Solid Waste Management in Qatar

Qatar is counted among the world’s fastest growing economies. Municipal solid waste management is one of the most serious challenges faced by this tiny Gulf nation on account of high population growth rate, urbanization, industrial growth and economic expansion. The country has one of the highest per capita waste generation rates worldwide which is as high as 1.8 kg per day. Qatar produces more than 2.5 million tons of municipal solid waste each year. Solid waste stream is mainly comprised of organic materials (around 60 percent) while the rest of the waste steam is made up of recyclables like glass, paper, metals and plastics.

Municipalities are responsible for solid waste collection in Qatar both directly, using their own logistics, and indirectly through private sector contract. Waste collection and transport is carried out by a large fleet of trucks that collect MSW from thousands of collection points scattered across the country.

The predominant method of solid waste disposal is landfilling. The collected is discharged at various transfer stations from where it is sent to the landfill. There are three landfills in Qatar; Umm Al-Afai for bulky and domestic waste, Rawda Rashed for construction and demolition waste, and Al-Krana for sewage wastes. However, the method of waste disposal by landfill is not a practical solution for a country like Qatar where land availability is limited.

Waste Management Strategy

According to Qatar National Development Strategy 2011-2016, the country will adopt a multi-faceted strategy to contain the levels of waste generated by households, commercial sites and industry – and to promote recycling initiatives. Qatar intends to adopt integrated waste hierarchy of prevention, reduction, reuse, recycling, energy recovery, and as a last option, landfill disposal. 

A comprehensive solid waste management plan is being implemented which will coordinate responsibilities, activities and planning for managing wastes from households, industry and commercial establishments, and construction industry. The target is to recycle 38 percent of solid waste, up from the current 8 percent, and reduce domestic per capita waste generation. Five waste transfer stations have been setup in South Doha, West Doha, Industrial Area, Dukhan and Al-Khor to reduce the quantity of waste going to Umm Al-Afai landfill. These transfer stations are equipped with material recovery facility for separating recyclables such as glass, paper, aluminium and plastic.

In this respect, one of the most promising developments has been the creation of Domestic Solid Waste Management Centre (DSWMC) at Mesaieed. This centre is designed to maximize recovery of resources and energy from waste by installing state-of-the-art technologies for separation, pre-processing, mechanical and organic recycling, and waste-to-energy and composting technologies. It will treat 1550 tons of waste per day, and is expected to generate enough power for in-house requirements, and supply a surplus of 34.4 MW to the national grid. 

The Way Forward

While commendable steps are being undertaken to handle solid waste, the Government should also strive to enforce strict waste management legislation and create mass awareness about 4Rs of waste management viz. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recovery. Legislations are necessary to ensure compliance, failure of which will attract a penalty with spot checks by the Government body entrusted with its implementation.

Citizens can play a vital role in improving waste management scenario in Qatar by helping to reduce garbage generation and practicing source-segregation in households, offices etc. Being an influential Muslim country, the government may also take help of leading Islamic scholars to motivate the population to reduce per capita waste generation and conserve natural resources.

Improvement in curbside collection mechanism and establishment of material recovery facilities and recycling centres may also encourage public participation in waste management initiatives. When the Qatar National Development Strategy 2011-2016 was conceived, the solid waste management facility plant at Mesaieed was a laudable solution, but its capacity has been overwhelmed by the time the project was completed. Qatar needs a handful of such centers to tackle the burgeoning garbage disposal problem.

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About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the Founder of EcoMENA, and an international consultant, advisor, ecopreneur and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biomass energy, biogas, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. He has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as chairman, session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is the Editor-in-Chief of EcoMENA, and is a professional environmental writer with more than 300 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability in different parts of the world. Salman Zafar can be reached at or

32 Responses to Solid Waste Management in Qatar

  1. Wilfredo Angeles Sarmiento says:

    I just found your website today and I am now hooked.  Thje articles are very SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.  Can I register myself for a regular e-newsletter?  Thank you and more power!

  2. Dipankar Chowdhury says:

    I am really excited to see the articles in Ecomena website. I am interested get detail manufacturing process of Paper Bags kindly send it to me. Since I am a Power Engineer, kindly send me the regular updates of Renewable Energy System or Non Conventional Energy System.

