talking organic waste in Morocco.
Morocco disposes yearly of around 60 million tons of organic waste, of different dry matter content: This comes from three sources, agriculture, agro-industry and households.
In this chapter we want to take a closer look at household waste and its specific problematic, with a focus on Morocco.
breaking down household waste in Morocco.
60-70% of Morocco’s household and assimilated waste is organic, 65-75% of which is water, making water sometimes a lot more than 50% of the total, and creates the associated problem that is known as leachate.
15 up to 25% is recyclables, where paper and cardboard makes up 6-10%, plastics 6-10%, metal 1-4%, glass 1-4%. A lot of the recyclables never makes it to the landfill, but is recuperated and valorized by the informal sector. So even more organic and wet matter ends up on the landfill.
There is no source separation of household waste.
it’s the organic.
Certainly, we should avoid dumping plastic, paper, metals and glass and rather reuse and recycle these materials. But they are not the reason for the massive sanitary and environmental problems on the landfills.
It’s mainly humid, organic, biodegradable waste that is landfilled.
- like fruit and vegetable waste from markets,
- slaughterhouse waste,
- restaurant waste,
- or fish and other food processing waste.
And it’s the organics that cause all the nuisances like odors, flies, birds, greenhouse gas emissions, and most costly leachate production that needs to be dealt with.
Landfilling of organic biodegradable waste was banned in several European countries, like Germany, Sweden, Belgium and others in the early 2000. With the landfill directive (1999/31/EC), Europe has set targets for 2020 for all member states to continuously reduce the amount of organic matter that goes to landfills, and thus reduce greenhouse gas emissions of waste.
a national plan for waste.
Since the introduction of the national household waste program of Morocco (programme national des déchets ménagers PNDM), the collection rate has gone up to 90%, and most landfill sites with a few exceptions have been converted into controlled sites.
Now the recycling and valorization centers are being installed, equipped with sorting facilities such as trommel and conveyor belt, and assisted with workers to sort plastics, paper and cartons, glass and metals. These recycling and valorization centers aim at
- collecting more recyclables,
- produce raw RDF (refuse derived fuel) from plastics and contaminated organics after drying,
- and sometimes compost from green-cut matter.
While these installations may be ideal to supply cheap RDF fuel, these facilities have their limits:
many recyclables are already being diverted long before arrival on the landfill, only some 5% is being recycled,
- most of Morocco’s waste problems stem from its mostly organic and wet nature. The contaminated organic from the trommel separation process will still go straight to the dump.
contaminated organics are NOT for anaerobic digestion.
Separated ‘organics’ from the trommel are still, to a high degree, mixed with everything else. Without enhanced and expensive sorting, this matter is not a suitable substrate for anaerobic digestion and cannot be used as a compost or bio-fertilizer. Eventually, it will still be landfilled.
the new model.
generizon’s solution eyes pure, clean organics for anaerobic wet digestion, the potential is huge, it is doable, with relatively small efforts upstream that have huge economic and environmental benefits downstream.
The idea is to start small with 3, 5 or 7% of the total waste in a particular city. Digesters are modular installations, each taking 50-70t/day of pure organic waste that is available in aggregated form.
It is as much about gaining experience with the specifics of Moroccan organic waste streams as it is about achieving a general acceptance for a technology that is new in Morocco,
- that delivers clean and 100% sustainable waste treatment,
- without landfilling,
- without leachate production,
- without greenhouse gas emissions,
- without odors and other sanitary and environmental impacts.
Anaerobic digestion will always coexist side by side with many other valorization technics. As it takes care of the wettest waste streams it makes life easier for waste sorting, drying for RDF production, incineration and even pyrolysis.
Read the methane potential of urban organic household waste in Morocco, realistic 20-30 waste treatment plants in Morocco, leachate in Morocco, generizon’s modular 50t/d solution for Morocco’s organic waste.