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2024 Global Environmental, Waste & Recycling Industry Report

Posted on April 8, 2024 By

The waste recycling services market has grown from $58.53 billion in 2023 to $62.22 billion in 2024 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.3%. Such historic growth can be attributed to:

  • Increasing awareness of environmental sustainability
  • Strict waste disposal regulations
  • Higher volumes of generated waste
  • Growing emphasis on resource conservation
  • Regulatory pressures to limit the use of landfills


The market is expected to grow strongly over the next few years, growing at a CAGR of 6% to reach $78.43 billion by 2028. This growth will be stimulated by:

  • The adoption of circular economy practices
  • Government initiatives for waste reduction and recycling
  • Increasing demand for recycled materials
  • Expansion of e-waste recycling services
  • Increasing urbanization


Market Segmentation

 The waste recycling services market is segmented by:

  • Waste Type: Compost & Food Waste, Glass & Fiberglass, Metal Scraps, Waste Paper,         and other
  • Service: Collection Service, Disposable Service
  • Application: Municipal, Agricultural, Construction, Industrial, and other

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The paper and paperboard segment has led the market since 2020, accounting for more than 41% of the global revenue share. This is due to the increased generation of paper waste through packaging and containers. As the e-commerce sector continues to grow, it is driving high demand for packaging, which is expected to positively impact the recycling of paper and paperboard in the coming years.


The municipal segment has led the market since 2020, accounting for 53.4% of the global revenue share. Municipalities are adopting favorable policy decisions regarding waste management designed to avoid the adverse effects of waste, recover resources, realize economic, environmental, & social advantages, and shift towards a more sustainable future.

Key Market Drivers and Trends

 Major trends in the sector include:

  • Development of recycling technologies
  • Integration of robotics and automation in recycling facilities
  • Innovation in the recycling of construction and demolition waste
  • Implementation of intelligent waste management systems


Growing awareness surrounding plastic pollution is driving the growth of the waste and recycling market. Plastic pollution is the buildup of synthetic plastic particles in the environment, posing a threat to human health, animals, and their habitats, and it is also thought to contribute to climate change. Many governments are enacting new policies that will reduce the use of plastic and raise awareness of this type of pollution.

Technological developments are also shaping the waste recycling services market, such as those that convert waste into energy with biogas. Plasma-arc recycling uses a hot plasma torch to recover most metal in vehicles and objects. Smart sensors employ ultrasonic beams to assess bin fill levels. These types of sensors can detect garbage material in various bins and containers.

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Data and data collection are critical trends in many areas of resources and waste policy. This includes:

  • Voluntary implementation of Digital Waste Tracking systems in 2024 (ahead of mandatory implementation in 2025)
  • New sampling and reporting requirements under Extended Producer Responsibility           (EPR)
  • Monitoring and reporting requirements emerging for energy recovery

There has been a rapidly increasing global demand for electronic devices of all types in both commercial and household settings. Such increased adoption of advanced digital technologies drives worldwide production and consumption of related devices, leading to a high volume of e-waste. E-waste contains hazardous materials such as beryllium, calcium, and lead, so this type of waste needs special attention for disposal and recycling. As the volume of e-waste grows, the market will need to advance to accommodate waste-recycling services globally.

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The waste sector's defensive nature makes it attractive for private equity and infrastructure firms. Solid waste and the more fragmented environmental services segment have ongoing consolidation and growth opportunities.

Investments in technology for capturing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions are growing due to the increased focus on landfill methane. Organics recycling infrastructure is also seeing incremental growth. Some of these projects are receiving historic grant funding from the EPA that will continue to emerge.

The global municipal solid waste (MSW) volume is anticipated to grow to 3.4 billion tons by 2050. Participants in this sector expect to pursue acquisitions to scale operations to accommodate this increased waste volume.


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Europe: Michael Lawrie at +44 (0) 161 359 4400 /

Africa: Anthony McCardle at +27 21 300 2055 / 


Benchmark International is a global M&A firm that provides business owners with creative, value-maximizing solutions for growing and exiting their businesses. Benchmark International has handled over $11 billion in transaction value across various industries from offices across the world. With decades of M&A experience, Benchmark International’s transaction teams have assisted business owners with achieving their objectives and ensuring the continued growth of their businesses. The firm has also been named the Investment Banking Firm of the Year by The M&A Advisor and the Global M&A Network as well as the #1 Sell-side Exclusive M&A Advisor in the World by Pitchbook’s Global League Tables.





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