Industrial solid waste management encompasses a vital part of developed and developing countries strategies alike. It manages waste generated from vital industries and governs the hazardous waste generated as a major component of integrated waste management strategies. This article reviews the practices that govern the management approaches utilized in the developed world for industrial spent catalysts. It critically assesses the current situation of waste management within the developing world region focusing on the industrial waste component, in a novel attempt to crucially develop a strategy for a way forward based on best practices and future directions with major European industries. The review also draws parallels with European countries to compare their practices with those of the State of Kuwait, which rely solely on landfilling for the management of its industrial waste. Spent catalysts recovery methods are discussed at length covering conventional methods of valuable metals and chemicals recovery (e.g., hydrometallurgical, solid-liquid and liquid-liquid extraction) as well as biological recovery methods. A major gap exists within regulations that govern the practice of managing industrial waste in Kuwait, where it is essential to start regulating industries that generate spent catalysts in-view of encouraging the establishment of valorization industries for metal and chemical recovery. This will also create a sustainable practice within state borders, and can reduce the environmental impact of landfilling such waste in Kuwait.
Keywords: Spent catalysts; extraction; hydrometallurgical treatment; industrial waste; waste management.