Over the last three years, the government has accelerated improvements to the country’s recycling, waste management and sanitation infrastructure as part of the roll out of Morocco’s Charter for Environment adopted in 2014 and in preparation for the 22nd UN Conference on Climate Change in Marrakech in November 2016.

Managing Waste 

The government initiated a Dh40bn (€3.7bn) national programme in 2008 aimed at improving waste collection and recycling, as well as overhauling the country’s landfills. The strategy has borne fruit, with official waste collection rates doubling from 44% to 85.2% between 2008 and 2016. This has been aided in part by the construction of 22 new landfill and trash treatment centres ( centres d’enfouissement et de valorisation, CEV), which provide a capacity of 3.37m tonnes of waste handling per year – the equivalent of roughly 53% of Morocco’s total household waste. Three additional CEVs are currently under construction in Tangiers, Casablanca and Khenifra, which should enable Morocco to treat 81% of its household waste upon completion.

In conjunction with this, the authorities have also set out to address household behaviour via the National Programme for Household Waste Management of 2008, which looks to promote recycling and waste reconversion for a selection of highly polluting products. The strategy is primarily focused on polychrobiphenyls, batteries, paper-cardboard and plastic-based products. “Our main objective has been to consolidate the principle of shared responsibility by encouraging industries to take their responsibilities and organise themselves to reduce pollution,” according to Hakima El Haite, minister of environment. To this end a series of eco-taxes have been implemented for waste batteries, prompting producers and importers to create a consortium for recovering and reprocessing waste batteries. “Similarly in the plastic sector, we have implemented an eco-tax whose revenues will finance the development of a recycling channel of plastics products,” El Haite said.

Authorities are also working on setting up new recycling channels for lubricants, tyres and edible oils, as well as conducting studies on the potential for recycling electronic waste, construction and demolition waste, and spare car parts waste.

In addition, the state is looking to provide support to what is a predominantly informal and small-scale workforce that has accounted for the majority of activity in the recycling and waste collection sector in the past. “We aim at setting up a structured collecting and sorting channel, which will include the rag-pickers that still play a major role in recycling activities,” El Haite told local media. The state expects that this drive will lead to the creation of 10,000 and 11,000 jobs in the liquid and solid waste management segments, respectively, by 2020.

Water Sanitation

Government efforts also extend to water management, with the creation of the Dh50bn (€4.6bn) National Programme for Water Treatment in 2005. The project aims to generalise the collection, treatment and reuse of 80% of waste-water by 2020, and 100% by 2030.

Since its implementation, the programme has led to steady improvements, with a total of 750m cu metres of wastewaster treated in 2015 compared to 600m cu metres in 2005. The water system connection rate has also increased to 74% from 70% in 2005, while the sewage treatment rate stood at around 42% in 2015 compared to 8% in 2005. This is in large part a result of the construction of a vast new water sanitation infrastructure, comprising 102 wastewater treatment plants, with an additional 63 installations currently under construction.

Lastly, the National Strategy for Water launched in 2009 aims to save and mobilise 2.5bn cu metres of water through projects related to rainwater capture, non-conventional water sources and dams.