The high rate of population growth, urbanization and economic expansion in Middle Eastern region is not only accelerating consumption rates but also accelerating the generation of municipal waste. Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Kuwait rank in the top-ten worldwide in terms of per capita waste generation. The gross urban waste generation quantity from Arab countries is estimated at more than 80 million tons annually. Open dumping is the most prevalent mode of municipal solid waste disposal in most countries.
Waste-to-energy technologies hold the potential to create renewable energy from municipal solid wastes and to generate substantial revenues in the form of carbon credits. Advanced thermal technologies, such as gasification and pyrolysis, can lead to a substantial reduction in the overall waste quantities requiring final disposal, which can be better managed for safe disposal in a controlled manner. Waste-to-energy systems can contribute substantially to GHG mitigation through both reductions of fossil carbon emissions and long-term storage of carbon in biomass wastes. CDM revenues from waste-to-energy provides a new opportunity for municipal and local authorities to channel additional investments from developed countries to their sustainable development, projects, which would simultaneously contribute to the reduction of global concentrations of greenhouse gases. Potential areas for such projects would include improved of urban planning, transportation development and energy efficiency, in addition to solid waste management.