Saudi Arabia has set ambitious sustainability targets as part of the Kingdom's Vision 2030, aiming to significantly increase the country's resource conservation and circular economy efforts. The Kingdom is aiming to develop a world-class, robust, and financially sustainable waste management ecosystem able to handle the sizeable, fast-growing, and diverse volumes of waste with the clear ambition to minimize landfilling and maximize recycling.
With the sector having set ambitious targets, many opportunities are emerging for domestic and foreign investors alike to develop waste (pre-)collection, treatment, recycling and disposal services and infrastructure.
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Waste Management Sector
of total waste estimated to be diverted from landfill by 2035, with higher targets for specific regions and waste streams
of municipal solid waste recycled, with the remainder for waste-to-energy by 2035
of industrial hazardous waste diverted from landfill by 2035
of construction & demolition waste diverted from landfill by 2035
Large and growing need for a robust, nation-wide waste management system
- With a population of around 35 million and a high standard of living, the Kingdom now generates over 50 million tons of waste per year.
- The country's growing population, rising standards of living, ever-growing number of visiting pilgrims and continuous urban expansion are driving strong further growth in generated waste volumes.
- Furthermore, continued efforts to diversify the country's economy by developing new industrial sectors is giving rise to growing volumes of industrial waste types requiring specialized treatment.
Clear government commitment to unlock the sector's full potential
- Testimony to the government's strong commitment to unlock the sector, the National Center for Waste Management (NCWM) and the Saudi Investment Recycling Company (SIRC) have been established with the mandate to support the transformation of the Kingdom's waste management industry.
- The National Center for Waste Management provides the regulatory framework and standards across the different waste streams and offers investment incentives aiming to attract investors into the sector.
- The Saudi Investment Recycling Company is mandated to co-develop and accelerate the creation of a world-class waste management sector in the Kingdom.
Ambitious sustainability targets to address consumer-driven waste
- Saudi Arabia has set ambitious long-term targets for resource conservation, aiming for >94% of municipal solid waste to be diverted from landfill by 2035
- Achieving the Kingdom's landfill diversion objectives will require a fundamental transformation of the sector's infrastructure, operations, and citizen behavior when it comes to consumer-driven waste (municipal solid waste, waste electronics and electrical equipment, batteries, etc.)
- To ensure full collection, treatment and recycling of the generated waste, the development of adequate infrastructure across the country will be required, such as material recovery facilities, composting plants, alternative fuels plants, waste-to-energy facilities, and recycling facilities.
Clear ambitions to develop a holistic waste management sector
- In addition, the Kingdom has clear ambitions to develop a holistic waste management sector that addresses all waste streams, including the industrial and service-related waste streams, including
- Industrial hazardous waste
- Medical hazardous waste
- Construction and demolition waste
- Agricultural waste
- Special waste types including tires, batteries, electronics & electrical equipment, and end-of-life vehicles
- In particular, the Kingdom's growing and increasingly diversified industrial output and associated waste by-products will drive the need for specialized technologies and facilities to be developed in proximity to the country's main industrial complexes.
Waste Management Opportunities
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