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Construction kicks off Saudi recycling efforts

Saudi Arabia is preparing to start work on a recycling facility that will process construction and demolition waste into aggregates for roads and concrete applications for a major residential project housing.

The project, the first of its kind in the kingdom, is being managed by the Saudi Investment Recycling Company (SIRC), whose ceo Jeroen Vincent says the scheme will be followed by the construction of a sorting facility for solid municipal waste.

The city of Riyadh annually produces 3.4 million tonnes of solid household waste and eight million tonnes of construction and demolition waste.

In an interview, Vincent says: ‘SIRC is the first organisation of its kind in the Kingdom and will be a key driver of the circular economy. We have already set highly ambitious targets of achieving 81% overall recycling compared to the best achievers globally such as the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany, who range between 54 and 68%.’

Major challenge

It will be tough challenge as studies show the kingdom recycles no more than 10% of the recyclable materials it produces each year.
Vincent adds that reaching such goals needs proper legislation and enforcement. ‘The main success factor for achieving the high recycling goals in the western European countries was the legislation, enforcement and awareness programmes by the governments.
‘To strengthen the recycling concept in Riyadh, more education and awareness campaigns need to take place. People need to get involved and feel like they are making a difference in protecting their environment. The private and government sectors, along with the citizens, should work together to solve the waste problem.’

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund established SIRC in 2017.

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