UAE rolled out new color-coded containers for recycling and collecting waste

    10 Aug 2021

    In July, the UAE was rolling out new color-coded containers for recycling or collecting waste as part of regulations approved by the Cabinet. There are different colors: green for recyclable waste, black for non-recyclable, brown for food, red for hazardous, Gulf News states.

    Outlining the regulations, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) said containers colored green are for recyclable waste – paper, cardboard, metal, glass, plastic waste, and other types of waste specified by the competent authority.

    Black is for non-recyclable general waste, brown is for food and organic waste, and red is for hazardous waste.

    Know the law

    The regulations outline the requirements of the Federal Law No. 12 of 2018, including the roles and responsibilities of concerned authorities, waste generators, and suppliers, as well as the technical specifications applicable to landfills.

    Who bears the cost?

    Under regulations, the waste generator is responsible for the proper disposal of the waste it generates and shall bear the financial costs involved. In contrast, suppliers are obligated to collect products at the end of their life cycle from consumers and bear the financial costs of their proper disposal in coordination with the competent authority.

    E-waste collection

    Suppliers are also mandated to collect electronic waste and batteries from consumers free of charge by providing collection boxes at their retail outlets and recycling them or properly disposing of them in coordination with the competent authority.

    Moving waste across UAE

    Waste transport is also covered in the regulations, allowing waste management facilities to move waste across emirates after meeting the applicable conditions. This involves obtaining approval from the concerned authority, hiring a carrier that has a waste transport permit in the exporting emirate, and using vehicles that are licensed for the specific waste type and equipped with a GPS tracking system.

    The regulations’ definition of waste excludes secondary industrial products that have not undergone any treatment after being generated.

    Deadline for landfills

    Furthermore, the regulations list the technical specifications for sanitary landfills and the types of waste that should be disposed in them. They also stipulate the conditions for environmental control and management of existing and new landfills and the closure of landfills. They mandate concerned authorities to rehabilitate unsanitary landfills to meet the set specifications within eight years.

    According to the regulations, administrative penalties will be imposed on violators, varying from license suspension to the permanent shutdown of the facility.

    Minimum standards

    Regarding wastewater, the regulations determine the requirements for establishing and operating sewage treatment plants, such as implementing from and license suspension to the facility’s permanent shutdown a three-stage wastewater treatment process as a minimum. They also set the maximum permissible level of pollutants in treated wastewater and sewage sludge. Existing facilities that use dual treatment technology must upgrade their processes within five years.You may read about ten simple steps to being more sustainable in clothing here.

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