  3. Jordi Segui says:

    Grest article!
    Would like to know more about DSWMC since we have state of the art technology for recycling and for global urban waste management
    Keep on going with these great articles!

  4. Lakshmikant says:

    thank you very much. all are very usefull articles.

    • Salman Zafar says:

      Many thanks for your kinds. Hope you have activated free email subscription of EcoMENA articles and reports.

      Best wishes

      Salman Zafar

      Founder, EcoMENA

      • Gouri says:

        We can run projects for Qatar for waste management.
        We have alliance with research labs who has done waste management to create organic fertilizers.
        There is no commercial purpose but to save environment.
        When i was in Qtara and Bahrain, I was really upset with the wastage of food, excess us of plastic, petrol issues.
        I want to make a positive difference.

  5. mahomed says:

    really a good site……..well done to all concerned ….God bless
    mahomed moola

  6. Brian C. Donnelly says:

    so much more could be done for so much less…. It is nice to see efforts to clean up the country – out of curiousity – what are you doing to feed your people? Imagine truly harnessing the power of your waste and getting energy, fertilizer and food out of it. If you have no food sovereignty, food safety or food security – what good is it if there is no garbage in the streets? If no one is there doesnt that solve your waste issue too?

  7. Ladiran Eunice Temitope says:

    read environmental health in Nigeria,and have worked with the Nigerian government.Do not know if there is an offer for me here in Qatar as am presently here

  8. F.WAHEED says:

    We are a recycling company mainly engaged in recycling of plastic waste and want to know how we can get plastic waste from Qatar

  9. Mohammed says:


    Any one in the recycling business and currently in Qatar, please contact me at



    • ana says:

      As environment part of my advocacy, I have been staying in Qatar for nearly a year now, still I do not see they promote recycling or waste segraregation… which is for me, it has to be a sustainable devleopment which means as country develops, it should promote on how to take care of the environment as well

  10. Enow Alfred Tambong says:

    I am a Cameroonian presently in Qatar.I read environmental science in the University of Buea, Cameroon.I am really glad with the way in which the State of Qatar is going about their solid waste management efforts. I which iI can be given the opportunity to take part in this global fight and therefore help to impact my environment.

  11. mahmoud says:

    We are a recycling company mainly engaged in recycling of plastic waste and want to know how we can get plastic waste from Qatar,

  12. Margarita zunga says:

    How can you get a permit to visit the landfills to search for recycled materials for a university student project?

  13. Gone through the article.
    Very practical and positive.
    We have been implementing SWM in India for 165000 households in different locations. developed WTE and Compostin(Vermi and Bio composting facilities).
    with community participation.

    So nice to read the content and i like these lines which is the key for the effective implementation of the SWM project. that is ” Legislations are necessary to ensure compliance, failure of which will attract a penalty with spot checks by the Government body entrusted with its implementation.

    Citizens can play a vital role in improving waste management scenario”

    All the very best to Qatar.

  14. Sooria Rao says:

    It is nice to know the environmental equation is very much a concern in Qatar and steps are being taken to look into improvising waste management.

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  16. Aysha says:

    Im impressed by the Waste Managment system in Qatar. I have a project in waste and leachate managment and would like to practically apply. I would like an appointment for a discussion.

  17. Amjad says:

    hi , every one .
    i want to know how to get register my company in to mucipality of qatar. and to get the latest updates of upcoming

  18. Amjad says:

    my company is into waste management .
    kindly help me to get an email so i can send a request to.

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  20. Khrionna Fides Bantug says:

    Hello. I am a company nurse in Doha and we are currently working out for our disposal plan of medical, hazardous and sharps disposal. Our clinic is still on the process of licensing so we cannot get a permit from SCH for the sharps disposal. An is it necessary to dispose medical wastes by hiring a company to cellect them? Thanks!

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  24. Looking a suitable position in waste management says:

    Dear Readers,

    I am looking a suitable position in Waste Management in Qatar as i have Operations experience in same field as well as Business Development Executive and working on same position. i am looking forward to hearing from you soon.
    you can reach me on below mail

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  26. Luzita Ball says:

    Salaams Salman,
    This is Luzita, who let you use the ‘Waste not want not’ article from The Peninsula newspaper, and I am currently visiting my husband and friends in Doha.
    Do you have up to date knowledge about household recycling collections in Doha?

    It seems that very little is happening!
    Best regards,

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