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Waste disposal fee in focus in Dubai

Sajila Saseendran / 28 January 2012

Dubai is reviewing waste management fees in the emirate as part of its efforts to reach an ambitious goal of zero landfilling by 2030, officials said.

Dubai is reviewing waste management fees in the emirate as part of its efforts to reach an ambitious goal of zero landfilling by 2030, officials said.

The Dubai Municipality has embarked on an integrated waste management master plan for the next 20 years and the focus of the plan is to reduce the waste generated in the emirate and sent to its landfills, said Abdulmajeed Abdulaziz Al Saifaie, director of Waste Management Department.

With just a miniscule of the total waste generated here getting recycled, the civic body aims to achieve a long-term target of recycling the entire waste generated and dumping zero waste in landfills.

A revision of waste management fees is among the initiatives being planned to prevent waste generation and landfilling and encourage recycling, said Al Saifaie.

“We are reviewing all the fees related to waste management services. This will include entry fee at the landfills (tipping fee) and the municipal fee for waste management services levied from companies when they make or renew trade licenses,” he told Khaleej Times.

However, he did not clarify if Dubai will start charging private companies a flat rate for the waste they generate, like the one implemented by Abu Dhabi last year. From March 2011, private and government organisations in the Capital have been charged Dh225 for every tonne of waste they generate up to a maximum of Dh50, 000.

Though the official did not indicate any fee hike in the near future, he hinted that there could be separate fees for segregated and non-segregated waste. Al Saifaie said this was aimed at enhancing recycling. Recyclable materials from waste segregated at source can easily be sent to recycling plants whereas non-segregated waste will require additional municipal resources for segregation and landfilling.

“We need to send across the message of waste reduction and segregation to homes, shopping centres, commercial establishments and everywhere. For that we will have to start our awareness programmes from schools. We should also support recycling companies by helping them sell their end products,” he said.

Noting that DM has been striving to reduce as much waste generation as possible, the official said: “For that, we need to raise a lot of awareness. The high level of awareness these days has actually helped us reduce the amount of municipal waste produced per day. It is a maximum of 7,800 tonnes per day now and the average waste generation per person is 2.8kg,” he said. In the past few years, the volume of waste generated in Dubai stood at 10,000 tonnes per day.

Assistant Director General for Environment and Public Health Services Sector at Dubai Municipality Salah AbdulRahman Amiri said the civic body has appointed a UK-based consultancy firm Mott MacDonald for developing the integrated waste management master plan.

“This company will provide a structure for waste management in Dubai until 2030,” he said.

As part of preparing the master plan, the firm recently held a workshop on Waste Management Problem Analysis. The workshop was attended by officials from the Dubai Municipality and various key stakeholders, including private sector companies and governmental and semi-governmental entities engaged in waste management related services in Dubai. “Dubai Municipality is not only responding to the current demand for efficient and effective waste management but also safeguarding economic growth and social development as well through its integrated approach to a sustainable and innovative waste management system. Working under the sustainability banner, Dubai Municipality is keen to bring this initiative to fruition,” said Amiri.


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