BY PMA RASHEED
The Gulf Today, 27 Oct 2009
People who misplace, tamper with or scatter the contents of waste containers set up in public places will face a fine of Dhs 500, says a senior civic body official.
Hassan Makki, Director of the Waste Management Department at DM said that any person tampering with waste containers or scattering their contents will be violating the Local Order No. 11 of 2003, which states that it is prohibited for any person to tamper with waste containers or dig up their contents.
"If caught, the department will fine the violators and confiscate their tools. The companies they work for will also be contacted, so as not to allow them to carry out such practices. Coordination will be sought from the concerned authorities to take necessary actions towards people who have no documents," he said.
The civic body called upon the public and the establishments to cooperate with the civic body, to address the phenomenon of tampering with waste containers and scattering of their contents to keep the city clean and beautiful.
According to Makki, the phenomenon is considered to be bad culture that distorts the appearance of the city and the beauty of the streets.
He said, "The civic body has conducted several warning programmes to tackle the issue. The DM has now prepared a number of posters and notifications with warning messages to include various categories. Such messages will be placed on Municipality waste containers in order to raise awareness to stop the practice of tampering with the containers and scattering their contents."
"Some individuals from private establishments or wandering workers dig up and scatter the contents of the Municipality waste containers. It is uncivilised behaviour that leads to a distortion of the general appearance of the city. It also poses a risk to the offenders themselves as well as leaves the area surrounding the containers in poor hygienic conditions," he added.
Makki noted that that the contents of these containers are the property of the Municipality as long as they are within the containers. The contents of the containers are considered to be protected as they are recyclable materials.
"It is one of the targets of the Municipality to activate the role of strategic partners in waste recycling projects in the emirate by feeding waste separation plants of recyclable materials," he explained. "The private companies involved in waste recycling and waste treatment activities bear responsibility to their employees who commit such acts," he said.
The public is also requested to help catch offenders by reporting such persons by contacting the area offices of the department or the emergency unit of the Municipality.