A bill on integrated waste management has been passed in the UAE by the country’s Federal National Council (FNC).
Covering all processes of waste management – from production, classification, collection, and transport to storage, recycling, treatment, and disposal – it will be implemented in all emirates, including the free zones.
Under the provisions of the bill, any private entity found disposing of, sending to landfill, or burning waste in open areas, roads, public parks, and water channels, or any other undesignated area, will be fined $272,239 (AED1m).
The bill, however, excludes nuclear and radioactive wastes.
Dr Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, FNC speaker described the newly passed bill as "an unprecedented federal legal framework to deal with challenges posed by the issue of wastes management, which is closely related to the issues of environment protection and public health".
She said: "It also entails the adoption of the best international practices, not only in wastes management, but also in paving the way for turning them into economic resources. It is a turning point in environment management in UAE.”
The bill reportedly supports the creation of a national database aimed at boosting waste disposal and treatment efforts that are aligned with objectives to build green communities, strengthen disease control, and improve the country’s position in the global Human Footprint Index.
The UAE has one of the highest rates of waste generation per capita in the world, WAM noted.
"The bill will bolster the efforts of the competent authorities, led by [the] Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, to come up with economic and environment-friendly solution to for waste management," Al Qubaisi said.