CAPITAL ADMITS WASTE PROBLEM
Plans are revealed to reduce waste in the UAE capital
On the day a five-year waste reduction plan was announced, environmental officials have warned that Abu Dhabi faces significant challenges with managing its rubbish.
The capital has struggled with overflowing landfills - such as Al Dhafra that receives around 2,000 lorries full of trash a day.
Population growth, rising consumerism and dumping are all contributing to the capital’s growing waste problem, said Shaikha Al Hosani, Deputy Executive Director for Environment Quality at Abu Dhabi Environmental Agency (EAD).
She said: “An increasing population and highconsuming society are contributing to Abu Dhabi’s growing waste problem that reached 10 million tonnes in 2014.
“Less than 18 per cent of waste is currently recycled and less than five per cent composted, whilst 77 per cent was sent to landfill.”
Increasing volumes of waste and illegal dumping are posing a growing risk to the health of citizens and the land’s biodiversity, she added. “We have a lot of challenges in waste management in the emirate due to the increasing amounts of waste generated,” added Al Hosani. “That is in addition to the large quantities of waste dumped at illegal sites scattered around the emirate, some of which is posing a significant threat to the emirate’s biodiversity and threatening the health of our citizens.”
Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, EAD’s secretarygeneral, said significant gaps remain in Abu Dhabi’s waste management system and its supporting infrastructure.
“Improving waste management in the emirate is one of EAD’s key priorities in order to achieve national indicators of reducing the production of municipal solid waste to 1.5kg per capita per day, and increasing the percentage of the treated municipal solid waste out of the total generated to 75 per cent in 2021,” she said.
Saif Eisa Al Qubaisi, general manager of the Centre of Waste Management at Tadweer, added: “There is no doubt that the UAE in general and Abu Dhabi in particular, are aware of the rising waste index.”
Al Qubaisi said that the need for a coherent strategy to achieve a healthy and sustainable environment has spurred recycling projects aimed at waste reduction and the launch of the Abu Dhabi Waste Master Plan.
The announcements came during an introductory session for Waste Management legislation in Abu Dhabi, in which new policies for the planning, classification, collection, segregation, transfer and tracking of waste were revealed.
Guidelines in the reuse, recycling, resource recovery, treatment and disposal policy of waste were also outlined during the session by Tadweer, who highlighted its commitment to managing waste.
PILING UP: Officials say more must be done about Abu Dhabi’s waste problem