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Saudi Arabia to generate $32 billion annually from recycling

About 94% of waste will be recycled by 2035

Saudi Arabia to generate $32 billion annually from recycling
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

With waste management at the core of Saudi Vision 2030 and the kingdom aiming for a circular economy, recycling will contribute an annual income of $32 billion by 2035, according to the minister of environment, water and agriculture.

Talking about the kingdom’s sustainability policies, including the Crown Prince’s pledge to plant 10 billion trees in the coming decades at a symposium on Circular Economy by the Riyadh Economic Forum, Deputy Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture Eng Mansour Bin Hilal Al-Mushaiti said: “Maximizing the benefit of resources by reducing consumption, and avoiding, reusing or recycling waste will help transform it into a useful wealth instead of being an economic, environmental and health burden.” 

He emphasized that besides safeguarding the environment and lowering pollution, the circular economy is regarded as one of the priorities of the ecological system to achieve sustainable economic growth. He also flagged up the move to zero carbon neutrality by 2060 and saw 94% of waste recycled by 2035 instead of being taken to landfills.

According to the World Bank, the environmental burden on the economy is equivalent to over $23 billion in costs. Al-Mushaiti estimated that of the $8 billion, 5% is attributable to improper waste management.

Concerning the administration of the water system, he said that it uses an integrated management strategy that starts with collecting rainwater, saving non-renewable groundwater, and producing with high efficiency from desalination. The annual water use of the agriculture sector has dropped by 10 billion cubic meters, Al-Mushaiti confirmed. 

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