Dozens of people with disabilities have joined the UAE’s war on waste – after enlisting for an ambitious effort to recycle 2 million plastic bottles by the end of the year.
The first 40 recruits are already hard at work after signing employment contracts with a major waste management company to turn a bold recycling dream into a reality.
As well as doing their bit to protect the planet, the initiative is providing the enthusiastic employees with a new-found purpose and a salary to afford them a greater degree of independence.
Waste management firm West Coast Group teamed up with Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination (ZHO) to draft in extra help for the plan to turn discarded plastic bottles into clothing.
ZHO runs centres and clubs across Abu Dhabi which offer education, training and counselling for people with disabilities as part of the country’s mission to further integrate all sections of society.
The new employees are based at a recently-opened workshop at the Zayed Agricultural and Vocational Rehabilitation Centre, which is operated by ZHO.
“They are helping us with compressing, sorting and threading [the bottles],” said Mohammed Khalifa, a general manager at West Coast Group.
“We signed 40 students as a first phase, and we will be recruiting a total of 105. We aim that throughout 2020 we will manage to recycle 2 million bottles.”
Mr Khalifa said the target is big, so they decided to call on ZHO for support – and the deal is already reaping recycling rewards.