The tiny fingers of Moroccan recycling
The men and women in this group are part of a group that an anthropologist Delphine Corteel as well as sociologist Stephane Le Lay ( ERES 2011,) have described as “waste workers”.
Despite their long and exhausting job, they are still marginalized from Moroccan society due to the dirtiness of their work, as well as their living areas.
They live in the fringes of urban areas that are legal, as well as in slums and improvised homes that are frequently demolished or threatened by urban and real estate projects. When they are working on street areas, these people are frequently victimized by violence, whether the police or other citizens cause it.
Interviews were conducted with numerous members of this group in the year 2011. Our aim was to prove that the sorters, waste collectors recyclers, semi-wholesalers and transporters typically view their jobs as a occupation and believe that their job is vital due to the fact the fact that environmental concerns have never been more important in the political agenda.
Based on our multi-site surveys, More than three-quarters of the waste from Casablanca’s households could be discarded without a problem.
Instead of presenting a picture of poverty and marginalization, We want to show this community free from the stigma associated with the waste-related activities.
A view of one area of a recycling facility located in Casablanca, Lahraouine. As you look back, one can view the social housing area of Attacharouk. (Photo Pascal Garret/MuCEM, January 2015)
It is located on the outskirts of Casablanca and located in an area of topographic deformity located in the Lahraouine district is virtually unnoticeable to the world. The majority of the residents live in neighboring district homes (slums) in which there is no running water and electricity is provided via generators or illegal connections.
Numerous real estate projects have been putting the city under pressure to redevelop its district and rid of the urban slums. Since the waste collection companies are not the owners of their land,re’s no rehousing program, and they are in constant fear of being evicted.
A boar returning from his trip on the outskirts of Casablanca. (Photo Pascal Garret, May 2016)
The boar (the word originates from the French word eboueur, which is French for garbage man, which means garbage man) is a man who returns to the city in an empty cart stuffed with his weekly garbage collection. However, the growing number of containers dumped in the affluent areas of Casablanca makes it harder to access this resource of waste.
Most of the time people who are Bouara (plural of the word bouar) must restrict their activities to opening bins in neighbourhoods that are primarily working class. In addition, they are less accepted within these zones than the central district of the city or middle-class areas. In these areas, the police are able to harass them eve if they are arrested and seize carts and donkeys.
View inside of an inside view of Gelssa in Lahraouine. (Photo Pascal Garret, April 2017)
Gelssas gelossas (a term that comes of the word gels that means to sitting to rest to eat in darija the language of the Maghreb region) are enclosed spaces of varying sizes, that are surrounded by palisades (metal sheets boards, tarps, or dry waste that create walls) in which the Bouara centralize their harvests following every city tour.
The collection is sold according to weight and is made up of cardboard, plastics, glass, metals, and vegetable garbage. These valuable items which have changed hands a few times, eventually be sold at one of the flea markets in the city ( joutiya). Anything that is not utilized is left behind.
A worker sorting out waste in the gelssa that is specialized in plastic materials. (Photo Pascal Garret, May 2016)
The Bouara of Casablanca earns around EUR20 per day, but most require the use of their tools (cart or animals) through their managers at EUR2.
Certain Gelssas are multi-purpose recycling and sorting facilities (plastics, metal, wood, and rags) in which materials are separated according to the type. Some specialize in a specific material, like the case for plastic.