Domestic Solid Waste Recycling: Programs and Policies for Dubai

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
Recycling is an important part of conserving the natural environment, particularly in a city like Dubai with a limited land bank and natural resources. It would be prudent to prioritize recycling in all aspects as it has a lower impact than producing new products from raw materials. Developed nations have long committed to integrated waste management and many of the developing nations in Asia have started to formalize recycling with different approaches. This research proposes a recycling plan for Dubai and includes a survey on recycling habits of Dubai residents with the goal of determining the best way forward. This research looks into the current situation in Dubai pertaining to domestic waste management and recycling. This paper also provides an understanding of recycling around the world and the various programs that are in effect listing their advantages and disadvantages. Best practices are discussed with information on related activities such as collection and key components of recycling programs by leaders in the field. A recycling program that ties into existing waste management was proposed for Dubai, which was presented to concerned authorities and stakeholders in the UAE. Feedback was then incorporated into the program and a revised recycling program for Dubai was devised. An e-survey was also conducted where Dubai residents answered a questionnaire about their recycling habits or the lack of it. Results support the proposed recycling plan for Dubai. The findings show that environmentally beneficial action is very low in the UAE. While the reasons for this are many, the results of the survey find the lack of recycling opportunities as the main deterrent. The recycling program proposed for Dubai would need to be mandatory at least on some level and is designed to be implemented in stages. In the short term, the policies try to root recycling into the psyche of the residents as a part of UAE living. The long-term policies aim to elevate recycling to the point of revenue generation and to include extended producer responsibility. The survey findings show an overwhelming positive response to curbside / door-to-door recycling, and an acceptance of charged waste disposal in the event that the authorities implement such a scheme. Feedback form various stakeholders was considered and the final proposed policy revised accordingly to reflect a combination of methods that would best suit Dubai. The paper sheds light on the anticipated economic benefits of recycling which indicates that recycling of even the 3 major components of domestic waste can generate over USD 210 Million annually. The paper also describes the expected short term, medium term and the long-term outcomes of the said program and policy.
recycling, domestic solid waste, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), waste management