Development of a regional plan for waste management in Iran

Two Workers in Recycling Center

For almost four decades, economic relations with Iran were restricted and later interrupted. International sanctions have caused a high investment backlog in the Iranian economy. There is a considerable need for development and investment, particularly in the area of waste management: Currently, just under 6% of municipal waste is recycled, about 10% composted, and over 80% disposed of in unsealed landfills. There is only one small, unsealed landfill for hazardous waste. With the opening of the Iranian economy and an expected economic upturn; the bottlenecks in waste management will become even more acute if the country does not succeed in creating an adequate infrastructure. In addition, when developing a structured waste management system, there is always the possibility of building up a sustainable and innovative sector of the economy, which also has a positive influence on other sectors  (mechanical and plant engineering, construction, etc.).

The project aimed at developing a region-specific waste management master plan for the construction of integrated waste treatment plants for municipal and hazardous waste. Based on the analysis of a geographically limited region, a policy brief was prepared to make recommendations for the development of the entire Iranian waste management in the field of municipal and hazardous waste. In addition, market development in Iran was propelled forward by German small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The focus was on targeted exchange and cooperation between German SMEs in the environmental technology sector and Iranian authorities and industry representatives.

The project was funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and carried out by adelphi together with BlackForest Solutions GmbH, under the direction of Fraunhofer UMSICHT in Sulzbach-Rosenberg and the Department of Waste and Resources Management at the University of Rostock.