State of Bavaria supports development project

Update/ Fraunhofer UMSICHT completes project to improve Tunisian waste management

Press release /

The project consortium led by Fraunhofer UMSICHT has successfully completed the second phase of the multi-year project to improve waste management in Tunisia. The project was funded by the Bavarian State Chancellery.

Press release 10 October 2022

© ANGed
Inauguration of the composting plant consisting of aeration unit and rental cover made of Gore Tex ®, mobile shredding and drum screening plant and a wheel loader for feeding in Tabarka in May 2022..
© ANGed
The plant manager of the e-waste processing plant in Borj Chakir /Tunis shows project manager Dr Peter Degener processed fractions.
© Markus Heinsdorff
The completed recycling island in Tabarka shortly before its inauguration in May 2022.

The objectives of the project were to improve cleanliness, waste treatment and local value creation (including job creation) in the three Tunisian model regions Siliana, Tabarka and Douar Hicher / Tunis. In the course of the three-year project work, the following measures were implemented on site: the installation of one recycling island per municipality, the procurement of a complete composting plant and the expansion of a treatment plant for old electrical appliances.

The recycling islands were set up in the three selected municipalities at central places in city districts that are easily accessible for residents. Residual waste and recyclable material fractions such as plastics, paper and metals, but also problem waste such as old electrical appliances or organic waste can be handed in here. The recycling islands are well accepted due to the early involvement and information of the neighbouring residents.

Construction of recyclable material islands

The recycling islands are owned by the municipalities, while they are operated by local associations whose workers have been trained in advance by the project team. The operation of the recycling islands is to be financed, among other things, by the sale of valuable waste fractions to recycling plants.

The cleanliness around the recycling islands has apparently improved. This has already led to neighbouring districts and other municipalities expressing interest in having their own recycling islands.

Separately collected organic waste will in future no longer end up in landfills and can be converted into valuable fertiliser if properly treated. This is to be exemplified by the complete composting plant handed over to the municipality of Tabarka. For this purpose, a complete composting plant consisting of a mobile shredder, a composting unit with aeration unit and GoreTex® cover for low-odour composting, a mobile drum screen for screening the finished compost and a wheel loader for feeding the entire plant were delivered and put into operation.

Furthermore, an existing treatment plant for waste electrical equipment in Borj Chakir / Tunis was equipped with additional dismantling workstations and a facility for the damage-free dismantling of CRT screens. In addition, training was provided to make the operation of the plant more lucrative in the future through better sorting of recyclables.

In 2022, members of the project team travelled to Tunisia several times to set up and inaugurate the facilities, as well as for training sessions that flanked the entire knowledge management project process. The final trip to inaugurate the composting plant and recycling island in the municipality of Tabarka at the end of May 2022 marked the ceremonial conclusion of the project, accompanied by citizens, the newly elected mayor, representatives from the municipalities, the Governorate of Jendouba, the director and employees of the national waste management authority Agence Nationale de Gestion des Déchets (ANGed) and the Ministry of the Environment.

Project manager of Fraunhofer UMSICHT Dr. Peter Degener says: »We have been working very well with our Tunisian colleagues for over 4 years. And we hope to continue our work in future projects. For example, there is a need to establish more recycling collection islands in the communities or to transfer the concept to other communities. Composting facilities are also urgently needed in many other municipalities. In addition, ANGed asked for further support to expand the treatment of e-waste.«

In addition to Fraunhofer UMSICHT, the project consortium consisted of WtERT Germany GmbH, em&s GmbH and RSL GmbH. On the Tunisian side, the waste authority ANGed was involved as the superordinate project partner and the three municipalities Siliana, Tabarka and Douar Hicher / Tunis as model regions.

Update I Tunisian Minister of Environment visits waste collection island

Press release 17 Nov. 2022

© ANGed
Minister of Environment Laila Chikhaoui in conversation during a visit to the recycling island in Douar Hicher.

Minister of Environment Laila Chikhaoui visited the first waste collection island in Douar Hicher, which was successfully put into operation. This underlines the importance of this project for the Tunisian government.

It is one of four collection points of the EGIDD project that are being implemented under the project management of Fraunhofer UMSICHT. The municipality of Douar Hicher, the Free State of Bavaria and the National Waste Management Agency (ANGed) are further cooperation partners. 

