Dubai has launched a new environmental strategy to boost recycling rates, meet international standards for emissions and sustainability and help propel the emirate towards its goal of sending zero waste to landfill by 2030.
Dubai Municipality set out measures on Tuesday to make waste management across the emirate more efficient and encourage businesses to do their part.
The drive is part of an Executive Council resolution on waste disposal in Dubai, which will come into force in January.
The municipality will work closely with commercial and industrial companies, government agencies and private sector bodies to foster a culture of waste efficiency and help protect the environment.
The eco-friendly blueprint will encourage all waste producers to separate recyclable materials from waste production sites, whether they are companies, hotels, shopping centres or others.
They will then send them to recycling facilities instead of landfill sites and pay fees for waste disposal.
“Apart from promoting sustainability, the Executive Council resolution aims to efficiently regulate the waste management sector in the emirate and reduce its carbon footprint," said Abdul Majeed Saifai, director of waste management at Dubai Municipality.
"In addition to encouraging private sector investment, the resolution allows recycling facilities to impose charges on the waste they receive and treat in their facilities, thus enabling them to cover a large part of their operational costs and raise the economic feasibility of investing in this field.
"Dubai Municipality plays a major role in protecting and preserving the environment through the federal and local legislative framework and achieving the Dubai Waste Management Strategy 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals announced by the United Nations for the year 2030."
The new legislation will directly contribute to reducing the size of the area designated as landfill, so it can be used for housing, green spaces, parks and public services.
Currently, there are six landfill sites in Dubai covering an area of about 1.6 million square meters. Without remedial measures, the rising volume of waste expected from economic and population growth in the emirate would increase the area allotted to landfill to 5.8 million square metres by 2041.
About 75 per cent of the UAE's waste goes to landfill.
Last month, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment announced retailers in the UAE must by law supply a collection box for unwanted devices, batteries and other electronic waste.
Colour-coded recycling bins will also soon be introduced across the country.
The country generates an annual 6.5 million tonnes of waste – the equivalent of more than 14 Burj Khalifas.
The authorities are urging people to recycle where they can and choose water coolers over plastic water bottles – one of the worst polluting items.
The ministry also set out a series of rules for waste management companies, including how to treat hazardous items disposed of and waste water.