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The GCC waste management market size was valued at USD 51.91 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 57.81 billion in 2022 to USD 89.54 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 6.5% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with waste management experiencing lower-than-anticipated demand across most countries compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the GCC waste management market exhibited a growth of 1.3% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
The remarkable development in alternative waste handling mechanisms, such as waste-to-energy projects, has augmented the demand for services and systems. This requirement has led to the growth of recycling disposal methods in the region. Waste management includes the processes and measures required from generation to final waste disposal. This includes the collection, transportation, treatment, and disposal of waste, monitoring & regulation of the process and waste-related laws, technologies, and economic mechanisms. Waste can be solid, liquid, or gas, and each type has different disposal and management methods. It is used for all types of waste, including industrial, biological, household, municipal, organic, biomedical, and radioactive. In some cases, waste can pose a risk to human health.
Significant Increase in Demand for Hazardous Medical Waste Recycling During COVID-19 Pandemic
The outbreak of COVID-19 has considerably impaired all industries, significantly reducing demand for industrial waste treatment. The number of affected patients constantly rose, propelling different nations to adopt national lockdowns and social distancing. Consequently, the rise in managing used masks, PPE kits, and other medical waste substantially affected the market due to this global pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted economies and life around the world. It has also had an impact on the production and management of waste. While manufacturing and hospitality have taken a hit, the former for a shorter period than the latter, waste streams from healthcare and households have increased significantly. The demand for hazardous and medical waste disposal is higher than ever, as is the demand for disinfection and professional cleaning services. From a general waste perspective, the urgent need for health protection has led to a boom in non-recyclable, single-use items, from face masks to single-use coffee cups, that has enhanced the need for developing recycling methods for the same.
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Increasing Government Regulations for Waste Disposal to Aid Growth
Increasing action by the government and other advisory bodies to reduce illegal waste disposal is expected to fuel the growth of the waste disposal market. For example, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulates residential, industrial, and manufacturing solid and hazardous waste. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act's goals are to protect us from waste disposal hazards, save energy and natural resources through recovery and recycling, reduce or eliminate waste, and clean up spills, leaks, or improperly disposed waste.
According to a recent report, the World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted the problem of South Africa's capacity to dispose of medical waste safely. Illegal disposal has increased sharply in South Africa due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In April 2021, the Shoura Council of Saudi Arabia approved the draft law. Legal provisions include penalties for waste disposal violations, such as a maximum of 10 years in prison or a fine of SR30 billion. The draft law consists of 38 articles to regulate the activities of collection, transportation, sorting, storage, import, export, treatment, safe disposal, and aftercare of landfills.
Increasing Awareness and Environmental Conscience to Fuel Demand
People are growing aware of the environmental dangers of inefficient systems. As the populace increases, so does the amount of waste produced. With massive urbanization and industrialization, industrial waste and e-waste are also increasing. The COVID-19 pandemic has generated loads of medical waste.
The increasing amount of liquid waste and illegal dumping of hazardous waste in water bodies has affected aquatic life and increased eutrophication of water bodies, leading to water poisoning and rendering it undrinkable. According to a recent article by WWF Australia, an estimated 56% of the planet's whale, dolphin, and porpoise species have consumed plastic. It is projected that 100,000 marine mammals die each year from plastic pollution. Over 50% of marine mammal species have eaten or become entwined in plastic.
There is also a growing concern about groundwater pollution from toxic metal ions from industrial waste in Saudi Arabia. The metal ions found in KSA’s groundwater are Al, Ba, As, Cd, Cr, Co, Fe, Cu, Hg, Mn, Ni, Li, Se, Pb, V, and Zn. Therefore, it is necessary to eliminate waste by incineration and recycling to manage the use of appropriate landfills instead of open landfills.
Increasing Focus Toward Smart Technologies to Bolster Growth
Advanced technologies for collecting and treating waste are given increasing attention. Advanced sensors that notify collection points when bins are full are examples of these smart solutions. The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) based solutions is driving the market growth.
There is an increasing adoption of drones to combat illegal landfills. In October 2020, Bigbelly launched the latest evolution in smart waste technology, the Bigbelly Access Control System or the ACS. Bigbelly ACS is a comprehensive, cloud-based access control system for Bigbelly's intelligent waste solution, providing unparalleled visibility and fleet management capabilities.
Increasing Demand for Mining Waste Co-Disposal to Surge Demand
In the co-disposal technique of handling mining waste, rock and fine residues are combined and disposed. The main objective of this method is to improve the chemical stability of these mining wastes. Various methods have been developed based on placement methods and the degree of mixing. This technique has certain advantages over traditional methods. It significantly minimizes water consumption and wastewater management. In addition, co-disposal makes the construction of tailing dams unnecessary, saving space and diminishing costs. Overall, co-disposal methods have a reduced environmental impact.
In January 2022, Ma'aden, a mining company, signed an initial agreement with Saudi Investment Recycling Co. to explore recycling and environmental stability opportunities. Under the partnership, the Saudi companies will conduct feasibility studies as part of Ma'aden's efforts to invest in mining waste treatment technologies. It was signed during the Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh, where the world's leading mining companies discussed the industry's future in the face of the climate crisis.
