Bill to Bolster Waste Recycling in Iran

Travel & Environment Desk
Recycling is the most perfect solution to man's sustainable future but Iranian officials do not seem to have grasped the value of the industry
Only 2% of the total urban wastes in Iran are recycled and a portion is exported.
Only 2% of the total urban wastes in Iran are recycled and a portion is exported.

A bill on supporting waste management services is currently being reviewed by the government and in final stages.

Speaking to Financial Tribune, Tohid Sadrnejad, secretary-general of Iran Recycling Federation, said once the bill becomes law, the country's recycling industry will see a remarkable upswing, hoping that the Department of Environment will pursue the issue at a faster pace.

A common saying in the industrial world declares, "If mine owners held a monopoly of global wealth in the 1950s, recycling industries will hold it in 2050s."

Although the industrial sector has received great attention worldwide, Iran does not seem to have grasped the value of this sector.

 Depletion of Natural Resources

While natural resources are depleting at lightning speed, recycling is considered the most perfect solution to the sustainable future of mankind.

United Nations statistics indicate that about 30 million cubic meters of water are used each day in the world, along with 393 million megawatt/hours of renewable and nonrenewable energy plus 96 million barrels of oil.

Oil, natural gas and coal reserves are estimated to run out within 46, 162 and 411 years respectively at the current consumption rates.

Besides, over 14,000 hectares of forests are lost and nearly 90,000 hectares of land turn into deserts every day.

As a result of human activities, 103 million tons of carbon dioxide and 26,000 tons of toxic wastes are released into the nature daily.

Recycling is an efficient solution to moderate the current states. Experts believe that the technology will not only help reduce energy and water consumption and save natural resources but also help alleviate the impacts of current environmental issues such as global warming.

 Lack of Regulations

Sadrnejad lamented the lack of efficient rules and regulations concerning the technology.

"Developing supportive policies for the industry seems unusual to many authorities, as they tend to adhere to their traditional views," he said.

Sadrnejad added that in the absence of supportive policies such as tax exemption, financial assistance from environmental funds and regulation of market rules, Iran's recycling industry has to compete with tough global rivals.  

Statistics show that each Iranian produces 800 grams of waste daily. This is while only 2% of the total urban wastes are recycled and a portion is exported.

"This is to say that more than 80% of Iran's waste material are either dumped in nature or burned, which is not only uneconomical, but also inflicts massive damage on the environment," he said.

Burning garbage leads to the emission of thousands of tons of carbon dioxide even if done in the most standard furnaces. Iran is already among the top 10 countries in terms of greenhouse gas emission and has committed to reduce the amount as per the Paris accord on combating climate change that was ratified in November 2016.

Sadrnejad said recycling is a vital step toward saving energy and decelerating the trend of global warming.

 Legal Incentives

Iran Recycling Federation was established in 2008 with the aim of developing the industry in Iran.

Recycling technology is capable of generating considerable value added and creating sustainable jobs. The federation can help materialize these national objectives.

At the national level, the federation will cooperate with the government in granting legal incentives for recycling units, addressing recyclers' tax issues and launching a database for waste management.

The federation also represents Iran in international recycling societies and plans to join the Bureau of International Recycling.

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