Dubai: Due to a lack of awareness 20 to 30 per cent of all waste sent to landfill sites in the UAE is recyclable.

More than 23,000 students in the UAE and Qatar took part in a campaign aimed at raising awareness about the issue. Schools who took part in the “Recycle to Regain” (R2R) campaign comprised the Cambridge High School (Abu Dhabi), the Indian High School (Dubai), MES and Birla Public School (both in Qatar).

The students succeeded in collecting more than 6.68 tonnes of recyclable material, including paper and plastic, from residential areas in six days. Students also took part in workshops and awareness programmes where they learned how to recycle and segregate recyclable material at source and how to avoid contamination.

The material collected during the campaign will be taken by the waste management company Dulsco to authorised recycling facilities where it will be recycled into useful environment-friendly products.

“In order to increase awareness in the region and encourage residents to recycle we should make the process easy and accessible. Most people who wish to recycle don’t know where to take their waste after segregating it. Concerned authorities must raise awareness as to where people can take their waste if they wish to recycle,” said Aruna Narayanan, senior manager of marketing and corporate social responsibility at Dulsco.

Ashok Kumar, CEO of Indian High School, Dubai, said: “Initiatives such as the R2R campaign play an important role in shaping the green habits of future generations. At IHS,we believe that besides government efforts to reduce environmental impact, schools and families should also join efforts in educating children on saving our planet.”