DM enhances fleet of marine clean-up boats

1,070 tons of waste collected in 2017; 30 tons of benthic waste and 63 neglected and sunken ships recovered

A waterway clean-up boat in operation.
A waterway clean-up boat in operation.

As part of Dubai Municipality's efforts to maintain the waterways in the emirate, the Waste Management Department has enhanced its fleet of waterway clean-up boats and implemented a range of initiatives and campaigns.

The sites maintained by the department includes the Dubai Creek, Al Jaddaf Creek, Dubai Water Canal and Business Bay Canal, as well as expansions and new waterways such as the waterfront overlooking the new fish market and the Deira harbour canal.

Eng. Abdulmajeed Saifai, Director of Waste Management Department at Dubai Municipality, said that the department is keen to provide the best environmental services using the best equipment and marine vehicles that meets the highest technical standards to ensure the sustainability of these important sites, especially the Dubai Creek, which is the vital artery of the emirate in terms of commercial and tourism activities.

The specialised unit that carries out the cleaning of these sites consists of a dedicated team, the municipality said, who are specialists in marine management and maintenance operations.

The unit comprises of 50 specialist marine workers and cleaners and the Waste Management Department has also provided two hydraulic belts to transport waste from the sea to landfill collection sites as well as a number of marine pollution control equipment.

“The amount of waste collected in 2017 amounted to about 1,070 tons in the form of wood, plastic bags, food wastes, algae, seaweed, shipwrecks, oil residues and waste from the projects executed on the banks of waterways.

Since 2010, the Waterways Cleaning Unit of the Waste Management Department has implemented a number of initiatives and campaigns, such as cleaning waterways and removing the abandoned ships.

These campaigns resulted in the recovery of about 30 tons of benthic waste and the lifting and transfer of 63 neglected and sunken ships, which were a navigational danger to water channels such as the risk of collision.

He explained that the future would entail reliance on artificial intelligence in order to improve performance and efficiency of marine hygiene operations, such as the introduction of a new mechanism called WasteShark.

“It is a remote-controlled, autonomous vehicle with dynamic sensors and a smart camera that tracks floating debris and removes them. It would improve the quality of work and contribute to the rationalisation of expenditures. It is also environmentally friendly as it is electrically operated and does not release any emissions,” said Sifaie.

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