Prof. Dr. Rola Abdel Khader Abbas Al-Safi, University of Technology – Department of Applied Sciences / Branch of Medical and Industrial Materials
Prof. Dr. Abdel Hamid Rahim Mahdi Al-Sarraf, University of Baghdad / Ibn Al-Haytham College of Education / Department of Physics

The prevalence of informal and unregulated housing systems, coupled with the inability to control waste disposal systems, leads to waste accumulation and the spread of epidemics and diseases, affecting rural areas as well.
The quantity of waste is expected to multiply approximately 2.6 times in the coming few years and is projected to reach 30.4 million tons by 2050, multiplying about 7.9 times due to various human activities in Iraq.
Ignoring the recycling of this waste misses the opportunity to obtain huge amounts of paper, plastic, iron, fabrics, and organic fertilizers that could save the country billions of dollars annually spent on importing these products.
From January 1, 2012, to January 1, 2013, the Iraqi state could have produced 4.844 million tons of organic fertilizer from garbage, which could be successfully used to fertilize a portion of the agricultural land totaling 6.599 million dunams, in addition to providing food for 543.77 thousand cattle and buffaloes.
If these areas were planted with alfalfa, the quantity would increase to 14.869 million tons, doubling about 2.25 times over 38 years while saving the cost of environmentally and health-harmful chemical fertilizers.
Iraq could produce 1.868 million tons of paper equivalent in oil value to 747.2 thousand tons, 154.049 thousand tons of glass, 632.768 thousand tons of metals, and 1.898 million tons of plastics. These quantities are expected to reach 5.745 million tons of paper (equivalent to 2.249 million tons in oil value), 1.976 million tons of glass, 1.945 million tons of metals, and 5.836 million tons of plastics by 2050.
The sorted materials from the garbage in 2012 were sufficient to establish 72 factories for metals, paper, glass, plastics, organic fertilizers, and fabrics equivalent to 80.117 million dollars, while the materials that could be sorted in 2050 are expected to encourage the establishment of 223 factories for metals, paper, glass, plastics, organic fertilizers, and fabrics equivalent to 246.345 million dollars.
Consequently, these substantial investments naturally create a sustainable source of national income for Iraq. Additionally, recycling operations in Iraq help save the expenses incurred by the Ministry of Health for preventing diseases affecting humans.
Recycling provides thousands of job opportunities and stimulates income circulation and motivation in organizing the waste sector and its economy.

Download PDF