High Cost to Restrain GCC Waste Management Market Growth
Management of waste has a high cost in terms of capital cost and investment. The development of landfills, incinerators, and recycling machinery contributes to the major capital cost of systems globally. The development of efficient disposal, collection, and processing of wastes requires sturdy logistical systems, adding to the operational cost of management systems.
Management of waste requires a high amount of motivated workforce for smooth operations. It isn't easy to retain the workforce in the field. Moreover, the workforce must be adequately trained to manage different types of waste to avoid pollution. The workforce costs add to the working capital of projects.
The treatment of hazardous industrial wastes and medical wastes requires a lot of cost due to specialized equipment and facilities. Radioactive wastes generally have to be stored in underground repositories. Medical wastes must be burnt off with incinerators.
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Landfill Segment to Dominate the Market Supported by Lower Costs
This market is segmented into landfill, incineration, and recycling based on the disposal method. Landfills dominated the GCC waste management market share among the disposal methods in 2021. The World Future Energy Summit reported that the UAE currently has a waste generation rate of 1.9 to 2.5 kilograms per person per day, with about 77 percent of waste going to landfills. For non-hazardous waste, the Emirate of Dubai has one treatment plant and four landfills – and no incinerator. Waste-to-energy projects are increasing, snowballing the need for incineration and recycling methods. Qatar was the first GCC country to implement a Waste-to-Energy program and currently generates over 30 MW of electricity from its Domestic Solid Waste Management Center (DSWMC) in Messeid (Doha).
Municipal Solid Waste to Hold Lion’s Share in Market Due to High Adoption of Treatment Methods
Based on waste type, the market is segmented into municipal solid waste, construction and demolition waste, industrial hazardous waste, medical hazardous waste, waste of electrical and electronic equipment, agricultural waste, slaughterhouse waste, and other waste types. Among the types of waste, the municipal solid waste segment accounted for a large proportion of the GCC market in 2021. According to the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, population growth and steady economic development in the UAE have increased waste generation and chemical consumption. The Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) per capita generation in the country extended to about 2.1 kg/day before falling to about 1.8 kg/day, one of the highest in the world. The UAE government is taking action to meet its ambitious target of moving 75% of municipal solid waste off landfills by 2021 as part of the National Agenda – UAE Vision 2021.
The market has been analyzed across six GCC countries, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, the UAE, and Kuwait. The UAE has been further analyzed across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, and others. Saudi Arabia dominated this industry among the countries in 2021, mainly due to the high amount of total waste generated. The Saudi Arabia market was valued at USD 17.97 billion in 2021 and is expected to increase during the forecast period. Quick investment in renewable energy projects in GCC drives the market for the sub-region. In November 2021, Saudi Arabia enforced a new law to regulate transportation, segregation, storage, import, export, safe waste disposal, and all other related activities. This law supersedes the Law on Municipal Solid Waste Management established by Royal Decree No. M/48 of 2013. The market in the UAE is the second most important market in the region, with the Emirate of Abu Dhabi leading the country. In February 2022, Kiverco, an engineering and manufacturing specialist, was selected by Dulco, an integrated solutions provider and official partner to manage waste for Expo 2020 Dubai to design, manufacture, install, and commission a complete turnkey waste prevention solution for landfills. Many countries are adopting the existing landfilling strategies to reduce the amount of waste that goes to the landfill to manage waste in the region.
Companies are Concentrating on Capacity Development for Handling Medical Hazardous Waste to Fortify their Presence
The current competitive landscape of the market is highly fragmented, with many players delivering a wide range of services at the regional level across the value chain. Numerous companies are actively operating across different countries in the region to cater to the customers' specific demands. In Dubai, SUEZ Middle East Recycling LLC claims to be the leader in the infectious private-sector biomedical waste collection market. Other players operating in the GCC market are Averda, Envac, BEEAH Group, Dulsco Qatar, Green Mountains, Blue LLC, SEPCO Environment, Al Haya Enviro, and Veolia Environmental Services, AIMS Group, Master Skip, and others. Most of the companies in the market invested in their capacity development for handling medical, hazardous waste.
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The research reports a comprehensive assessment of the GCC waste management market analysis by offering valuable insights, industry-related information, and historical data. Several methodologies and approaches are adopted to make meaningful assumptions and views. Furthermore, the report offers a detailed analysis and information as per market segments, helping our readers to get a comprehensive overview of the global industry.
Value (USD Billion)
By Disposal Method
By Waste Type
Fortune Business Insights says that the market was worth USD 51.91 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach 89.54 billion by 2029.
In 2021, the Saudi Arabia market value stood at USD 17.97 billion.
The market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 6.5% over the forecast period.
The landfill segment is anticipated to hold a significant share across the disposal method division and dominate this market during the forecast period.
Increasing focus on smart technologies is the key factor driving the markets growth.
Dulsco Qatar, BEEAH Group, Envac, and Averda are the key participants operating across the industry.
Saudi Arabia dominated the market in terms of share in 2021.
Growing waste-to-energy projects are set to propel the adoption of incineration and recycling methods.
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