Saudi Arabia Establishing Recycling Enterprise To Achieve 85 Percent Waste-to-Energy

The new plan offers the opportunity to recycle around 85 percent of waste, utilizing it as a source for alternative energy to be used in manufacturing.

Irshad Salim; BE2C2 Report — Saudi Arabia announced Monday establishment of waste recycling enterprise aligned with its Vision 2030 goal to safeguard the country’s environment by improving and enhancing recycling across the Kingdom– with focus on commercially viable waste-to-energy generation, a hitherto untapped  economic sector with high value chain.

According to local studies reported by local media, recyclable materials in the Kingdom amount to 50 million tons, and the new plan offers the opportunity to recycle around 85 percent of this material, utilizing it as a source for alternative energy to be used in manufacturing.– the potential of converting wastes to renewable energy are therefore plentiful.

Preliminary studies have indicated that the Kingdom currently recycles only 10 percent of recyclable waste matter, with 90 percent disposed through landfill sites, causing damage to the environment, and not making full use of the potential recyclable materials offer in the value chain for non-oil economy the Kingdom has embarked on.

The announcement therefore dovetails Saudi government’s aim to generate by 2032 about half of its energy requirements (about 72 GW) from renewable sources such as solar, nuclear, wind, geothermal and waste-to-energy systems.

The new outfit– Saudi Recycling Company, will develop and operate projects in the Kingdom designed to increase landfill diversion rates and recycle the municipal and industrial wastes by creating alliances with private sector companies, the Saudi Press Agency report.

The Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) will establish the new waste management government enterprise with the aim to support and operate the PIF’s existing and future investments in domestic recycling sector projects.

The company will play a key role in achieving the strategic goals of Vision 2030 by developing innovative solutions to preserve the quality of life within the Kingdom and at the same time exploit monetization opportunities in domestic and industrial wastes– a practice followed worldwide with high socio-economic returns.

The company’s scope of operations will cover all recyclable materials, as well as each stage of the value chain. In addition to its core activities, the enterprise will increase public awareness through campaigns and initiatives designed to introduce the concepts of recycling, its sustainability and importance.

More than 40 percent of recyclable materials in the Kingdom are produced in three major cities: Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam– these cities are witnessing high population growth rate and rapid urbanization rate (75%). Actual landfills which cater to the Kingdom’s major cities are forecasted to reach their capacity in the next ten years.

In a related note, the Center of Excellence in Environmental Studies (CEES) of King Abdul Aziz University is working on a research project to develop an innovative thermophillic in-vessel composting method for the conversion of food waste into valuable organic fertilizer.

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