The waste management sector in Iran – Identification and transfer of waste management concepts, services and products to EU accession and candidate countries, and in emerging and developing countries, with scientific support

Eisinger, Frederik und Sophia Stock 2016: The waste management sector in Iran. Identification and transfer of waste management concepts, services and products to EU accession and candidate countries, and in emerging and developing countries, with scientific support. Dessau: Umweltbundesamt.

After the EU loosened international economic and financial sanctions against Iran in January 2016,  the Iranian parliamentary elections in February showed that the population is supporting President Rohani's economic opening. The Iranian waste management sector can also benefit from this dynamic.

The urban centres in the country have seen significant progress in the modernization of waste management in recent years. As a result of the construction and expansion of waste facilities, the recovery of raw materials in Tehran increased sevenfold in the period from 2008 to 2012, while the volume of landfilled waste fell by one third during the same period. In Isfahan, the establishment of 80 recycling centres spread across the city has helped motivate the population to bring in valuable materials. The experience in these and other large cities can serve as a benchmark for the nationwide modernization of waste management.

In the area of ​​waste recovery and disposal, the Iranian government is primarily focussed on, in addition to the modernization of waste disposal facilities, thermal recovery facilities. At present, 15 waste incineration plants are currently being planned, which will contribute to a reduction in pressure on the waste management infrastructure, especially in the northern part of the country. A further focus is on measures for energy production from waste; projects of that type are supported by the Iranian Renewable Energy Organisation in the form of feed-in tariffs.

These initiatives at local and national level testify to the strong interest of the Iranian government in the sustainable modernization of the waste management sector. Thanks to the economic opening, Iran can count on international support for this project.

The situation analysis presented here is designed to examine the situation of the Iranian waste management sector and its framework conditions in order to identify concrete development needs and potentials as well as to identify possibilities for further development. In this way, possibilities for enhanced cooperation and the transfer of knowledge and technology with Germany are to be presented so that they can be pursued in a targeted manner by interested actors on the German and Iranian sides.