Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a refrain you would often overhear from residents or holidaymakers – “the UAE streets are so clean”. And if you’ve ever wondered how this comes about, the UAE’s nationwide disinfection drive has revealed these guardians of city hygiene.
Since March, UAE-based environmental services and sustainability player Bee’ah has worked around the clock alongside the government, businesses and community to help prevent exposure to COVID-19 via the recently concluded National Disinfection Programme.
From streets and buildings to parks and bus stops, city centres have been given thorough disinfection to help keep residents safe, through thousands of man-hours, high-pressure spray cannons and mobile disinfection sprays from Bee’ah.
And, in case you’re one of the many still on the cautious side of returning to offices, you can get the pros in to give the office space a good cleaning of the same sparkling standards that has been applied to the streets. Bee’ah has also launched disinfection services for companies to safeguard their own workforce.
Bee’ah also manages waste – all of it. The company is involved in waste collection, sorting, recycling, treatment and responsible disposal; the important stuff that we don’t see and often don’t recognise for the real value it brings to a city. Valuable resources are found in waste, which are recovered at Bee’ah’s facilities to be returned to the circular economy.
“Bee’ah’s mandate for sustainability and a clean environment is more important now than ever, and we are urging you to play your part,” says Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO at Bee’ah. “In many ways, COVID-19 and climate change are similar – both are global problems with no respect for borders, affects all socioeconomic classes and require collective action from all segments of society.”
Waste management and city cleaning are urgent and essential to minimise possible secondary impacts on public health and the environment. Both are also key to our future.
“More broadly, the health crisis reminds us to be grateful to the workers who help us live our lives with as little disruption as possible, such as the healthcare professionals, delivery drivers, supermarket staff, police officers, and of course the people who disinfect cities, collect, sort, recycle, treat and dispose of public waste,” adds Al Huraimel.
And with everything Bee’ah is doing to keep the city safe, residents are urged to play their part too.
Segregate your trash
You’re probably getting through a fair amount of waste, with all the gloves and masks your using. But what are you doing with them after you’ve worn them?
Bee’ah recommends that you separate disposable protective equipment such as used masks, used gloves or used tissues in a separate waste bag before disposing of them with other household waste. This will protect the people who collect and sort your waste, preventing any possible exposure to the coronavirus.
Give your belongings and home a spring clean
According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 is believed to survive on surfaces for various days, depending on the type of surface, temperature and other factors. Bee’ah advises that you disinfect commonly touched surfaces, door handles, fridge doors, taps and light switches. Don’t forget your wallet, keys, bank cards and phone!
Restaurants and cafés are abiding by social distancing guidelines, as set by the government. But an implication has been the excessive use of disposable cutlery, plates and cups. Where appropriate, consider bringing your own cutlery, reusable straws and bottles to cut down on single-use waste.
Get a few reusable cloth masks to reduce the number disposable masks used. Three-layered masks are the most effective for protection from contact with infected individuals or for an infected person to prevent transmission, as recommended by WHO.
Get serious about sustainability
The environment has had a breather as a result of COVID-19-related restrictions on human movement and industrial activity. According to the International Energy Agency, global energy-related CO2 emissions will fall by eight percent in 2020 – the lowest levels since 2010. Scientists say the ozone layer is healing and Bee’ah’s Air Quality Monitoring Stations in Sharjah have revealed a huge improvement in air quality since the UAE National Disinfection Programme began due the trickling down of vehicle traffic.
What does this mean? It means we have renewed momentum to tackle climate change, but it requires a long-term sustained effort from everyone. Consider how you can play your part in promoting a sustainable future.
To find out more about what Bee’ah does, has been doing and will be doing to drive a more sustainable quality of life, visit www.beeah.ae.