Source segregation enables the identification of recyclable and recoverable materials, diverting them away from landfills.
Developing a Comprehensive Strategy for Waste-to-Resource Transformation in Mauritius
August 3, 2023
A workshop dedicated to the development of regulations to implement segregation of solid wastes at source in Mauritius, was held by the Ministry of Environment, Solid Waste Management, and Climate Change (Solid Waste Management Division) in collaboration with the UNDP Mauritius CO in Balaclava yesterday, 3 August 2023. Various stakeholders attended this event which focussed on the drafting of a regulatory framework to improve the country’s resource recovery and recycling while tapping into the potential of solid wastes.
Mauritius faces a pressing waste management challenge, with over 10 million tons of wastes already buried at the Mare Chicose landfill since its establishment in 1997. The landfill's capacity is being stretched to its limits, and projections show an alarming increase in waste intake, reaching 650,000 tons in 2023 with an annual growth rate of 2.5%. Given the country’s limited amount of space for waste disposal and a significant rise in waste production, solutions allowing to manage wastes more sustainably have become critical.
Framing a strategy to harness waste at the source
In collaboration with the UNDP Mauritius country office, the Solid Waste Management Division of the Ministry of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change is setting a new strategy to harness waste sustainably by implementing effective regulations on source segregation. A new regulatory framework is presently being drafted to ensure the separate storage and transportation of wastes generated from target domestic, commercial, institutional, and industrial waste generators. Source segregation enables the identification of recyclable and recoverable materials, diverting them away from landfills. This approach unlocks the potential of various waste categories, turning them into valuable resources for more sustainable practices. The regulatory framework will also stress on a holistic approach of solid waste management, focussing on the roles and obligations of all stakeholders in the value chain and on the promotion of responsible consumption and production practices.
The Honourable Kavydass Ramano, Minister of Environment, Solid Waste Management and Climate Change stressed on the global importance of solid waste management, noting its environmental, sanitary, and economic impact. He highlighted the waste segregation strategy of his Ministry to divert up to 70% of wastes from Mauritius' landfill and emphasized the need for collective efforts and strong public-private partnerships to transition to a circular economy. Honourable Kavydass Ramano equally acknowledged further UNDP's support in drafting the Waste Management and Resource Recovery Act, which was enacted in April 2023.
Mr. Jean-Lindsay Azie, Team Leader of UNDP's Environment Unit, highlighted the significance of drafting Waste Segregation at Source Regulations, which will greatly enhance waste management and create market opportunities while promoting sustainable practices. He encouraged the participatory approach which is being favoured by the project. Mr. Azie emphasized on the continuous support the UNDP has been providing to the Government of Mauritius in the Waste sector with mention about two other UNDP ongoing projects, which include the ISLANDS Project and the Review and update of the National Implementation Plan for the Stockholm Convention. He expressed gratitude to the Government of Mauritius for their trust in UNDP, emphasizing that the drafting of Waste Segregation at Source Regulations will be a crucial turning point in waste management.
The workshop additionally facilitated a presentation on the Waste Management and Recovery Resource Act 2023, delivered by Mr. Beerachee, the Director of the Solid Waste Management Division. Other presentations were delivered by Ms. Moremi Kelebodile, International Legal Expert, and Professor Toolseeram Ramjeawon, a Local Solid Waste Management Expert, covering essential topics on regional and international waste sorting regulations and criteria for segregation of solid wastes at source, respectively. The event included constructive group discussions focusing on waste segregation across diverse sectors such as residential, commercial, hospitality, and industrial, including medical establishments. These discussions aimed to foster comprehensive insights and strategies for effective waste management in each respective field.