Advancing Waste Management and Recycling Practices in the Middle East

Waste Management
Waste Management

In recent years, the Middle East has been actively working towards fostering a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future. However, it’s still in its early stages. The forefront of this movement is set apart by the increasing recognition of the positive impact that recycling and the economic benefits it brings. The region’s pursuit of sustainability is turning what was once a simple environmental practice into a powerful driving force. These regions actively encourage eco-friendly practices that align with the region’s emphasis on recycling. Their activities play an essential role in propelling the circular economy.

Waste Management and Recycling Efforts In Different Regions In The Middle East

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia embraced the notion of the “circular economy” in order to reduce waste output, preserve vulnerable ecosystems, and maximize the use of reused materials. The approach involves a closed-loop system guided by the 3-R approach: Reduce, reuse, and recycle. The Saudi Investment Recycling Company (SIRC) is leading this transformative effort. SIRC was established in 2017 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund. SIRC aims to redirect 100 percent of solid waste, 85 percent of hazardous industrial waste, and 60 percent of building and demolition waste away from landfills by the year 2035. The Kingdom has a strong commitment to sustainability and plans to dedicate a substantial amount of funds, approximately SR24 billion ($6.4 billion), to support waste recycling initiatives by 2035. This investment aims to facilitate the shift towards an eco-friendly waste-management system.

United Arab Emirates(UAE)

In the UAE, they coordinate the management of waste by local authorities. The Emirate manages waste issues by implementing recycling and waste-to-energy conversion methods, as well as adopting innovative technologies and enhancing waste separation and collection systems. The UAE has set a goal to decrease the negative environmental impact caused by cities per capita. This includes improving air quality and effectively managing municipal and other types of waste. For instance, Veolia’s RECAPP, a digital recycling solution, is working with the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) on a new project to improve recycling in the UAE. This endeavor is an example of the UAE’s waste management efforts.


The Egyptian government has taken steps to enhance waste management within the country. The National Solid Waste Management Programme, funded by the EU, KFW, GIZ, Swiss Corporation, and the Egyptian government, is an example of this. Its goal is to restructure the waste sector at different levels (national, regional, and local). The program aims to establish a separate central entity to oversee the management of the municipal solid waste system. Also, they set up waste management units in four governorates: Kafr El Sheikh, Gharbia, Quena, and Assiut.


In pursuing a cleaner and more sustainable future, the Middle East aims to consider various factors and make careful considerations. When addressing the matter of waste collection, one of the key factors they are focusing on is the implementation of efficient cost recovery methods and ensuring the long-term sustainability of planned projects.

Last Updated on January 3, 2024 by News Editor

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