Current status and future perspectives of solid waste management in Iran: a critical overview of Iranian metropolitan cities

  • Parveen Fatemeh Rupani
  • Reza Maleki Delarestaghi
  • Madjid Abbaspour
  • Mohammad Mobin Rupani
  • Hany S. EL-MeseryEmail author
  • Weilan ShaoEmail author
Review Article


By growing urban population, Iran faces numerous environmental issues and solid waste management is on the top of these problems. Studies showed that a daily average of 700–1000 g of wastes are produced per person in Iran, in which organic waste accounts for a significant amount. On the other hand, hospital waste represents a part of the wastes, which need careful consideration from the environmental point of view. In the present study, the amount, composition, and management of urban and hospital wastes were evaluated in 7 Iranian metropolises, which account for about 30% of the population and produce about 35% of the country wastes. Based on prior surveys, landfill method is the current main method for waste management in these cities, which is generally not completely sanitary and therefore causes many environmental problems. The other common methods for waste management in these cities are composting of organic wastes, and the use of waste conversion methods to energy. However, the latter is ongoing only in Tehran which also includes some limitations. Therefore, the study also evaluated the future perspectives and feasibility of waste-to-energy conversion as a promising economic route for waste disposal.


Solid wastes Hospital wastes Landfill Composting Renewable energy 



Reduction, reuse, and recycling


Fat, oil, and grease


Greenhouse gases


Landfill gas


Municipal solid waste


Public-private partnership



The authors appreciate the effort of Professor Abd El-Fatah Abomohra (New Energy Department, School of Energy and Power Engineering, Jiangsu University) for his guidance and advice on this manuscript.

Funding information

The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 30970062; 31770089).


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environment and safety EngineeringJiangsu UniversityZhenjiangChina
  2. 2.Department of Environmental EngineeringUniversity of TehranTehranIran
  3. 3.Department of mechanical EngineeringSharif UniversityTehranIran
  4. 4.MJIITUniversity Technology Malaysia (UTM)Kuala LumpurMalaysia
  5. 5.School of Energy and Power EngineeringJiangsu UniversityZhenjiangChina
  6. 6.Department of Crop Handling and Processing, Agricultural Engineering Research Institute, Agricultural Research CenterGizaEgypt

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