17 January 2020
These are turbulent times for the waste management industry. On the one hand, global waste production is at an all-time high, but on the other hand, the industry is coming increasingly under fire by environmentalist elements. None the less, strong growth in this sector is predicted, even if there are substantial challenges that need to be overcome.
Waste Management in the market place Outlook
"Waste management" is a catch-all term covering all commercial methods of disposing of waste, including dumping, incineration, and recycling, along with associated activities such as collection and transportation. As an entire market, it was valued at $330.6 billion in 2017 and is expected to climb to $530 billion or more by 2025. This represents a CAGR of 6%.
Primary segments in the waste management market are based on region, service, and type of waste - municipal, industrial, and hazardous waste. Municipal waste has traditionally been the strongest of these three areas, and the continually growing human population will ensure that remains true. Industrial waste is also expected to grow significantly. Hazardous waste will grow as well but will proportionally become a shrinking piece of the overall market.
Services include collection, transportation, storage, handling, sorting, and various disposal or recycling services. Currently, disposal is forecasted to be the strongest of these services, followed by collection. As more waste is produced, the majority of time and energy will be put towards collecting and getting rid of it.
On a regional level, Europe and Asia are expected to be the primary market drivers. Europe is embracing high-tech solutions for waste management, while Asia's booming population will demand ever-more collection and disposal services.
Challenges facing waste management in the market place
Two major challenges face the industry, although both can also be perceived as opportunities.
First is the booming human population, and the boom in waste that will accompany it. According to the World Bank, 2.1 billion tons of solid waste was generated in 2016 - and this is expected to rise to roughly 3.4 billion tons by 2050. This will create significant logistical challenges and demand creative solutions.
Second is the rise of environmentalism. Companies in the waste management sector are being increasingly pressured - or outright regulated - to find environmentally friendly options. The ability of the industry to discover and promote these options will play a major part of their growth in the decade to come.
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