The UAE has one of the world\'s highest levels of domestic waste. Per capita household waste has reached an average annual 730 kilos in Abu Dhabi and 725 kilos in Dubai. In the US the average is 710 kilos, in Australia 690 kilos and in the UK 300 kilos. Additional refuse comes from street litter, gardens and from the waste dumped in the sea and on beaches. This has imposed a heavy burden on the municipalities. The problem is only partly solved by converting organic waste into agricultural fertilizer. Some waste such as paper, glass and tin cans can be recycled, and special incinerators have been set up to dispose of medical waste.
In Abu Dhabi waste is at present being stored and disposed of in Al Dhafra, some 70 kilometers away from the capital. The municipality has a large plant in the area for disposing of non-organic and hazardous wastes. A new modern landfill is under construction at Mussafah. Meanwhile the disposal of radioactive waste has also attracted attention. A new law will ensure supervision and inspection of all activities involving the use of radioactive elements or equipment. It will ban import, export, transport, storage, manufacture or sale of any radioactive elements without official permission from a special department for radiation control to be established at the Ministry of Health. The law was under discussion with representatives from the ministries of Electricity and Water, Interior and Justice in addition to the Federal Environment Agency. Representatives from all municipalities, the UAE University, the WHO and the IAEA also attended the discussions. After chemical and radioactive pollution, the polluting effects of noise are also of serious concern to the UAE authorities. Local by-laws state that noise caused by construction or demolition works at construction sites should not disturb people living in the neighborhood. Dubai\'s regulations state that noise average should not exceed 55 decibels from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and should not exceed 45 decibels in the period from 8 p.m to 7 a.m.