The refuse-driven fuel from southern Italy, an area known locally as the “Land of Fire,” will be delivered soon to Morocco be incinerated in Moroccan cement factories, in defiance of the European Community rules on dioxin emissions.
The first ship has yet to moor at the El Jadida quay with its cargo of waste from the Taverna del Re landfill, located between Naples and Caserta. This new traffic from one bank of the Mediterranean to the other has already raised a hornet’s nest of controversy in Morocco.
So much so that the ruling party, the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) is trying to mediate between the angry Moroccan environmental organizations, the local newspapers investigating their complaints and the powerful association of cement manufacturers, APC, which wants the new business and continues to issue reassuring statements on the harmlessness of burning Italian waste.
A press conference is scheduled for Monday at the Ministry of Development in Rabat to define the tasks of an inquiry commission, comprising civil society and government officials, that will investigate the true nature of the waste contained in the so-called “ecoballe” and their potential environmental danger.