A review on waste management and compost production in the Middle East–North Africa region
Over the last two decades, solid waste management in the Middle East–North Africa (MENA) region has been one of the major challenges due to increasing solid waste quantities and poor waste management practices. With the tremendously increasing amounts of organic waste, MENA countries are under great pressure and are facing the threats of acute air pollution, contamination of water bodies and climate change. As a result, these countries are adopting different methods to cope with this rising challenge of waste management, including composting. This review reports on the different MENA countries’ organic waste quantities, disposal methods, organic waste management practices and challenges, along with the potential use and demand of compost, where information is available. The reported data are from 2009 to 2021, with the bulk of the papers being from 2014 and onwards. The total amount of municipal waste collected in the 21 countries ranged from 0.56 million tons in Mauritania to 90 million tons in Egypt, with an average of 16.42 million tons, equivalent to 1.08 kg per capita waste generation per day. Around 55% of this material is biogenous. Many treatments and repurposing methods of this material are adopted in the MENA region, mainly through composting, as it presents one of the most sustainable solutions that lead to immediate climate change mitigation. This article also presents the biotic and abiotic stressors faced by this region, which in turn affect the successful implementation of composting solutions, and proposes some solutions based on different studies conducted.