Green garbage containers in Jeddah streets soon

In this file photo, the Makkah Municipality increased efforts to clean all places surrounding the central area of the Grand Mosque as the number of the Umrah visitors and worshippers increased in the last days of Ramadan. (SPA)

In this file photo, the Makkah Municipality increased efforts to clean all places surrounding the central area of the Grand Mosque as the number of the Umrah visitors and worshippers increased in the last days of Ramadan. (SPA)

The Jeddah Municipality has taken steps to replace the old garbage dumpsters with green containers in a bid to clean up the city and provide a more eco-friendly environment.

“The current dumpsters have no covers tempting alley cats and rag pickers to scavenge through the rubbish, thereby littering the surrounding area which poses a serious health risk for the residents,” spokesman for the municipality, Muhammad Al-Boqami said.

He said that environment-friendly garbage cans will soon be placed to collect different kinds of waste following the model in other countries.

Environmentalist Abdul Rahman Kammas said the presence of dirty garbage dumpsters near residential buildings was not only an eyesore but also an obstruction in the path of vehicles besides a breeding ground for pests and rodents.

“Placing the garbage containers at a distance from the residential areas would minimize the threat to the hygiene of the surroundings,” Kammas pointed out.

Ali Eshqi, professor of Environment studies at King Abdulaziz University agreed saying that it was important for garbage containers to be placed away from residential facilities.

He said that different kinds of household waste can react in different ways with the environment which might negatively impact humans. “It is therefore important to dispose of waste a little distance away from homes to ensure environmental safety,” Eshqi said.

He added that the Jeddah municipality should take the responsibility for dealing with the foul smell and mounds of rubbish by replacing the existing garbage containers with new ones in the interest of public health.

According to another environmentalist, Muhammad Felamban, there are two aspects to the issue: First, the complete lack of awareness among community members about a healthy environment which is evidenced in their carelessly disposing of their household waste consisting of glass, aluminum bottles and cans, paper, furniture besides food items, all in a single garbage container.

Secondly, there is no system to sort the garbage to be put in the separate containers.

Additionally, the positioning of the garbage containers in front of residential buildings needs to be changed.

“The rubbish bins should be put in clearly defined spots such as at the end of a street so that the environment around residential buildings is not polluted and does not invite rodents and feral cats from littering the area,” Felamban said.

“I hope the municipality will study the matter and come up with radical solutions to maintain the beauty of the Bride of the Red Sea and protect it from pollution and disfigurement. This can be done by eliminating the garbage containers which are ugly landmarks of our districts,” he added. He also stressed the need to take steps to keep the city clean and beautiful besides conducting awareness drives to educate the public on the safe and hygienic handling of garbage.

 
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