Do you feel a smidgen of guilt every time you chuck another styrofoam container, cardboard box or plastic fork in the rubbish bin? Yeah, us too.

As much as we adore the convenience of living in Dubai (hello to ordering Deliveroo in the cab home from work so it arrives five minutes after you), we also love this planet, and the takeaway lifestyle plus reams of bottled water aren’t doing it much good.

It seems like the city, and the UAE as a whole, isn’t geared towards recycling but you can in fact live more sustainably, if you know how…


According to a recent Dubai Carbon report, the average UAE resident generates about 2.7 kilograms of waste every day (jumping to around 5.4kg during Ramadan). Comparatively, the average European produces just 1.2kg of waste per day.

Luckily, the city are looking to do something about this, and so launched the Dubai Carbon Abatement Strategy 2021 last year, which aims to decrease greenhouse gases by 16 per cent in the next five years.

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While this programme will look at things like boosting the amount of electric car charging stations and increasing the number of solar energy projects, recycling gets a good look in.

Dubai Municipality announced in April that 13 new recycling points will be set up across the city, in areas including customer service centres, municipality parks and community areas. Private companies and malls were also encouraged to set up sorting bins (albeit at their own cost).


recycling bins

Unfortunately there’s not yet one definitive list of all Dubai Municipality recycling spots (we’ll let you know as soon as we find one) – but there are plenty dotted over the city. Here are some of the best and most easily accessible we’ve seen, but if you know of any more, pop them in the comments below.

Dubai Marina promenade – plastic, glass, paper
The Greens Village Shops – plastic, glass, papers, cans
Emirates Hills Meadows Village – Plastic, paper, cans
Rashidiya Shopping Centre – plastic, paper, cans, cardboard
Al Quoz Oasis Centre Mall – plastic, paper
Arabian Ranches Retail Centre – plastic, glass, papers, clothing, cans
Safa Park – plastic, paper, cardboard, cans
Nad Al Sheba – plastic, paper, cardboard, cans
Various Spinneys locations – plastic, paper, cans
The Beach, The Walk, JBR – plastic, paper

As part of the municipality’s My City, My Environment recycling programme, door-to-door collection does exist in some parts of Dubai.

Residents in Safa 1, Safa 2, and Jumeirah 1, 2 and 3 have all been supplied with recycling bins, and currently get them picked up thrice weekly.

The plan, according to Gulf News, is to add 10 new residential areas to the programme each year over the next five years, until door-to-door recycling should be available across the city.

If you live outside of these areas, you could sign up for Green Truck Recycling, a private collection service that’ll pick up a bin of your materials every week. You can leave out paper, plastic, glass, metal, can and used and broken electronics as part of the Dhs100 a month subscription.

There’s also Home Cycle, a free collection service that you can sign up for online. All you have to do is check out what materials the service is currently recycling, wait until you’ve gathered the requisite number of those items, update your online profile and they’ll come pick them up. You earn points based on how much you can recycle, which you can later cash in on prizes or charity donations.



– Invest in a few sturdy Bags for Life to carry your groceries home – they’re just a few dirhams and will cut down on all those needless plastic bags.

– Ditch the foil and clingwrap, and instead pack your lunch or leftovers in reusable plastic containers like Tupperware (or repurpose old takeaway cartons if they’re not soggy cardboard).

– Practice portion control. According to a report last month by Dubai Carbon, 38 per cent of food prepared every day in the emirate is wasted. So either start cutting down on quantities, or learn to make further meals with leftovers, rather than just binning them. Also consider giving leftovers to friends and family, or those less fortunate.

– Unplug your devices and electronics where possible. Even though they may be switched off, they still use energy when connected to the outlet, so this will save you cash as well as energy.

– Forgo the tumble dryer in favour of air-drying your clothes (but don’t leave them out on the balcony unless you like the dusty look).

– Turn off your hot water heater where possible – thanks to the outside heat over summer, most water tanks are already pretty toasty, meaning your supposedly ‘cold’ water comes out shower-ready.

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