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  • Célestin Toeset

Going all in: Morocco’s strategy to make solid waste management circular

For those following the Moroccan sustainable transition, the recent investment of 7 million dirhams (equivalent to €648 million or DKK 4.8 billion) for circular solid waste management operations might not come as a surprise. Spearheaded by Leila Benali, minister of Energy Transition and Sustainable Development, the Kingdom’s already impressive collection of projects have seen it rise as a beacon for circularity in Africa. Ranked 70th in the Sustainable Development Report, it is second only to Tunisia (58th) and promises to rise as its initiatives start to yield noticeable results. Following this rationale, the ministry has decided to carry this momentum forward and introduce several circular projects in six pilot cities across the Kingdom. 

Slated to be host cities for the 2030 FIFA World Cup, Rabat, Casablanca, Tangier, Fez, Marrakech, and Agadir will see a gradual implementation of a number of waste management strategies as outlined in the ministry’s most recent roadmap. The plan hinges on a multi-pronged approach to waste management. Firstly, it proposes the implementation of selective waste collection systems, allowing for efficient sorting and processing of recyclable and compostable materials. Secondly, dedicated waste processing plants will be constructed in the designated cities to handle the influx of sorted waste streams. Public awareness campaigns will be a crucial component, educating citizens about responsible waste management practices like sorting, composting, and waste reduction to minimise overall pollution.

Innovation also plays its part with the planned development of biofuels derived from household waste. The ministry aims to launch a program converting the above-mentioned waste into Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF), a potential substitute for fossil fuels in cement production. This initiative aims to produce 680,000 tonnes of biofuel annually, contributing significantly to a reduction in CO2 emissions. To ensure effective program execution, an additional €278 million will be allocated to support RDF production. A central government entity will be established to oversee the project and tasked with implementing the national waste management strategy, providing technical and financial assistance to local authorities, and establishing regulations for waste management practices.

The Kingdom also intends to introduce Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), mandating producers to consider environmental impact throughout their production cycles and take responsibility for the end-of-life management of their products. By embracing a circular economy approach and fostering responsible waste management practices, Morocco aspires to establish itself as a global model for cleanliness. As renewable power generation in the country sits at 16.9%, this initiative has the potential to not only improve sanitation within the Kingdom but also contribute to a more sustainable future.


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