Recycling in Mauritius
until recently the recycling of household waste has been negligible.
Certainly many of us who come from countries where it is compulsory
to sort your waste ready for collection and recycling have been
concerned about what to do with our tins, glass, paper and plastic.
Some of the larger supermarkets have had plastic recycling bins
for some time, but what about all our other waste? With the establishment
of the NGO Mission Verte in 2007 the situation has begun to change,
and there are now around 16 recycling centres around
the island (see right column). The NGO's aim is to raise public
awareness about the need to reduce, re-use and recycle household
waste. Their efforts are largely aimed at promoting the sorting
and deposit of paper/cardboard, tins and plastic by the general
public for collection by local companies for recycling, but they
are also keen to encourage composting
of green waste by individuals.
Mare Chicose is home to the island's only household waste landfill
site. Created in the 1990s, this landfill is under pressure due
to the ever increasing amount of waste material created. An estimated
375,000 tonnes of solid waste were created in 2003 (1,200 tonnes
per day), which is forecast to grow to 418,000 tonnes in 2014 and
510,000 tonnes in 2034. To relieve the situation the government
has suggested the establishment of an incineration plant which would
handle around three-quarters of waste created and would generate
electricity. On the downside there are concerns that the waste in
Mauritius, which is largely green (garden waste, vegetables, etc.),
is not suitable for incineration, and also that the chimney would
have major negative public health, environmental and economic impacts.
Environmental agencies in Mauritius suggest that minimizing the
creation of waste by recycling some of it, and by composting green
waste, will expand the lifespan of the landfill site sufficiently,
removing the need for an incinerator or for further landfill sites.
Correct sorting of waste
The bins have been provided for previously sorted
waste. Please follow the signs on the bins, or the leaflets
available from Mission Verte. Unfortunately, some people have not
sorted their waste correctly and others have simply dumped boxes of
unsorted waste around the bins, particularly glass bottles. This is
not contributing to the recycling movement and is making the collecting
areas a mess, requiring others to tidy the rubbish up.
Paper: Newspapers, magazines, circulars, writing
paper and envelopes, telephone directories, books and exercise
Thin cardboard: 'bristol' paper, for example:
cereal boxes, medicine boxes, biscuit or cigarette packets,
Please remove the magazines from their plastic
Juice, milk or soup cartons.
Soiled paper or carbon paper, paper hankies, waxed paper and
wallpaper, plasticized or metalized paper (candy or some chocolate
Bottles, jars, pots and containers of ALL
types of plastic, and they are numerous!
Crush or compress your bottles before throwing
them away, they will become less bulky and you will have more
Only PET bottles are
accepted in Pavillon, Cap Malheureux.
If in doubt check the signs on the doors of the bins.
|ALUMINIUM AND METAL
Drink cans only!
Aluminium cans are discarded in the plastic
compartment, in all containers.
Preserve/jam cans, aerosols,
metallic trays, aluminium pans or crockery.
All boxes and packaging made of corrugated
Please fold your cardboard, it will take
up less space!
Dirty paperboards, containers
of pizzas, pies or other food.
You can dispose of your glass bottles directly at atelier
at Roche Bois nr 16 - St Martin Street- Port Louis
- Caudan Waterfront | Pres du Casino
- Couvent de Belle-Rose
- Barkly |Beau-Bassin
- Flacq | Parking Way
- Forest Side | Parking Winners
- Labourdonnais | Parking Ecole du Nord
- Le Bocage International School, Moka
- Mahebourg | Parking London
- Moka | Ecole du Centre
- Reunion | Parking Winners
- Roche Bois nr 16 - St Martin Street
- St. Antoine | Zone Industrielle
- St Pierre | Kendra Commercial Center
- Tamarin | Ecole Paul & Virginie
- Tamarin | Parking Barachois commercial Center (La Place
- Tamarina | IRS
Updated: 14 January 2014
Currently, composting is mainly undertaken by those involved in agriculture,
such as fruit/vegetable farmers and cattle/poultry farmers. Since
1995 the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs has been involved
in composting in a number of villages, using the end result on fruit
and vegetable crops. The government recently created a new impetus
in composting by launching an island-wide school-based project to
promote composting at a community level. Mission Verte is also promoting
the concept of composting to prevent unnecessary material further
contributing to the landfill site.