Among the guests were mayors and deputies of the municipality, the Commissioner of the region and the General Director of the ANGed, as well as representatives of the Green Heart Association.

Update/ Milestone reached - opening of the first collection island

Press release 24 June 2021

© Wtert Germany GmbH
Ceremonial opening of the sorting station in Siliana
© Wtert Germany GmbH
First managed waste collection point being opened by tunesian delegation in Silana.

In Tunisia, UMSICHT has stepped in as project leader to improve waste and circular economy in three model regions together with partners WtERT Germany GmbH, em&s GmbH and RSL GmbH.

First waste collection point active

With the opening of the first collection point in Siliana, the project has reached a decisive phase. The aim is to improve urban cleanliness in the pilot municipalities of Siliana, Tabarka and Douar Hicher.

Waste can now be collected and dropped off at controlled areas. This will realise the separate delivery of recyclables for recycling and the safe disposal of pollutants to protect the environment and the people.

The management of the collection points creates new job opportunities for people in the region.

Sustainable waste management for Tunisia

Press release / 11. September 2019

© Wtert Germany GmbH
The disorderly disposal of waste is to be improved in the project.
© Wtert Germany GmbH
New reloading stations should significantly increase the collection rate and reduce landfill.
© Wtert Germany GmbH
Overcrowded, old waste bins are to be replaced in the project by clean, managed »recycling areas«.

After the successful first phase, which was completed at the end of 2018, the modernisation of the waste and recycling management system in Tunisia will be continued with German support. Under the project management of the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT in Sulzbach-Rosenberg, new jobs are to be created, the uncontrolled dumping of waste is to be avoided and thus environmental and landscape protection is to be improved, resources are to be recovered and, above all, the cleanliness of the cities is to be promoted. A comprehensive sub-project is planned for the exchange of knowledge and training programmes.

The Bavarian Minister of State Chancellery, Dr. Florian Herrmann, said at the presentation of the funding decisions: »Sustainable use of resources secures livelihoods for local people. The establishment of a sustainable waste and recycling management system improves the cleanliness of the municipalities and creates further value-added opportunities through recycling. At the same time, new jobs and training opportunities are created, including for skilled workers«.

Three model regions

In the three model regions Siliana (in central Tunisia, rather rural), Tabarka (located on the northern Mediterranean coast and characterised by tourism) and Douar Hicher (in the greater Tunis area with an urban character), several subprojects are now to be put into practice:

1. to improve the cleanliness of municipalities by setting up collection points under supervision

In all model areas, supervised collection points or supervised container sites are to be set up in the cities, which will replace overcrowded and partly unusable waste bins with rubble and refuse in the immediate vicinity. The clean »recycling areas« enclosed in green hedges are managed by local operators. The corresponding operator and business models will be developed in the project.

2. increase in waste collection through optimised waste transports

The construction of a »PLUS reloading station« in the Douar Hicher area is intended to achieve the greatest possible reduction in waste to be landfilled and to significantly increase the collection rate. As a result of the reduced landfill share and the separation and subsequent recycling of recyclable materials, a considerable reduction in climate-relevant emissions is expected.

3. establishment of composting in Tabarka and Siliana

The hinterland of the otherwise touristic town of Tabarka is characterized by agriculture. For this reason, the proportion of organic waste is estimated at 70 percent. At a suitable location, appropriate waste is to be collected and composted. The composting plant will be planned and built as part of the project.

4. collection and integrated treatment of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)

A separate collection by EAG is intended to achieve decontamination of municipal waste. At the same time, this will create the basis for recovering valuable resources. An EAG recycling plant already exists, but is not operating at full capacity due to the inadequate collection systems. As part of the project, the plant will be upgraded, supplemented by workstations for manual dismantling and equipped with a near-infrared detector for determining and sorting plastics and an eddy current separator for separating aluminium.

The project consortium consists of Fraunhofer UMSICHT, WtERT Germany GmbH and em&s GmbH and is funded by the Bavarian State Chancellery. On the Tunisian side, the Ministry for Local Affairs and Environment (MINEAT) and the Agence Nationale de Gestion des Déchets (ANGed) are involved as project partners.

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