In 2014, AMOR and Carbon Africa prepared together A Comprehensive Review of the Waste Sector in Mozambique which provides an overview of the waste sector, including the greenhouse gases emissions resulting from the waste sector in Mozambique.
Municipal solid waste management is a growing problem in Mozambique. In many municipalities, the cost for the collection and treatment of waste is putting increasing pressure on the municipal budget and the continued practice of uncontrolled dumpsites is posing significant health threats to urban populations. Limited information is available about municipal solid waste generation in Mozambique. Nevertheless it can be estimated that Mozambique generates approximately 2.5 million tons of municipal solid waste per year. Organic waste constitutes approximately 60% of the waste.
Taking into account the continuing rapid economic growth of the country, especially in the center and in the north, the waste production is expected to further increase in the coming years.Waste collection rates vary per municipality. In most cases, municipal tariffs and fees are insufficient to cover the costs for the collection and treatment of waste. The final destination of solid waste in Mozambique is mostly open bins and uncontrolled dumpsites, with no or very little waste treatment.
The disposal of municipal solid waste in uncontrolled landfills is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon Africa estimates that current emissions from uncontrolled dumpsites in Mozambique stand at 776,546 tCO2e in 2014 and, if unabated, are expected to nearly double to a level of 1,369,721 tCO2e in 2030.
Although recycling has existed for many years in Maputo, it was restricted mainly to the exportation of scrap metal. Then, with the economic development that followed the peace agreement in 1992, Mozambique experienced a significant increase and diversification in types of solid waste generated.
However, a true recycling sector was not set up and only was developed from 2006 onwards, with the installation of a transformation system for cans, paper, cardboard and glass and more recently for plastic and organic waste (transformed into natural fertilisers). However, there are still relatively few opportunities for waste transformation. Some local businesses currently benefit from recycling certain types of waste, but these products generated are mainly intended for export markets (South Africa and Asia). Hence, the objective of AMOR is to increase the value of waste by recycling it directly in Mozambique.
To obtain information on the legal framework in Mozambique for urban waste, you will find here (In Portuguese) the Mozambican Integrated Urban Waste Management National Strategy approved in 2012 and the latest Urban Waste Decree approved in 2014. In 2013, Mozambique approved the National Strategy for Adaptation and Mitigation to Climate change , which also defines waste as a priority sector for mitigation action.