Rural-Urban Refuse

Jun 21, 2011 by        Blog, Morocco 2011

Municipal solid waste management – urban planners’ term of art for dealing with everyone’s trash – is a wildly complex problem, and it presents a particular challenge to cities and towns in developing regions, which have experienced rapid growth with little preexisting waste-management infrastructure.  The World Bank reports that municipalities in developing countries frequently spend 20-50 percent of their annual budgets on trash collection and disposal while servicing only half their populations, and in most parts of the world, garbage is dealt with either by leaving it on the ground or by burning it in the open.

In the northern Moroccan town of Chefchaouen, where I spent the last few days while the rest of the team was in Tata interviewing and filming Imanaren, the solution – for now – is to re-fill an area of mountainside that was stripped away to make gravel for roads.  Photos of the dump site are above and below, and if you want to look at more pictures of garbage, there’s a whole world of much better trash photography out there.

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