Have you ever seen a colorful recycling bin in Dubai and wondered what it does? Called the Smart Sustainability Oasis (SSO) project, these form the heart of Dubai’s mammoth recycling program to divert materials from landfills for reuse or recycling. Every week, Dubai Municipality (DM) collects an average of more than 8,000 kg of recyclable materials from 17 containers placed at various locations in the emirate.
“It is one of the municipality’s most successful initiatives to promote environmental objectives while exploring new ways to promote a culture of waste segregation and recycling in collaboration with the local community,” said Saeed Abdul Rahim Safar, acting director of the Department of Operations of DM residues. . “The project also helps meet national environmental objectives in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”
The community centres, open 24/7 and recycling 18 different types of materials, including metal and electronic waste, have diverted nearly 2.5 million tonnes of waste from landfills since it was launched the project in 2018.
These centers segregate waste at source, collecting recyclable materials to promote environmental sustainability and social responsibility. “The most significant outcome of these recycling stations is that they promote the practice of segregating waste at source and reducing the amount of waste going to landfills, which in turn will help support the recycling industry in Dubai “said Saeed.
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Recyclable materials are also collected from other projects, such as My City, My Environment and the NORD system. All collected recyclables are diverted to approved treatment and recycling plants and facilities, where they are transformed into new products.
Non-recyclable materials and byproducts from the treatment and recycling processes are diverted to the Warsan Waste-to-Energy Center, where they are fed into digesters and converted to energy.
Designed with purpose
Recycling centers are designed with their clear purpose: Reuse and create a circular economy. The municipality rebuilt old and abandoned shipping containers of 40 cubic meters capacity to manufacture these containers, in accordance with best practices and environmental standards.
Each of the recycling centers has a one-tonne capacity and uses multi-coloured bins to collect as many recyclable items as possible, including discarded electronics, used mobile phones and dry batteries. To keep track of the amount of materials collected, each container in the center has remote sensors. The centers use solar energy to meet their electrical needs.
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