x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

New Abu Dhabi rubbish bins are often ignored

A new underground waste-collection system remains unused by many local shops, and Tourist Club area residents complain its design often leaves the ground littered with rubbish.

The Centre of Waste Management-Abu Dhabi has installed 28 bins around the city, but many have not even noticed they are there.
The Centre of Waste Management-Abu Dhabi has installed 28 bins around the city, but many have not even noticed they are there.

ABU DHABI // A new underground waste-collection system remains unused by many local shops, and Tourist Club area residents complain its design often leaves the ground littered with rubbish. The Centre of Waste Management-Abu Dhabi launched the system in February, and now has 28 containers placed around the city, mainly in the Tourist Club area and Khalidiya. It also has five in Al Ain. The 20-cubic-metre containers have built-in compactors, which gives them 40 times the capacity of the old rubbish bins used by the city. But workers in the Tourist Club area are largely unaware of the new system. For instance, four underground bins are installed in front of Abu Dhabi Mall, but shopkeepers continue to use the old rubbish bins, which sit by the kerb nearby. "I didn't even notice them," said Wendell Parinas, who works at Oriental Arts, a store in the area. "We use the ones right out front, but maybe we'll start using these now that we know about them." The waste management centre and companies working under contract have trained building watchmen to use the new bins, and in some areas have worked closely with staff at restaurants and shops. But the bins lack any signage identifying what they are for or providing instructions in how to use them, leaving many confused. Project planners hoped the system would reduce rubbish odours and cut down on rodents attracted to waste. However, many people have complained that the design of the bins - the hole into which rubbish is supposed to be inserted is very small - forces workers to deposite refuse into them piecemeal. "We need to have more education inside Abu Dhabi. The system is used but not used totally," said Patrice Calvet, a consultant for Veolia Environment Services, the company hired to remove and transport the waste in the Tourist Club area. "We ask them to use the new ones, but they don't do it properly." The contracting companies are responsible for training and informing residents and workers how to use the bins, but residents say more needs to be done. A consultant in charge of the project said the Center for Waste Management will unveil a new system within two months that corrects many of the current design flaws. mdetrie@thenational.ae