Recycling in Dubai

What you can recycle and where to take it

Area Guides
Area Guides

If you’re still looking for a New Year’s resolution and don’t fancy giving up the pies and cream buns just yet, why not make it recycling? Every day Dubaians throw thousands of plastic water and soda bottles into normal rubbish bins instead of sending them to be recycled. Many people complain they don’t know of any recycling centres in their area, yet Dubai has a surprising amount of drop-off points – take a look at the far right column of this page.

Spearheading the drive to get the UAE public to recycle more is Emirates Environmental Group (EEG). In December it launched the Clean Up UAE campaign, which saw 25,000 volunteers put their hands to the decks to spring-clean our city, and is also running a year-long Neighbourhood Recycling Project. The project is not only concerned with paper, aluminium cans and glass bottles – the most common recyclable items – but also focuses on the collection of old mobile phone handsets, printer toners and cartridges, alkaline batteries and tetra paks (cartons with foil on the interior). And while the group doesn’t collect gift-wrapping materials (sorry to those of you who have been determinedly holding on to all that leftover Christmas paper), it encourages people to re-use gift wrap instead – may we suggest a quick iron beforehand?

If you can’t find a recycling point near you, EEG strongly advocates individuals setting up recycling centres within their respective communities, and welcomes visitors to its main office in Jumeirah, where it is more than happy to educate visitors not only on the importance of recycling in the UAE, but on other important environmental issues as well.

Other areas of the UAE are also making headway in broadening the number of products that can now be recycled, with tyre and plastic recycling plants set up in Al Ain in November. Considering the rate at which the country burns through both, it can only have been a matter of time before the plants became essential. Both are equipped with the latest technology, and the plastic plant can process 50 tonnes per day, while the tyre factory has a capacity of 6.3 tonnes.

Back in Dubai, at EEG’s last count in November 2011, things were looking up, with 72kg of batteries collected (an increase of 57 per cent on October 2011), while 566 toner containers were collected (an increase of 42 per cent from November last year). Dubai’s recycling programmes are growing, but a real impact on our local and global environment can only be seen with conscious involvement from every single person in the city. What are you waiting for?
Emirates Environmental Group, Villa 117A, Beach Road, (between Beach Centre and Dubai Zoo),, (04 344 8622).

Recycling points around town

While this is by no means an exhaustive list, there are several places where you can recycle household goods…

Where: The Springs Town Centre, Emirates Hills
What: Paper and card, aluminium cans, plastic bottles and bags, glass bottles, clothes

Where: Spinneys Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Road
What: Plastic bags and bottles, paper and card, aluminium cans

Where: Safa Park
What: Plastic bags and bottles, paper and card, aluminium cans

Where: Rashidiya Shopping Centre
What: Plastic bags and bottles, paper and card, aluminium cans

Where: DHL, Karama
What: Plastic bags and bottles, paper and card, aluminium cans

A load of rubbish

The vital stats of Emirates Environmental Group’s recycling efforts over the past few years:

• 161,167kg of aluminium cans recycled since 1997
• 9 million kg of paper since 2001
• 473,432kg of plastic since 2005
• 1 million kg of glass since 2005
• 5,175kg of batteries since 2006
• 4,305 mobile phones since 2009

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