Time to bag it: Groceries, not garbage, demand residents

“It is not hygienic, and it looks awful," says B.C., a South African resident living in Tecom, Dubai while staring at the boxes stored in front of the neighbourhood grocery store near his residence.

Every evening, the result of restocking the grocery shelves can be witnessed outside the premises. The empty boxes are piled up in front of the shop, and often become makeshift trash disposal cans as the hours pass.

“We see this mostly on the weekends; the supplier comes on Friday, and the next day the empty boxes are stalled outside on the pavement,” says P.G., a resident of Dubai’s Discovery Gardens area.

The storage is temporarily, as a new day always starts with a clean pavement. However, for residents, the storage is disturbing, as the pavement is part of public space.

“Shopkeepers ought to maintain a proper look outside their premises,” clarifies Abdul Majeed Safaie, Director of the Waste Services Section. “Hanging things is all right, but storage of items is not permitted.”

Inspection teams of the department are daily on the move, especially in the business districts, where the practice is seen more often than usual.

“We see this mostly in business areas and market locations, and especially in the afternoon,” says Khalid Mohsen, head of the Operations Department.

“We have 170 inspectors carrying out inspections in every area every day. When we come across such violation, we first give a warning. But after that the shopkeeper will be fined with Dh200.”

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