Composting in your garden - child's
By using your own compost, you will avoid polluting the earth
with industrial artificial fertilisers. And you will also
reduce the quantity of your household refuse by a third. So
much waste which will not be incinerated! You can add your
vegetable and fruit peelings, your eggshells
waste, but no grease.
Add also grass cuttings, branches, dead leaves, old flowers
what is known as vegetation waste. Everything can be recycled
in a garden: what comes from the ground returns to the ground
to protect and nourish the soil. It breaks up and degrades
gradually on contact with the air and ambient moisture, helped
by micro-organisms like microscopic fungi and bacteria. Do
not worry; this process is completely natural since it reproduces
on a small scale what happens in the forest, which creates
its own compost, known as humus.
To make your compost, you can use a composter or prepare it
in a corner of the garden, in the open air.
You will find more information on this site:
Natural formulas for gardeners
These natural preparations can fight various fungal diseases. Always
let the mixture settle in the sprayer and then shake well before
- Cover 90 grams of garlic pieces with vegetable oil and add 1
litre of soapy water. Leave to soak for a day and then filter.
To spray, dilute 1 part of solution with 50 parts of water.
- Pour boiling water on fresh or dried chamomile flowers. Leave
to infuse then cool. Use this against fungi.
- Dilute 1 cup of whole milk with 9 cups of water and use this
solution against mildew or oidium.
- To deal with oidium, add 1 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate to
1 litre of water. Apply every 3-4 days until the situation improves.
Then treat the rose trees every 2-3 weeks while the weather is
hot and humid.
| Other ideas on: www.chacunsonbio.fr
In summer mosquitoes are a problem
You can make this efficient and ecological trap with:
- One 2-litre plastic bottle
- 200 ml of water
- 50 g brown sugar and a little hot water
- 1 g yeast
- Cut the plastic bottle in half. You will need both parts,
top and bottom.
- Mix brown sugar with a little hot water, then with 200 ml
of cold water in the bottom half of the bottle.
- Add the yeast, without mixing. This will create carbon dioxide.
- Place the funnel (top part of the bottle), upside down on
the inside of the other half bottle.
- Wrap round the bottle with some black card or tape and put
it in a corner of your home.
- In two weeks, you'll see a lot of dead mosquitoes inside
Recycling mobile phones and batteries
Remember that you can recycle your used cell phones and batteries
as well as all types of batteries. Collection centres
can be found in all Orange Shops and post offices. To encourage
the collection of these items, two small easily folded cardboard
boxes can be placed in offices, schools, supermarkets, etc.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information if you
want to obtain some of these boxes.
B.E.M. Enterprises Ltd will be responsible for the collection
of these items, exporting the batteries to France for recycling.
Mobile phones will be dismantled here and the plastic and
metal will be recycled locally. Battery chargers and earphones
can also be put in these special collection bins for recycling.
Special collection boxes will be placed in some supermarkets,
schools, offices, etc., in the near future.
||Today the number of mobile phone users
is estimated at more than 3 billion worldwide. It has
been demonstrated that if each discarded phone were recycled,
this would economise 240,000 tons of raw materials and
produce a reduction in greenhouse gases equivalent to
the withdrawal of 4 million cars!! (Source: Nokia).
So, what happens to the items that have been sorted and placed in
recycling bins for collection by local companies?
Paper and cardboard are collected
and shredded, compacted and baled before being exported.
Plastic bottles are collected by two
different companies currently. Those taken by Polypet Recyclers
Ltd are sorted, compacted, baled and crushed and are exported for
recycling. PET plastics are shredded into pellets and are sent to
Africa to be transformed into quilts and pillows. Power Plastic
Ltd in Forbach, recycles all types of plastic collected to manufacture
various objects, such as dustbins, garden benches, pots, shingles,
Glass normally can be crushed and
exported to South Africa, however at the moment there is little
market for it. Hopefully prices will go up soon.
Aluminium is recycled in Mauritius
and the companies who collect plastic from the sorting bins can
sell these cans to aluminium recyclers here.
||Here in Mauritius
we really are only just starting the recycling process and there
is still a long way to go to match the activities and achievements
of other countries. Perhaps the recent government project 'Mauritius
- sustainable island' will give some impetus to more environmental
initiatives. One thing is for certain though: it is down to
each and every one of us to look at our own lifestyle and habits
and to constantly apply the three golden principles of re-use,
recycle and reduce, wherever possible.
Q & A
Here are some questions that Mission Verte have answered regarding
selective sorting, containers available to the public, the recycling
of waste, etc.
