Greenhouse gas emissions from solid waste management in saudi arabia—analysis of growth dynamics and mitigation opportunities

Muhammad Muhitur Rahman*, Syed Masiur Rahman, Mohammad Shahedur Rahman, Md Arif Hasan, Syed Abu Shoaib, Sayeed Rushd

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The continuous growth in population, urbanization, and industrial development has been increasing the generation of solid waste (SW) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Consequently, the associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emission is also following an increasing trend. The collection and use of greenhouse gases emitted from solid waste management practices are still limited. A causality analysis examined the driving factors of the emissions from solid waste management. The methane (CH4) emissions from municipal solid waste (MSW) increased with an increase in gross do-mestic product (GDP) per capita and urban population, and an increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and literacy rate was likely to reduce CH4 emissions from municipal solid waste and vice versa. The CH4 emission generated from industrial solid wastes was found to be positively related to GDP per capita, urban population, and FDI inflows. However, a decrease in the unem-ployment rate was likely to increase CH4 emissions from industrial solid wastes. The future greenhouse gas emissions were projected under different possible socio-economic conditions. The sce-nario analysis based on different variations of population and GDP growth revealed that methane emission from total waste would increase at an average annual rate of 5.13% between 2020 and 2050, and is projected to reach about 4000 Gg by the end of the year 2050. Although the Kingdom has been taking some initiatives towards climate change mitigation, it has significant opportunities to adopt some of the best practices in solid waste management including reduction, recycling, composting and waste-to-energy, and carbon capture and utilization. This study also put emphasis on developing appropriate policy approaches for climate change mitigation based on the circular economy which is gaining momentum in the Kingdom.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1737
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments: The authors acknowledge the support received from Deanship of Scientific Research at King Faisal University (KFU), King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), Al-Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, and Victoria University of Wellington.

Funding Information:
Funding: The authors extend their appreciation to the Deputyship for Research & Innovation, Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia for funding this research work through the project number IFT20047.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Causality analy-sis
  • IPCC
  • Industrial solid waste
  • Methane emission
  • Municipal solid waste
  • VECM models
  • VISION 2030

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science (all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering (all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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