In the truancy of a methodical waste recycling system here in Tunisia, some entrepreneurs have established provisions devoted to growing tonnes of plastic waste, which is becoming a load in the country.
This is the case of African Recycling, a company located in Mghira, near the capital Tunis, where waste is weighed, classified, and cut into fine chips for industrial use.
Collected by hand in the streets and bins of the city by “barbechas”, informal collectors, the waste prepared by the company each year amounts to 6,000 tonnes.
“The state is paying about 150 to 200 dinars (about €46 to €61) per tonne to landfill this waste and to transport it. Many investors in Europe have invested in waste to make money. In Tunisia, until today, it is the state that pays for the landfill,” explained Tarek Masmoudi, owner of the company African Recycling.
If you want to have solutions, you have to have a fixed policy, and you can’t change it. And that’s what we’ve had in Tunisia. We’ve had a lot of changes and each time we come back to the starting point. People can’t wait any longer. The state, the people in government, have lost their trustworthiness.
Tunisia produces 2.6 million tonnes of waste every year.
Of the 85 % of waste that ends up in formal and informal landfills, only 4% – 7% is recycled.
A company like African Recycling sorts the waste and indirectly provides work for about 200 people.