Ras Al Khaimah: Numero Uno emirate for Eco-Sustainabilty

Ras Al Khaimah residents have yet another opportunity to beam with pride as RAK has earned the honour of becoming the No.1 emirate for Eco-sustainability.

The city has recently seen 6 recycling centers being established to champion the cause of environmental protection. The RAK Recycles initiatives have been supported by the government, residents and local communities alike to preserve the natural beauty of the emirate while keeping it pollution free. The centers recycle and treat solid and organic wastes.

RAK Recycling Center

Key sustainability drivers in the region, for both businesses and individuals, include energy efficiency, compliance with regulatory and corporate social responsibility policies relating to the environment, efficient waste management and disposal (including recycling).

The Strategy

The RAK Recycles Initiative aims to cut waste by 75 % until 2021. The introduction of RAK Recycles across the emirate is managed by the Ras Al Khaimah Waste Management Agency (RAKWMA). As part of the drive, households, schools and businesses receive bags to separate waste into distinct categories, namely the green and the brown bags for efficient waste management, this also ensures that a large amount of waste is diverted from landfills which otherwise leads to toxic emissions and carbon footprints.

Waste Sorting into Bags

A key target also is to reduce the usage of plastic. In addition, the emirate is encouraging people to use the six new locations to dispose of even more items they cannot put in their green and brown bags. This mainly consists of electronic wastes and used house hold items
The locations of drop off centres for household items have been made publicly accessible in the parking lots at RAK Mall, Al Hamra Mall and Saqr Park, other locations are dedicated Food waste treatment centres at Al Hamra Mall, the RAK Vegetable Market and the Mairid Fish Market, while there will be an outreach centre and food bank on the Corniche in the near future.

The Statistics

On average, the emirate generates 550 tons of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) every day, of which  just 14 per cent of RAK’s waste is currently recycled – a number it hopes to increase to 30 per cent this year, and to 75 per cent by 2021.

  • The Department of Public Works had collected 220,751 tonnes of solid waste last year, while 30,799 tonnes of these were recycled
  • The department has further extended the main sewage station in the Filya area and overcome the problem of stink smells using the non-aerial treatment technology, the first-of-its-kind in the country
  • Increased capacity of the station from 20,000 to 40,000 cubic metres a day; an amount equivalent to 16 Olympic pools 
  • A food bank has also been installed at the Corniche area to collect food leftovers from hotels, shops, and restaurants to contribute them to people in coordination with charity associations
  • Clean and valid food remains will be properly stored at five to -18 degrees Celsius, while unfit and expired foods will be turned into agricultural fertilisers
  • The department is planning to build and operate a station to turn wastes into energy or gas, aiming to produce 60 tonnes of gas daily by using the gasification technology

How can you Contribute?

  1. Use the green bags for items manufactured from plastic, including containers, bottles and sheets, as well as paper, cardboard, steel aluminum and glass
  2. Use the brown bags for food waste, including leftover food, out of date products, eggshells and vegetable peelings
  3. Shop wisely and avoid throwing away food, since it accounts for the highest wasted component weight wise
  4. Contact RAKWMA  for garden waste, bulk waste, electronic waste and batteries they provide services of on-demand collection
  5. Raise and spread awareness of the RAK Recycles campaign among friends and peers to adopt an environmental friendly cause for the emirate
  6. Strictly refrain from littering the city, while visiting natural sites, farms and heritage areas and spread the word to prevent the act


The safeguarding of the environment for posterity should be the responsibility of every individual was a core belief of the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, this motto is being furthered by the community living in Ras Al Khaimah.


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