By Hana Namrouqa – Mar 21,2018
AMMAN — Under a new municipal initiative, individuals who commit environmental violations will be ordered to do community service to help clean up rubble from Amman’s empty lots rather than paying fines.

In accordance with the initiative, truck drivers caught dumping debris in areas undesignated for the disposal of waste are now ordered to community service instead of paying for environmental violations, said Raed Haddadin, head of the construction monitoring department at the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM).

“Truck drivers who commit environmental violations like dumping their loads at undesignated areas or empty lots in Amman will now ‘volunteer’ with us every Friday. For every dumped load, truck drivers lift 10 loads of debris and rubbish from empty lots across the capital under the initiative,” Haddadin told The Jordan Times.

Dubbed “Ta’azileh,” which means “comprehensive cleanup” in Arabic, the initiative targets empty lots in Amman every Friday to remove rubbish, debris and unwanted old furniture or possessions that people have dumped, Haddadin said.

“So far, we have removed debris from 150,000 cubic metres of empty spaces in Wadi Al Seer, the industrial area in west Amman, Sweifieh and Tlaa Al Ali,” Haddadin said.

Over 500 trucks are involved in the initiative, according to the municipal official.

“Truck drivers lift 10 loads of debris if they are caught dumping debris at undesignated areas. Drivers who repeat the offence for the second time lift 20 rounds, while third-time offenders lift forty loads of debris and waste under the Ta’azileh initiative,” Haddadin explained.

The initiative not only aims to clean up Amman, but also strives to raise people’s awareness on the need to dump waste at designated areas and deter truck drivers from polluting the environment through voluntary work and community service, he said.

The municipal official said that several ministries and government institutions have installed tracking devices on vehicles that transport environment-polluting agents, such as septic tankers, urging GAM to follow suit.

“It is imperative install tracking devices on trucks that carry debris and waste to monitor their movement and make sure that they are disposing off their loads at designated landfills and spaces,” Haddadin stressed.

He added that there are currently some 4,500 trucks in Amman, which calls for controlling and monitoring their activities to ensure a clean city.