Overflowing garbage bins. Image Credit: Anwar Ahmad/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Overflowing garbage bins left out on the city’s streets smell, obstruct traffic and pose health threats, according to residents of Abu Dhabi. Most building security guards who collect the garbage and dump it in designated waste bins, leave their overflowing trash containers out in the open for hours to get collected by Tadweer waste collectors, who are assigned by the Centre of Waste Management in Abu Dhabi.

Gulf News found many localities suffered from foul smelling bins particularly in heavily populated areas close to restaurants and cafeterias.

Hanif Hasan, an Egyptian resident on Abu Dhabi’s Elektra street, said: “Security guards and restaurant workers blatantly leave these overflowing bins out in the open and it smells so bad that we can’t pass by.

“It pollutes the environment and spreads bacteria that cause health problems. These bins should first be covered like other designated waste disposals to ensure that it doesn’t pollute the environment,” he asaid.

In downtown Abu Dhabi, these open bins were spotted in areas and streets including Elektra, Al Zahiyah, Al Falah, Fatima Bint Mubarak, Khalifa, Madinat Zayed and Defence roads. The worst were behind the National Cinema area on Elektra street.

A Tadweer official told Gulf News: “Tadweer is continuously working in order to ensure the cleanliness of Abu Dhabi. We are working closely with our strategic partners and the public to raise the level of awareness in order to avoid any harm to the public view and health. Bins owned by commercial and residential buildings have to be placed properly by building security guards away from roads,” the official added.

Since most of these steel bins are placed on the road they obstruct traffic and occupy parking bays.

Raufullah Khan, a resident of Madinat Zayed, who is from Pakistan, said: “Security guards always leave their bins in the parking bays and don’t listen to anybody. If parking inspectors fine us for not putting the parking ticket on our cars, why don’t they fine them for occupying our space?”

Khan added that parking inspectors should instruct building guards not to place bins in parking bays. The official from Tadweer said: “We carry out awareness campaigns to educate building security guards regarding collection times and to urge them to avoid keeping bins outside for long periods. We also request them to place the bins in suitable locations.” The Centre of Waste Management urged the public to cooperate with Tadweer and inform the security guards and watchmen not to keep their bins outside for a long period of time.

Another resident of Fatima Bint Mubarak Street, Suheb Ali Shah from India, said: “This is a serious issue and pose a threat to residents’ health as rotten and perishable food items emanate foul smell and pollute the environment.”

How to fix the problem

A Tadweer official said they inform building staff of collection times and request them they only bring the bins out at their allocated time for collection. They also request that the guards place the bins in a suitable location and take them back after they have been emptied. Residents can check their locality’s collection time on 800555. The Centre of Waste Management also said it was working on an awareness programme to further educate security guards.

Fines

Although the centre said it is not responsible for issuing fines to those who violate rules it did say Abu Dhabi laws are strict against litterers and that violators face legal prosecution and heavy fines. Warning leaflets from the Centre of Waste Management say containers should be returned after they have been emptied and that violators would be fined Dh3,000.