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Business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan’s 2018 Global Waste Recycling Market Outlook discusses the trends changing the landscape of the waste recycling industry. The study predicts global waste market revenue is likely to increase from $265.4 billion in 2017, to 282.1 billion in 2018. This doesn't include the plastic waste recycling industry, which alone is estimated at $37.6 billion.

Gaining momentum is electronic waste (e-waste), which generated close to 48.2 million tonnes in 2017. Even so, only 20-25% of total e-waste was collected and recycled, the remainder landfilled or disposed of unsafely or illegally. This is likely to persist in the absence of stringent regulations, closed-loop supply chains, and greater producer responsibility. China made a market-altering decision when it announced a ban on the import of 24 categories of recyclables and solid waste by the end of 2017. This decision will force the world's biggest waste importers to build new recycling infrastructure or look to other Southeast Asian countries for waste management.

The analysis also forecasts waste volumes, revenues, services and recycling opportunities generated by different waste streams. Segments covered include: municipal solid waste (MSW), industrial non-hazardous waste, waste electrical and electronics, construction and demolition waste, and plastic waste.

"The waste recycling market, like its end-user industries, is experiencing disruptive changes due to the advent of advanced digital technologies. For example, smart waste bins with IoT capabilities will play a significant role in changing the way waste is collected and sorted,” says energy and environment research analyst Deepthi Kumar Sugumar.

Additionally, technologies are giving rise to business models such as commercial waste collection zones, which allow haulers to invest in infrastructure improvement and introduce inventive methods for MSW collection. Sugumar also mentions 3D printing technologies and augmented reality (AR) as important technologies set to disrupt the waste management market. Though these technologies are still evolving, they have the potential to change the future of waste reduction and management.

To download a sample of the analysis, click here.