Garbage goes underground in Dubai

Garbage goes underground in Dubai

DUBAI— Hundreds of unsightly garbage bins have disappeared from Dubai’s Naif area where the emirate’s first underground waste collection unit was launched on Thursday.

The state-of-the art, electro-hydraulic system operates large containers encased within a metal frame and sunk inside a concrete sleeve in the ground. While tonnes of refuse can be stored underground, all that people can see above the ground level is a stainless steel receiver unit through which the refuse can be deposited.

A total of nine such units are planned under the new project at a cost of Dh10 million.

Officials watch the first underground garbage unit being installed near Naif Souq in Deira, and (below) what is seen of the unit above the ground. — Supplied photos

Installed behind Al Manal Centre near Naif Souq, the first two units were inaugurated by Director-General of the Dubai Municipality (DM) Hussain Nasser Lootah.

“The DM has always been very concerned about the waste management issues in the city and this new project comes within its commitment to elevate the status of Dubai higher with regard to the cleanliness of the city,” Lootah said after the launch.

Lootah said the rest of the underground units would be fixed in different parts of Dubai once the pilot project in Deira yields positive results. Yaqoob Mohammed Al Ali, who heads the Specialised Cleaning Section of the municipality’s Waste Management Department, said each underground container can replace 200 ordinary garbage containers.

“They are compact containers with one-metre height and can accommodate 25 tonnes of garbage. We are placing such underground containers in areas where there are more old buildings without proper chute system for collecting waste,” Al Ali told Khaleej Times.

He said cleaners in the nearby buildings have been asked to deposit the refuse from all buildings at the new underground units. “When the containers are full or have any other issues, the nearest waste management office will get warning alerts. Then our people will come and empty the containers and do the trouble shooting if needed.”

The official said the new system will reduce the complications of collection and transportation of waste by ordinary containers and will eliminate the traffic blocks caused while collecting waste from the ordinary bins on the congested streets. “Moreover, there won’t be any spilling or overflowing of garbage and no bad smell,” he pointed out.

Al Ali said the municipality plans to operate next two units near the Sabkha bus station and near the Grand Mosque and Souq Al Kabeer in Bur Dubai by the end of the year. A similar system has been operational in Abu Dhabi since 2010.

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