Three men working at a landfill.

Supporting activities that turn waste to energy

Waste Disposal with positive effect / Waste to (positive) Energy

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  • Commissioning Party

    Federal German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Cofinancier

    European Union (EU)

  • Country
  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2015 to 2025

  • Products and expertise

    Climate, environment, management of natural resources


The Syrian refugee crisis poses a great challenge to Jordan. More than 660,000 of the approximately ten million inhabitants are registered Syrian refugees, but unofficial estimates are far higher. Around 80 per cent of them live in cities and municipalities, and most of them have resided in the country since 2015. As a result, the amount of waste has also grown significantly and littering has increased further. Jordan’s waste management was inadequate even before the crisis, and the situation has gotten worse with the growth in the population. Moreover, these grievances also lead to conflicts between the local population and the Syrian refugees who have moved there.


Tensions between the Jordanian population and Syrian Refugees are being relieved by joint projects that are also improving the country’s waste problems.

A group of men sitting at a table.


The project is improving Jordan’s waste problem with a number of measures, which include:

  • Introducing more efficient waste management and creating employment opportunities in the waste sector. Jordanian and Syrian workers collect rubbish, separate recyclable materials and prepare them for sale. This brings local communities and refugees closer, improves the hygiene situation and stops the spread of diseases. Moreover, collecting recyclable materials relieves overloaded landfills.
  • Setting up dialogue platforms and awareness-raising events, allowing various community groups to exchange ideas on waste and the environment, which supports peaceful coexistence in the communities.
  • Constructing a biogas plant in the Za’atari Camp, which allows an environmentally friendly and cost-efficient disposal of sewage sludge.
  • Supporting informal garbage collectors who suffer under poor working conditions by informing them about health and safety at work.
  • Teaching the populace about recycling and environmental protection in an information and awareness-raising campaign to change behaviour and develop a greater environmental consciousness.

Successful activities from pilot projects will be expanded across Jordan. Cooperation between German and Jordanian universities also improves academic competence in waste management issues.

Last update: July 2023