‘Poor waste management brings annual loss of $10.5b’

November 17, 2019 - 23:15

TEHRAN – Poor waste management brings the country an annual loss of 440 trillion rials (about $10.5 billion), Hassan Pasandideh, head of waste management affairs at the Department of Environment (DOE), has said.

In recent years, measures have been taken to manage waste in the country, but the DOE is the responsible body for waste management in the country, he stated, ISNA reported on Sunday.

Large amounts of waste are produced annually in the country, which needs to be separated at source, he said adding, poor management of waste in the country cause a financial burden of 440 trillion rials (about $10.5 billion) per year.

The lack of laws prevents waste management law from enforcement, the law should urge all the organizations strictly that no one can escape implementation, he highlighted.

“Also, given the scope of the DOE’s responsibility, we needed to create a separate waste management affair at the organization, which fortunately have been established,” he added.

“We prepared comprehensive plans on proper waste management which needs cooperation of all related bodies to pace up the process.”

Referring to dry waste as an economic commodity, he said that waste can generate employment and income, as well as helping to manage the environment.

“Currently, we have specific regulations for medical and agricultural waste disposal, but we also need to develop regulations for hazardous and industrial waste, which is planned to be determined,” he highlighted.

He further expressed hope that with better cooperation of relevant organization, waste management improves nationwide.

Sadr-o-din Alipour, the director of environment and sustainable development department of Tehran Municipality, has said that over 3,000 tons of plastic waste is generated per day in the country, which reaches 1 million tons in a year.

Ali Moridi, head of soil and water office at the DOE, said in October 2018 that while reduction of waste generation and separation of waste at source are the two major processes in waste management, in Iran the focus is mainly on the last phase of waste management which is waste disposal, which will slow down the path to waste minimization and waste sorting at source.

Although proper waste management could solve the country's environmental problems, the budget requested by the DOE for waste management has not been approved by the Majlis [Iranian parliament], he lamented.

According to a report published by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in October 2016, waste generation per capita in Iran’s urban areas is about 658 grams per day while Iranian waste generation per capita in rural areas is about 220-340 grams per day. Average Iranian waste generation per capita amounts to some 240 kilograms per year. 

In Tehran alone waste generation per capita is estimated at 750-800 grams per day and each Tehrani citizen generates about 270-450 kilograms of waste per year.

The report continues that unfortunately only 7 percent of the waste is separated at the source, 13 percent is recycled and only 2.5 percent of them end up in formal or sanitary landfills and some 77.5 percent of the waste will be burnt or buried in informal landfills located in the countryside or deserts near cities.


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