|19 April, 2019

Stringent penalties for UAE builders if trash is not disposed right

Debris from construction sites can also be a major safety hazard, especially on the roads

image used for illustrative purpose Labourers work at a construction area in Dubai.

image used for illustrative purpose Labourers work at a construction area in Dubai.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

The UAE has one of the fastest growing construction sectors in the world, which also accounts for nearly 30 per cent of the country's workforce. Dubai, in particular, has seen the completion of major projects in the past and has many ongoing and upcoming construction schedules.

With any construction project, comes the responsibility of disposing the waste properly. If not done right, the area and the streets of a beautiful city, start to look like a junkyard. Debris from construction sites can also be a major safety hazard, especially on the roads.

Last year, the Abu Dhabi Municipality issued 210 offences against construction companies and contractors for failing to comply with the municipality's regulations, including improper dumping of construction waste.

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency in Abu Dhabi removed 864kg of waste during a four-hour-clean-up last year at the Al Wathba Wetland Reserve. Most of the litter was construction waste, plastic and glass from a nearby labour camp.

Even though not all construction waste is easily recyclable, there are factories that work closely with authorities to make waste and demolition recycling a common practice in the country.

"Construction and demolition recycling activities produces four different sizes of gravel, which are used in infrastructure projects, in addition to the use of sand resulting from treatment processes in covering waste that is transferred to landfills. These products are provided in the market at discounted prices, and each factory treats this waste to ensure the protection of environment using sophisticated technology," Tadweer, Abu Dhabi's waste management centre, said on its website.

In Dubai, it is mandatory for all new buildings to reuse or recycle at least 50 per cent of waste materials (by cubic metre or by weight) from construction/demolition of buildings.

The emirate also has the LEED rating system, which means the project owner is required to implement a construction and demolition waste management plan.

As for the construction waste from one of the largest projects in the country - the Dubai Expo 2020 - it will be reused to build roads.

The Bee'ah Tadweer's construction and demolition waste recycling facility in Sharjah is processing 500,000 tonnes of waste annually. According to Bee'ah's website, it's also "one of the busiest" facilities in the world. The waste from the facility is reused as aggregate for roads, pavements and walkways. The types of fines and the number of fines issued in these emirates to construction firms for improper waste disposal or illegal construction waste dumping is unknown.

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