Suez have helped to launch a waste pickers cooperative in Morocco to provide decent working opportunities for locals and reduce the quantity of material going to landfill.

Located 5 km from the city centre, the Meknes landfill facility in Morocco has been operated in an uncontrolled way since 2002. Covering a surface area of approximately 25 hectares, it receives 185,000 tonnes of waste every year produced by the city’s 650,000 inhabitants.

However, since 2014, Suez have led a project to rehabilitate the site, with a major drive towards recycling, biological recovery and increased community engagement. Recycling is carried out in large sorting hangars, and a biological recovery plant produces compost from the biodegradable waste. Biogas is also captured and turned into heat energy for the heat treatment of leachate from the site.

Why you should care

Most of this work is carried out by a group of 150 sorters, who used to be waste pickers at the landfill site and now operate the site as a cooperative, helping to improve their living and working conditions. This project helps to make the recycling sector in Morocco more professional and boosts the local market for secondary raw materials, which will allow the country to lower its import levels.

How the Global Goals are addressed

Decent Work and Economic Growth

By helping the workers of the Meknes landfill and recycling facility form a cooperative, Suez have promoted a social and inclusive business model for local workers.

Climate Action

By including a methane recovery system in the new facility, it is estimated that the facility will save around 100,000 tons of CO2 equivalent every year.

Partnerships for the Goals

The partnership between Suez, the Meknes landfill site and the cooperative of local community members is helping to spread best practice with regards to waste management and community engagement.