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Waste Management and Recycling Environmental Technology Energy West Bank and Gaza

West Bank Environmental Technology Solid Waste Management

Solid Waste Management in the West Bank

Municipal Solid Waste in the West Bank is a major challenge facing Palestinians for its environmental, health, economic, and social impact. Over the years, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has passed several laws related to solid waste management, such as the Local Authorities Law, Environmental Rule of Law, Public Health Law, Solid Waste Management Bylaws, and the Joint Services Council Bylaws. In addition to these laws, a solid waste management strategy was developed by the PA between 2017-2022.  Among its goals were policies related to waste minimization through reduction, recycling, and reusing.  Waste can be reduced either by separation at source or by diversion through recycling and waste-to-energy investments.      

Municipal waste is collected mainly by local government units, such as municipalities and village councils, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugee camps. The Ministry of Local Government’s Joint Services Council is responsible for regional collection, operation of transfer stations, and sanitary landfills.  Around 54% of solid waste is collected by the Joint Services Council and the remaining part is collected by local government units and UNRWA.  

There are 15 transfer stations in the West Bank that receive collected solid waste and perform sorting treatment and recycling before sending to three regional sanitary landfills: Zahrat Al Finjan in Jenin in the northern part of the West Bank, Al-Minya in Bethlehem in the southern part, and Jericho landfill in the eastern part.  Since it is challenging to establish a sanitary landfill in the West Bank’s central area, there are around 80 random dumpsites specifically near Ramallah.  

Solid Waste Categories

Palestinians generate around 1.2 million tons of municipal solid waste in the West Bank and the estimated per capita generation rate is around 1Kg per day. Generated waste is composed of organics, plastics, paper, metal, glass, and others.  Organic waste in the form of food and green waste accounts for 46% of the total, followed by 16% plastics and 14% paper.  Good U.S. export potential exists for technologies related to the treatment of organics, plastics, and paper wastes.


Waste-to-energy is the process of converting municipal solid waste into energy.  The three most used technologies are thermal conversion by incineration, biological conversion, and landfills gasification.  Due to the amount, characteristic, and composition of solid waste in the West Bank, incineration is considered the most reliable and economical technology for electricity generation especially if the content is 9-13 MJ/Kg.  Waste-to-energy technologies will also increase Palestinian generation of electricity, secure local energy resources, implement a solution to solid waste disposal, and reduce waste by up to 90%.

Palestinian municipalities are actively looking for waste-to-energy technologies to reduce municipal waste and the high cost of transferring municipal solid waste to landfills.  With appropriate private sector investments and Palestinian government support, there could be good potential for U.S. companies that specialize in solid waste management and recycling. Interested U.S. companies should contact Senior Commercial Specialist, Assad Barsoum, at the U.S. Commercial Service in Jerusalem.