Over 23,000 students join Dulsco's R2R initiative to collect 6.68 tons of recyclable material in just 6 days
June 26, 2013: More than 23,000 students in the UAE and Qatar this week raised their voices in unison against the rapid environmental degradation brought on by growing human development.The recycling effort, called “Recycle to Regain” (R2R) is one of the largest such initiatives of its kind developed for the region and puts the focus on young minds who wish to contribute towards safeguarding the environment.
As part of the effort, students from The Cambridge High School (Abu Dhabi), Indian High School (Dubai), MES and Birla Public School (both in Qatar) collected more than 6.68 tons of recyclable material, including paper and plastic. In addition, through interactive events such as workshops, awareness programs, the students also learned about segregating the recyclable material at source and how to avoid contamination.
The students naturally had reason to cheer. By sending 6.68 tons of recyclable material to authorized recycling facilities, instead of the landfills, they could avert a significant damage on the environment. The amount of waste collected is equivalent to saving 115 trees, 47,184 gallons of water, 404 pounds of air pollution from being released, 126 barrels of oil, 36 cubic yards of landfill space, 32,214 kW of electricity enough to power an average home for 1,139 days and 95 million BTU of energy.
While the “Recycle to Regain” campaign has met with great success among residents and organisations in the UAE and Qatar, this is the first time that its scope is extended to schools and educational institutions. The initiative aims to raise awareness about the importance of segregating recyclable waste at source rather than allowing it to reach the landfills. This approach has been an important element in Dulsco's CSR vision and has helped in reducing the pressure on landfills.
In Abu Dhabi, the government-run Centre for Waste Management (CWM) along with Dulsco held workshops and talks on how younger generations can shape the thinking of adults by educating them on the need for separating waste at source itself.
Engineer Hani Hossni, Strategy and Business Development Director at CWM, pointed out that through such initiatives, the Centre was keen to increase awareness on environment protection and reducing the pressure on landfills by segregating waste at source. “The most effective way to spread the environment message is through students, who in turn educate their parents about the best practices in recycling. Our engagement with the young minds through such initiatives ensures that the future generations can be well aware of their environmental responsibility,” he added.
Describing the campaign as a resounding success, Peter Lugg, Principal of The Cambridge High School, said: “While teaching students from 77 nationalities in our school, we not only educate them on their syllabus but also impart knowledge on relevant and current issues, such as environment awareness. Campaigns such as these give the children the opportunity to learn and experience environment protection first-hand and make a meaningful contribution to society. We want the younger generation to grow up with a real love of the environment and are confident that the drive will play a useful part in that process.”
Sasidharan A P, Principal of M.E.S Public School, said: “The Recycle-to-Regain campaign gives the children the opportunity to learn and experience environment protection first hand. We want the younger generation to grow up with a real love of the environment and hope that the drive will play a useful part in that process.”
Ashok Kumar, CEOof Indian High School, Dubai said, “Initiatives such as the R2R campaign play an important role in shaping the green habits of the future generations. At IHS, we believe that besides government efforts to reduce environmental impact, schools and families should also join efforts in educating children on saving our planet.”
The material collected during the campaign will be taken by waste management leader Dulsco to authorized recycling facilities where they will be recycled into useful environment-friendly products. In the next few months, Dulsco plans to broaden the campaign to include many more schools in the region.
Prakash Mahadalkar, Managing Director of Dulsco, said that the R2R campaign was aimed at putting the spotlight on people's duty towards the environment. “The R2R initiative was developed to involve all sections of society and it is encouraging to see children, more than adults, mobilizing themselves for this important campaign,” he added. “Being a responsible company, we are keen to ensure a greater private-public engagement in environment protection.”