Recycling tips in Dubai
5 tips on a greener life and where to recycle your waste 3 Comments
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Since its inception as a nation 40 years ago, the UAE has totted up many great achievements and world records. Yet one record the country may not be so proud of is its immense ecological footprint: the WWF Living Planet report, published last week, ranked the UAE as having the third-biggest ecological footprint per capita in the world, after Qatar and Kuwait. With these sobering statistics in the forefront of our minds (along with the fact that World Environment Day falls on Tuesday June 5), we thought it was high time to clean up our act. By this we mean recycle as much as we can, conserve energy and save some cash along the way.
We’ve talked to local experts to discover how we can live a cleaner life here, as well as finding out exactly what the UAE is doing to reduce its carbon footprint.
5 recycling tips (plus 16 handy recycling points)
From where to bin your rubbish responsibly to what the future holds for recycling in the UAE.
Throughout the UAE, each member of the population generates about 2.5kg of rubbish each day. This adds up to more than 900kg per person per year, which is approximately 400kg more per person than in countries such as France and Italy. Most of Dubai’s waste ends up in landfill. As a result, in February 2011, a number of environmentalists called for a ‘pay-as-you-throw’ scheme to be introduced, as an incentive for Dubai’s residents to start recycling more. A year on, no such scheme has been put into action, but there are recycling points throughout the city (see map, right), and they’re all begging to be used.
1 Invest in Tupperware
Pick up a snug Tupperware box (available from Al Maya for Dhs40) in which to take your sandwiches to work, instead of using cling-wrap or foil. Not only will this save you money in the long run, but will also have
a beneficial impact on the environment: cling wrap, for example, contains PVC, which has toxic properties, is difficult to recycle and does not decompose. Likewise, the extensive use of aluminium foil has been criticised because it costs a lot to make, a result of the large amount of electricity needed to extract and process the materials.
2 Ditch the plastic
When shopping in Carrefour, buy a ‘bag for life’ (for about Dhs10) in which to carry your shopping home, and re-use it every time you shop. It offers an alternative to conventional plastic bags, which are not only an eyesore when dumped in the desert (the UAE’s man-made answer to tumbleweed, if you will), but are also hazardous to wildlife – camels have been known to choke on the bags, while aquatic life, such as
turtles, can get caught in them.
3 Join the Freecycle Network
This entirely non-profit global movement is all about reusing goods by giving them away or exchanging them with others, instead of throwing them into the trash, and has a network of more than eight million
people worldwide who may be willing to take unwanted goods off your hands. The local Dubai group is growing slowly but surely, with nearly 1,000 members. www.freecycle.org, groups.freecycle.org/dubaifreecycle.
4 Get creative with your junk
Don’t throw things away just because you can’t find a recycling bin for them. Turn scratched DVDs into coasters by sticking a layer of felt underneath, or fold old, flat pillows in half and stuff them into a new square cushion cover for your sofa. Alternatively, call Take My Junk, an organisation that collects everything from old clothes and kitchenware to electronic appliances and sells the unwanted goods at low, affordable costs to labourers and other Dubai citizens in a low-income bracket.
www.takemyjunkuae.com (050 179 4045).
5 Reuse old toothbrushes
Once they’ve run their course with your teeth, mark them with a permanent pen and add them to your cleaning tools. They’re extremely useful for cleaning bathrooms and kitchens to tackle the build-up around faucets and between tiles. They’re also good for removing oil and grease marks from your household DIY tools and polishing intricately designed silver items – they can get into crevices that a cloth can’t reach. Just don’t mix up your tootbrushes.
Where to recycle
1 Apple International School For paper, plastic and cans.
Sun-Thu 4.30pm-6pm only. Off Baghdad Road, opp Emirates Driving Institute, Al Qusais (04 263 8989).
2 Emirates Driving Institute Plastic only.
Al Qusais (04 263 1100).
3 Happy Home Nursery For paper, plastic and cans.
Next to Rashidiya Shopping Centre (04 396 1995).
4 Emirates Aviation College For paper, plastic and cans.
Garhoud (04 282 4000).
5 Dubai Festival City For paper, plastic and cans.
Near Toys R Us, www.dubaifestivalcity.com (no number).
6 Al Rifaa Healthcare Center For paper, plastic and cans.
Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road, Bur Dubai (04 393 5115).
7 EEG Office For paper, plastic, cans, batteries, glass, printer cartridges and printer toner.
Beach Road, after Dubai Zoo, eeg-uae@org (04 344 8622).
8 Al Rabee Kindergarten For paper, plastic and cans.
79th Street, off Beach Road (04 349 1373).
9 Behind Town Centre For paper, plastic and cans.
Beach Road, www.towncentrejumeirah.com.
10 Al Raya School for Girls For paper, plastic and cans.
25A Street, off Al Wasl Road (04 344 8260).
11 Al Safa Secondary School For paper, plastic and cans.
Al Safa (04 349 1893).
12 Spinneys, Umm Suqeim For paper, plastic and cans.
Al Wasl Road, www.spinneys-dubai.com).
13 Higgs and Hills Company For paper only.
Al Shafar Investment Building, 7A Street, Al Quoz (04 339 1655).
14 Lakes Club For paper, plastic and cans.
Emirates Hills 3 (04 362 7791).
15 Springs Town Centre For paper, plastic and cans.
The Springs, Emirates Hills (04 427 1458).
16 Meadows Village For paper, plastic and cans.
The Springs, Emirates Hills (04 422 4222).
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