Solid Waste Management


As Kuwait’s economy grows, the total amount of generated solid waste also increases. In addition, increasing urban density and active building add to the issues with industrial by-products and garbage. Management, utilization, and recycling are paramount processes that help Kuwait continue sustainable growth and achieve prosperity.

Current State of Solid Waste Management in Kuwait

According to Alsulaili et al. (2014), presently, Kuwait faces a rapid increase in waste amounts. In 2011, contraction waste, for instance, demonstrated growth by 2 million tons in comparison with 2010. The current waste management system uses landfills to which different types of rubbish are dumped with no particular separation. The urban waste collection is exercised twice a day. Recycling in Kuwait covers only a small percentage of waste, while all other materials are dumped into landfills. The latter are represented by 16 sites across Kuwait that occupy 45 square kilometers. The growth of landfills and their effect on the environment is a serious issue recognized by many agencies (Kuwait Times 2014; KEPA 2016; Alsulaili et al. 2014).

Creation of Holistic Waste Management System in Kuwait

Kuwait can utilize the experience of foreign partners together with the achievements of domestic environmental protection agencies and scientific organizations. As such, according to Alsulaili et al. (2014), Kuwait can recycle up to 76% of its total waste. Furthermore, it can effectively reduce the amount of waste it produces. For instance, people could limit their use of plastic packaging, avoid excessive printing, etc. Reuse is also a viable technique that allows reducing landfill usage. For example, using rechargeable batteries, donating of old items instead of dumping them, etc. Kuwait could also introduce state-wide practices of sorting waste and its recycling. For example, plastic, paper, glass, and metal waste can be collected separately and reduced to raw materials from which new items can be produced. Non-recyclable waste can either be incinerated or dumped into landfills.

Kuwait and Swedish Waste Management Systems

Sweden as a country with limited land resources has implemented multiple initiatives to achieve sustainable living. As opposed to Kuwait, the practice of using landfills is almost obsolete. Sweden landfill sites usage is limited due to high taxes, and prohibition criteria. Waste in Sweden is viewed as a resource that is used to produce energy and other goods. Thus, about 40-50% of waste is used to produce energy, which is not practiced in Kuwait (Avfall Sverige n.d.). The production of electricity and heat in Sweden is not accompanied by the release of incineration by-products into the air, as all factories are equipped with modern filtering technologies. In addition, Swedish people contribute to recycling by sorting and separating different household waste, which is not yet a daily practice in Kuwait. Sweden also has a variety of waste recycling and energy factories that are practically non-existent in Kuwait. Sweden also establishes comprehensive periodical strategic documents that contain recycling, reuse, and energy production goals for the whole country, which is also a good practice to be used in Kuwait.


Kuwait faces a variety of barriers towards building a sustainable future without waste contaminating its territory. The extensive use of landfills and the dire environmental impact they have on the coastline and urban eco-systems are the threats that Kuwait must address in order to increase the quality of life of its citizens. The barriers could be overcome, provided Kuwait creates a holistic outlook on waste management implementing recycling, reuse, and energy production strategies similar to ones exercised in Sweden.

Reference List

Alsulaili, A, AlSager, B, Albanwan, H, Almeer, A, & AlEssa, L, 2014, ‘An integrated solid waste management system in Kuwait’, in 5th International conference on environmental science and technology (IPCBEE), Kuwait University, Kuwait, pp. 54-59.

Avfall Sverige, n.d., The Swedish waste management system, 2018, Web.

KEPA, Annual report 2016, Web.

Kuwait Times 2014, ‘Solid waste a growing problem in Kuwait’, Web.