Zero Waste UAE

UAE flag map zero waste weekIn UAE, we have limited natural resources almost no source of sweet water and very hot & humid weather, so most of the consumer goods consumed in UAE are imported from around the world. So obviously huge waste gets accumulated. Most of the waste which can be raw material for different productions cannot be reused within the country as there are not many manufacturing industries. So this kind of waste is either segregated, sent to nearby countries or just ends up in landfill.

The 7 emirates in UAE operates independently therefore waste processing and recycling systems are different in almost every emirate. Average person in UAE generates 5.4 kg of waste according to Dubai carbon. According to Environmental Agency Abu Dhabi, UAE consumes 1.5 million plastic bags annually & UAE is one of the top consumer of plastic bottled water in the world per capita. Click here to read more waste facts about UAE.

Where to recycle in UAE

In Sharjah, which is top recycler emirate of UAE, you can find recycling stations by Beeah almost on every street of Sharjah.

In Dubai, you can find recycling stations installed by Dubai Municipality. Otherwise you can contact below organizations for your recycling needs

Emirates Environmental Group

Green Truck

Enviroserve for electronics recycling

In Abu Dhabi you can find recycling stations in the city. Contact below organizations for your recycling needs

Environmental Agency Abu Dhabi




How to reduce waste in UAE

  1. Invest in tap water filter to reduce demand of bottled water. The tap water is treated sea water with reverse osmosis process, but needs filtration before drinking as it get contaminated in plumbing and water tanks. Better to use lab test of filtered tap water to confirm water is safe to drink
  2. Use reusable items like cloth bags for shopping, reusable coffee mug or thermos flask for take away coffee, carry your own water bottle or say no to plastic straw. These small efforts by everyone can help reducing waste at large scale.
  3. Food waste is another issue in UAE, especially during holy month of Ramadan. Better to pack your left over food to take home. Read here how to reduce food waste at home.
  4. Repair and mend the broken items instead of buying new. Many people prefer buying new items in UAE, once the existing items gets damaged that adds to huge waste and add up carbon footprint. But there are many repair services now available in UAE.
  5. Reuse Items. Before you recycle anything always think about what could be other uses of the item. You can upcycle or repurpose the item at home or office and reuse it.
  6. If you no longer need any item, donate instead of throwing it to garbage bin. One man’s junk can be other man’s treasure. Find a list of charities and organizations in UAE here, who accept donation from residents.

Here is a quick beginner’s guide to go zero waste in UAE.


Join #ZeroWasteUAE campaign to learn more about how to live a healthier and waste free lifestyle in UAE. Read all about this social campaign by Sustainability Tribe here. Also join their Facebook page & Follow on Instagram, where you can interact with other zero waste warriors and ask questions.