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Waste management in Mauritius

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Wastes are those materials that are no longer useable or needed and are thus disposed of; they include materials like paper, plastic, metal, organic materials etc. Waste management is the collection, transport, processing and monitoring of these wastes; it comprises of three main aspects: reduce, reuse and recycle. Wastes are produced as a result of consumption and while Mauritius finds itself in a state of rapid development with an increasing level of consumption, the level of waste production has increased too. In one way or another, waste has obviously to be disposed of and in Mauritius this is done mainly by burial at the sole landfill of Mare Chicose.

Waste management
The Ministry of Local Government and Outer Islands is the responsible body for dealing with waste in Mauritius. Each locality has the responsibility of dealing with waste in their respective areas. All solid wastes are collected by scavengers in the respected localities and then taken to transfer stations where they are compacted; there are five transfer stations namely at Poudre d’Or, Roche Bois, La Brasserie, St Martin and La Laura. The ministry also provides for disposal facilities at public places such as beaches, motorways, housing estates through private contractors. A number of private waste firms are found in Mauritius such as SGS, Sotravic, Securiclean, Maxiclean Co Ltd, Atics Ltd to name a few.

Disposal of condemned goods and hazardous wastes
Once certain goods have been declared as being unfit for use and condemned, they are disposed of at Mare Chicose in the presence of agents of the ministry, the generator as well as people from the Ministry of Health. The goods are buried early in the morning on a specific day after which the ministry issues a certificate of disposal to the generator.
As for hazardous wastes, based on the Environmental Protection Regulations on hazardous wastes, such companies have to abide by specific rules and produce quarterly reports of good maintenance to the appropriate enforcing agency.

Radioactive wastes
These are dealt with by the Radiation Protection Board and Physics Department of the Ministry of Health and all regulations have to be respected under the Radiation Protection Bill 2003.

Waste water management
The Waste Water Authority, under the aegis of the Ministry of Renewable Energy and Public Utilities, is responsible for dealing with waste water. They are involved in maintaining and monitoring waste water systems in Mauritius and making sure that treatments are done as per environmental conditions.

Landfill
Found in the south east of Mauritius, Mare Chicose is the only landfill in Mauritius where wastes are disposed of. While in the past wastes were dumped in open dumping sites, for aesthetic and environmental reasons (leaching, pest proliferation, diseases), the landfill was built with an average lifespan of 18 years. But as the level of consumption has increased dramatically over the years, the lifespan has been reduced to half the original one.
In an attempt to reduce the waste load at the landfill and in the optic of a greener Mauritius, a new project of waste to energy is being implemented at La Chaumiere, where a facility will produce energy from the putrefying waste.

Recycling
Recycling is a green means of dealing with waste where used materials are not thrown away but rather turned into new products. For instance, used paper can be reused and turned into gift wraps, cards, notebooks etc. Recycling encompasses resource conservation and environmental preservation though it is not used on a large scale in Mauritius.

Composting
It has been found that 70% of the waste load at the landfill consists of organic materials. Composting is thus a good means of dealing with these wastes such that they lighten the load at Mare Chicose, while compost can be of home use for gardens or even commercial use for farms where there is less dependency of chemical products. However, composting too is done on a small scale in Mauritius.

gices
gices Published 10 Sep 2011

3 Comments

Bhimun_Tanny 15 Jun 2013

Good for source separation/using waste for composting...but we should better see inside our society to check for feasibility of separate bins applications and how to apply rules and regs...also compost centres and transfer station locations should be well calculated to min dist time use of fuel and workers comm. we should dev employments and new creative entreP skills...also we should study how to apply a performance LF where we could first digest waste to produce kitchen gas without however polluting the air...and use the rest for composting...all waste like clinical should be incinerated...studying all fractions of waste is the main way to understand how to adopt an Int SWM...in Mauritius. paybacks and drop offs are also good alts for recycling inorg wastes...ABOVE ALL I BELIEVE WILLINGNESS SHOULD BE FROM FIRST THE GOV TO INVEST AND THE PARA STATAL ORGS / PUB TO COMMIT!

anonymous_4 09 Jul 2012

what are ways to sensitise people`s awareness about the necessity of recycling plastics bottles?

anonymous_4 29 May 2013

force them to pay for that bottle and then use a pay back system for collection of these bottles