GCC to produce 120 million tonnes of waste by 2020

Frost & Sullivan stated that this rise is 'significant' since local municipal landfills are ill equipped to handle the increased level of waste generation

The GCC's increased rate of waste generation is expected to challenge regional municipalities. [Representational image]
The GCC's increased rate of waste generation is expected to challenge regional municipalities. [Representational image]

Total waste generated in the GCC is likely to increase from 94 million tonnes in 2015 to 120 million tonnes by 2020, a study recently released by Frost & Sullivan suggests. 

The findings state this spike is "significant, as municipalities in the GCC are not equipped to handle this level of waste generation through the existing landfilling strategies". 

Consequently, the region's waste management sector will present 'untapped opportunities' in the years to come. 

Municipal waste is expected to drive the regional waste management industry, with waste generation expected to increase in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

"Adoption of alternate handling mechanisms to deal with the problem of increasing waste will be required, especially when the block of countries is also striving to make amends to the energy mix," the study adds. 

Frost & Sullivan said in the statement that the waste management industry could also face 'disruption', having historically focused primarily on collection and transportation. 

Segregation processes at soruce and material recovery facilities require more attention if waste diversion to landfills must be reduced, the researcher added. 

Remarking on these findings, Abhay Bhargava, associate director and regional head for Frost & Sullivan's energy and environment practice in the Middle East, said the 'waste-to-value' concept is taking shape through the GCC's recently released tenders. 

"GCC will have to make a radical move towards integrated waste management with emphasis on waste-to-value methods such as recycling and waste-to-energy coming into the picture," he continued.

"This can already be seen in the form of the recent tenders for waste management in the GCC, as well as in the MENA region." 

Waste composition, which in the GCC has predominantly been construction, demolition, and municipal, is also likely to evolve in the years to come. 

Frost & Sullivan stated "a rapid emergence" of electrical, industrial, hazardous, and bio-medical waste is being observed, leading to the requirement for environmentally friendly treatment systems. 

"This disruption will result in emergence of opportunities in the sector for companies that can deliver solutions around segregation, recycling, sustainable treatment, and waste-to-energy across services, technologies, and equipment," the statement continued.

"The opportunities would not be limited to equipment specific to waste as energy equipment and pollution control equipment manufacturers also stand to gain, with increase in demand for boilers, incinerators, flue-gas treatment systems, geomembrane liners, and recycling plant machinery coming in." 

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