We are all responsible for keeping our cities clean

I hold citizens and expatriate workers living and working in Riyadh responsible for keeping our streets clean.

Ruqaya Al-Huwairni


I believe that many residents of Riyadh know the Riyadh Municipality toll-free number (940) which they can call around the clock to report problems, file complaints and make suggestions pertaining to municipal services. Anything reported to this number is conveyed to the department in charge. Then the concerned department registers the report and sends the caller an SMS with a reference number.

Once the matter has or has not been dealt with, the person reporting the problem will be sent another SMS with an update. This is a really good service.

However, it would be even better if the person reporting the problem were able to evaluate the performance of the service and express satisfaction with the way the matter has been dealt with. Maybe the municipality should think about adding this to the service. Overall, my experience in calling this number has been a positive one.

I am really sad at how unclean Riyadh is. As far as I know, the mayor is exerting great efforts to improve this. However, the company that signed a contract with the municipality to keep the streets clean is apparently not doing a good job as most of its expatriate workers are busy begging for money instead of cleaning. The company’s supervisors are not monitoring the performance of cleaners. That is why our streets are not clean. The only thing the company does is send garbage trucks to empty the dumpsters and that is it.

To be fair, I hold citizens and expatriate workers living and working in Riyadh responsible for keeping our streets clean. People do not care about removing rubbish from the streets where they live; they do not care about saving water, all they do is waste this valuable resource.  The hefty fines imposed on the excessive use of water never seem to deter violators.

Look at our streets and you will see a lot of debris left by construction workers. I think that the owners of construction sites should be fined if municipal inspectors find that debris from their property has been left on the street. 

Keeping our cities clean is everyone’s responsibility, and municipal officials should find a better way to make people understand this. Our streets should always be kept clean.