Why do you only collect plastics, paper, cardboard and aluminium
cans in your sorting bins? What happens to other wastes?
90 % of your dustbin waste is of course recyclable. We
have been able to find companies willing to collect some
of this waste across the island, but for other types of
waste (more bulky or more dangerous), we are working on
the best solution for its storage and transport to plants
We hope, with your collaboration, to be able to collect
everything for recycling... Our goal is "Zero Waste"
Why put aluminium cans in with plastic?
There is no special compartment for metal recovery. Only
aluminium cans are collected at the moment. Those who recover
plastic may, if they wish, sell these cans to metal recyclers.
Plastic does not risk being spoilt with the liquid which
sometimes remains at the bottom of the cans. Of course,
they could not be discarded in the paper compartment.There
are often large bags or large boxes of waste outside containers.
Unfortunately, yes! But each one of us must make an effort.
These containers are "voluntary dropping points",
meaning that each one chooses to drop their pre-sorted waste
. Unfortunately, we sometimes see full bags of unsorted
or even non-recyclable items. This complicates the work
of those who come to do the recovery. If the bags are too
large to fit into the openings, one can introduce only the
end of the bag and drop the contents in the proper compartment.The
team of Mission Verte is made up of volunteers; our task
is to facilitate the transport of waste to the recycling
places and not to sort rubbish deposited outside the containers.
This should be done by each one of us at home.
Why dont you put more containers on the island?
These containers are expensive and we have limited financial
means. We currently have 19 depots using funds obtained
from the GEF/Small Grants Programme of UNDP and from several
sponsors. We can only put additional ones if businesses
or organizations come up with financial help, and if we
are convinced that they will be serviced regularly by the
Are you not deterred by the magnitude of the work?
Our satisfaction to see the enormous volume of recyclable
waste, that was previously disposed of in rubbish bins,
reach the places where it can have a second life, instead
of increasing pollution at Mare Chicose is very encouraging!
We believe that in a short time a large number of inhabitants
have adapted very easily to selective sorting, and that
with a better structured organization, we can have good
results. We are but a link in the chain and the participation
of all is necessary to succeed!
How to contact MIsson Verte:
3A JOSEPH AVRILLON STREET, CUREPIPE
Phone: (230) 976 63 55
Just a little extra...
Green Christmas gifts! (Or any celebration)
The NGO Mission Verte has some sound advice on observing
Christmas customs in an environmentally friendly way. In their
words 'The best gifts are those that respect nature and encourage
the recipient to become aware of the ecological impact'.
Before buying your presents this year, see if you can consider
some of these ideas to decrease the negative impact on the
- Buy local: is the gift made in Mauritius?
- Best buy: is the gift short-lived or sustainable?
- Buy healthy: is the gift futile or intelligent?
- Buy clean: is this gift over-wrapped?
- Buy less: too many gifts kill the gift! Or, as we say
'less is more'.
- And use reusable bags as wrappings
It will mean
less paper used!
Mission Verte's new bin designs
Mission Verte has developed a new recycling bin project in
collaboration with taktik architects. The bin has a distinctive
and contemporary curved shape, making for an attractive addition
to any school yard or parking space. The bins come in a twin
set for paper and plastic, and can be linked as a unit or
installed individually. Compact dimensions of 1.2x1.2m (base)
by 2m high allow for ease of integration in any setting.
Mission Verte is planning to set up 20 bins for Winners
supermarkets and in another 10 schools and commercial locations.
Posted January 2014
Mission Verte updates
You can now follow Mission Verte on Facebook
- June 2012: News from Mission Verte
Mission Verte now has new offices in Avrillon Lane, Curepipe,
they have a new truck for waste collection and a new educational
DVD available. The Executive Comittee comprises the same
eight volunteers, but now they have a dynamic young woman,
Sophia Lòpez-Bassols who is the new Education &
Communication Project Manager.
- Recycling - important update
(Posted February 2011 )
to the abuse of the site (see photo), the recycling depot
at Teste de Buch Street, Curepipe is being removed and will
not be operational after Monday 14 February. This is really
unfortunate as it was the only depot on the island to take
glass. Until further notice there will be no depot collecting
glass for recycling.
Please remember that these depots are not a dumping ground
for rubbish, but are for pre-sorted items appropriate to
recycling. If the bins are full, then please take your recycling
home and bring it back at another time. Do not leave boxes
or bags of recycling next to the bins.
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