The Governorate of Erbil in Kurdistan Region-Iraq is the largest and the most populated in the Kurdistan region confined by Mosul, Dohuk, Kirkuk and Sulaimaniya governorates. Kurdistan region, in general, has endured deprivation and neglect since the establishment of the country Iraqi State in 1921. More recently, in the last few decades, it was subjected to double embargo by both the UN resolution and the regime. The current development has started in earnest in all domains including construction, economy and infrastructure in 2003.
Throughout the region's modern history, solid waste has been discarded without due concern or attention to the environmental issues. All types of waste (domestic, commercial, construction, industrial and others including hospital waste) have been dumped in "conveniently" located open spaces (often topographical depressions) at the peripheral of the towns and cities of the region. In recent years waste impact on health and environment has been noticed in consequence to the major expansion in population and urbanization compounded by significant changes in lifestyle and dietary types and levels of consumption.
In general there is lack of control over collection, transportation and dumping of wastes in the Governorate. The majority of wastes collected by Municipalities or by private contractors is disposed of in open dumps and often burned. Large heaps to small mountains of refuse on the outskirts of the major cities can be observed. Against this backdrop UNICEF conceived the development of a Solid Waste Management Master Plan for Erbil governorate/ KRG with funding from the European Union (EU). Through this project UNICEF will support the Ministry of Municipalities and Tourism (MMT) / Kurdistan regional Government (KRG) in its endeavor to improve the waste management services in Erbil. The Master Plan would form the basis for strategic planning and investment for effective management of the solid waste in the Governorate.
The main objective of Erbil Governorate Solid Waste Management Master plan is: "To instill the principles of environmentally sound management of solid waste into the solid waste departments of Erbil governorate while bringing about a significant improvement in their capacity to manage solid wastes effectively. In this context the Master Plan aims to critically review the prevailing waste management practices and suggest recommendations for improvement, laying the groundwork for short, longer term investments and provides a contextually relevant template for developing similar governorate level master plans in the region."
The master plan for Erbil include the following: