Top recyclers in Dubai honoured by Emirates Environment Group

The event at Knowledge Village awarded prizes to schools, individuals and businesses that took part in its waste management programme, whereby they helped to collect everything from paper to mobile phones for recycling.

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DUBAI // The UAE’s top recycling schools, children and businesses have been honoured for their hard work and dedication in promoting the environment.

They were awarded at Emirates Environment Group’s (EFG) 17th annual ceremony on Wednesday to mark World Environment Day, which is on Thursday.

The event at Knowledge Village awarded prizes to schools, people and businesses that took part in its waste management programme, in which they helped to collect recyclables from paper to mobile phones.

“I’m really happy that I won and I can’t wait to tell my friends about it,” said Sparsha Shetty, 8, from the Indian High School in Dubai, who won the award for the most toner cartridges collected – 322.

“It took me about four months to collect them all from friends and family.” More than once she ended up covered in ink, but “it was worth it in the end”.

Arvie Macutona, a teacher at United International Private School in Dubai, said she was delighted to accept on behalf of the school the award for the most aluminium cans collected. Pupils and teachers collected 841 kilograms of cans over the past 12 months.

“We have actually won this particular category for the last two years, so this will be the third time we have collected the most cans,” Ms Macutona said.

“As a school we want to encourage children and their parents to think about the importance of the environment.”

Jeyalal Jeyaseelan, laboratory safety engineer at the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi, said their award would help to motivate students and staff to do even better next year.

“We won the toner collection category for schools after collecting 2,119 pieces over the last year,” he said.

“This is a very useful event and campaign because it gets people to think about the importance of recycling.”

The institute also recycles plastic, bottles, mobile phones and paper.

“Winning this award is a great way for us to get more people interested and involved in recycling,” Mr Jeyaseelan said.

It was a double celebration for Our Own High School for Boys in Al Warqa, which won first place for the paper-collection category and second place in the can collection.

In just four months staff and pupils collected 34.5 tonnes of paper.

“Last year we finished in the top 10 after collecting 11.5 tonnes but to get first place this time is wonderful,” said Sini Haridasan, the school’s eco-coordinator.

“EEG does really important work in helping to educate the public on recycling and the environment and we are delighted to be part of that effort.”

Habiba Al Marashi, chairwoman and co-founder of EEG, said huge progress had been made in educating the younger generation on the need to recycle and care for the environment.

“We have such a transient population that we need to keep campaigning on this issue constantly,” she said.

Last year, EEG’s various initiatives collected 25,426kg of aluminium cans; 1,190.2 tonnes of paper; 8,917 toner cartridges; 80,917kg in plastic; 328,526kg in glass; 1,984 unwanted mobile phones; 2,773kg of batteries; and 5,507kg of drinks cartons.