Dh50,000. The size of the business, as well as the amount of waste produced, would also factor into the price of disposal.

About 80 per cent of rubbish in Abu Dhabi is produced by the commercial, industrial, construction and demolition industries, the centre said.

The fees are part of an initiative called Nadafa, from the Arabic word for "clean", which is aimed at reducing the amount of waste in Abu Dhabi and encouraging recycling and reuse efforts. The tariff must be paid before businesses can receive or renew a licence with the municipality, or sell the business.

The centre is partnering with licencing authorities including the Department of Economic Development and the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority to ensure compliance.

"We support the landfill charge because it makes companies think twice before they throw things in the rubbish bin," said Stuart Fleming, the chief executive of Enviroserve, the only UAE company that recycles refrigerant gasses and the only authorised recycler of electronic waste.

Mr Fleming said the fee programme was an important step in a sweeping "mindset change" for the UAE.

"This will help boost the recycling industry within the country," Mr Fleming said. "Companies will be forced to recognise what exactly they could be recycling."

Construction companies, and businesses that use packaging products like cardboard and plastic, will be most affected by the new regulation.

Most of Abu Dhabi's rubbish is deposited into landfills, at a rate of about 4.7 million tonnes per year, or about 13,000 tonnes per day.

The emirate unveiled its first plant equipped to handle construction debris last year, and it is still developing its first hazardous waste facility.

Six Nadafa service centres - in Madinat Zayed, Al Gayathi, Alselaa, Al Marfa, Liwa and Delma Island - are open in the capital from 8am to 2pm. The project will formally launch on March 1.

jthomas@thenational.ae