Our Influential Series 2022

January 3 2023
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WASCO (Waste Collection and Recycling Company) headquartered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is the largest waste paper collection company in the Middle East and Africa (MENA) region. It recycles about 500,000 tonnes of paper per year which represents approx. 50 per cent of the total recovered waste paper in Saudi Arabia. WASCO operates one SPV (estidama), three Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs), and 18 waste paper collection centers across KSA and operates in neighbouring countries (Jordan) as well. It is the subsidiary of MEPCO (Middle East Paper Company), which is one of the largest recycled paper manufacturers in the Middle East and Africa region. WASCO recovers other recyclable materials, mainly plastics and metals through its well-established infrastructure.


WASCO managed to achieve a significant increment in the variance of contribution margin at 27 per cent for the period from January to September 2022 compared with the same period of 2021. Since 2021, Wasco completed the development of five-year business continuity strategies with the coordination of consultancy firms such as Ronald Berger; completed the automation process and implementation of ERP system and related modules; launched optical sorting system in Al-Hasa MRF and contracted with five major companies to supply WASCO with recoverable materials. WASCO also launched Estidama, a special purpose vehicle, in Q4-2021 in partnership with Jeddah Development and Urban Regeneration Company, the investment arm of Jeddah municipality. The main objectives of establishing Estidama are to develop the waste management market in Jeddah city; to promote circular economy by maximizing the recovery rate of recoverable materials generated from commercial sector; secure feedstock for local industries and to reduce random illegal trading of recyclables in local market through a monitoring programme.


WASCO is considered the biggest contributor to waste diversion and minimisation in the country. WASCO deals with a wide range of commercial and industrial sectors, to collect recoverable materials from the source, which directly affects the raising of diversion rate and minimization of waste. The sorting rate has experienced significant increment after launching the second sorting line backed with the optical sorting technology. Since its inception, WASCO has been committed to developing the Waste Management sector in Saudi Arabia, utilizing its resources and expertise to contribute to making the local market an attractive investment environment. The company developed the categorisation and defining of recoverable materials including paper, plastic and metals. It has established an organised operational policy and procedures for this business. It embraces advanced technologies such as ERP system for administration, GPS tracking system for the vehicle fleet, in addition to optical sorting system in the MRF.


WASCO targets to double its yearly collection quantity within the coming decade, expanding the business scope covering Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) production, and Waste to Energy (WTE). The company also aims to adopt the latest primary processing technology in managing municipal landfills. The ultimate goal is to increase the recovery rate, and quality of recyclable materials in sorting lines.


“WASCO prioritises partners’ success, whether they are recoverable materials suppliers or purchasers, and decided to invest in a Partner Success Program to help customers and suppliers in reaching the highest level of benefits from dealing with the company. It is more than a customer service function. The programme has stages every partner goes through to end up with a road map to work on. It includes determination of the partner’s goal of working with WASCO and development of a plan for success by the Research & Development Dept, among others”, says the company WASCO has become a major partner for big and emerging businesses across sectors – from material collectors, recyclers or even businesses generating recoverable materials out of the field such as: hypermarkets and factories from various industries.