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Waste Management In Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has seen an increase of manufacturing jobs and their agricultural industry has become scarce and due to the increase in population and the migration of people for rural areas, pollutant and waste has increased.  The problem with waste management challenges the government every day.  Saudi Arabia has over twenty nine million people living there and generates over fifteen million tons of garbage a year.

That is about three to four pounds of waste per person a day.  Three fourths of the population lives in urban areas, which calls for the government to come up with measures to improve waste management and recycling.  Just in the three major cities of Riyadh, Dammam, and Jeddah, they generate six million tons a year.

Garbage is collected and put in landfills or dumpsites in Saudi Arabia, which is typical of most countries but they have a problem.  The have limited disposal sites and don’t charge tipping fees for the sites.  If you don’t know what a tipping fee is; it’s a fee charge per ton to use the site. Most garbage companies are charged between ten and forty dollars per ton, this help pay for services used at the dumping sites.  

It Saudi Arabia keeps up what they are doing, they will have all their dumpsites filled within ten years.  And since recycling is in its infancy there and the recycle rate is only ten to fifteen percent, they will have a problem soon.  The main reason for this lack of recycling is because there is only a informal sector that does it.  Recycling requires intensive manual labor and they are starting to look into composting to help with this problem.

The Saudi Arabia government understands the critical nature of waste management and it starting to solve the problem.  Just in 2011 they allocated about twenty nine billion dollars to help with waste disposal and the drainage of water.  In recent years, the government has put new regulations in place to help with waste management, which put the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs in charge of waste management.

Even though that have made strides in waste management, more efforts need to be put in place to bring Saudi Arabia into the future.  They need stronger legislation, more money, to educate the public, and to upgrade the technologies used to dispose of waste.  This will help transform the country into a greener Saudi Arabia.

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