RIYADH — A landmark initiative launched Sunday in Riyadh aims to recycle 47% of construction and demolition waste by 2035, and 81% of annually produced municipal solid waste in Riyadh. The action plan is part of Saudi Vision 2030 goals to preserve and protect the environment and achieve environmental sustainability by improving recycling rates.
The National Waste Management Center, the Riyadh Municipality and the Saudi Investment Recycling Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Public Investment Fund, signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MoU) to start integrated waste management and waste recycling activities in Riyadh.
Under the MoU, the three parties will jointly work on the execution of the overall waste management strategy for Riyadh in order to achieve a set of strategic objectives for recycling for Riyadh by 2035. This notably includes the recycling of 81 per cent of the 3.4 million tons of annually produced municipal solid waste and 47 per cent of the approximately five million tons of construction and demolition waste per year. The strategy further aims to the removal and recycling of an estimated 20 million tons of construction and demolition waste that is currently lying in vacant plots and on roadsides around the capital.
The agreement was signed by Eng. Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley, the Minister of Environment, Water and Agriculture, and Chairman of the board of directors of the National Waste Management Center; Eng. Tariq bin Abdul Aziz Al Faris, Mayor of Riyadh region; and Eng. Jeroen Vincent, Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Investment Recycling Company (SIRC).
As part of an integrated waste management system, the Saudi Investment Recycling Company will build state-of-the-art recycling facilities to recycle all types of waste. This includes the recycling of municipal waste into recyclables such as fertilizer, paper, plastics and metals.
The first initiative within the framework agreement will be the recycling of construction and demolition waste into building materials for road construction and housing projects followed by the construction of a sorting facility for municipal waste, in conjunction with the Mayor of Riyadh region project “City without bins”, which aims at the dual source-sorting of household waste in Riyadh.
The Mayor of Riyadh region recently launched an experiment to replace single bins in some residential neighborhoods, with two bins for each house. The Mayor of Riyadh region designated green bins for inorganic materials such as plastics, paper, cardboard, glass and metal cans, while the black bins were for organic waste, residues, and components of food.
Eng. Abdulrahman bin Abdulmohsen Al-Fadley said the signing of the memorandum of understanding comes within the framework of efforts to preserve and protect the environment, and achieve environmental sustainability, which the Ministry is working on in order to activate the national environmental strategy.
He emphasized that the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture, represented by the National Waste Management Center, in partnership with the other governmental entities, aims to increase the rate of recycling, stimulate new techniques, and encourage more investment in the waste sector.
"The agreement intends to activate the investment pathway in the waste and waste management sector through an alliance with companies specialized in the field of waste management and treatment," he added.
Eng. Tariq bin Abdul Aziz Al-Faris said "this agreement strengthens our continuous efforts to improve the system of work in the waste management sector and upgrade the services provided to Riyadh residents in accordance with the best international standards."
He added: “The agreement, in fact, reflects the keenness of the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and the guidance of His Excellency Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi on the partnership and regular collaboration with various entities in the public and private sectors in the field of waste management."
Eng. Jeroen Vincent said: “We are proud and honored to be part of this agreement that will enable our role as waste management sector development company by establishing state-of-the-art recycling facilities. This is a great opportunity for the city of Riyadh and the local industry. Our initiative will not only contribute to a cleaner city, but will also unlock a large volume of materials for the paper, plastic and metals industry.” — SG