The main objective of the "Landfills' Gas Capture, Flaring and Use Program in Morocco" is to avoid methane (CH4) emissions from the disposal of municipal solid waste in the country. Through the installation of systems to capture biogas emanating from newly built or rehabilitated landfills, the program will promote the implementation of projects to either flare or utilize landfill gas (LFG) for energy production. In addition, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will be reduced through the displacement of fossil fuel-based energy production (electricity or heat). More specifically, the program, which is registered as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Program of Activities under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, will allow the purchase of a maximum of 4.5 million Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs), labeled in tons of CO2-equivalent, through an Emission Reductions Purchase Agreement under the Carbon Partnership Facility (CPF).
The program will not only contribute to mitigating greenhouse (GHG) emissions, but also reducing local nuisances associated with LFG emissions and improve the air quality. It will also help streamline sound environmental practices in the solid waste management sector in Morocco.
Fonds d'Equipement Communal (FEC), Morocco's Municipal Development Bank, will develop and manage the Program of Activities as part of an ambitious reform of the solid waste sector launched by the Moroccan Government. Two significant steps have been undertaken toward the reform of solid waste management in Morocco: the adoption of the Solid Waste Management Law 28-00 in November 2006 and the approval of the National Solid Waste Program in September 2006. The Solid Waste Management Law requires that municipalities improve their sanitary services and their waste disposal practices, rehabilitate or close open dump sites, and promote the construction of sanitary landfills, but it does not enforce LFG extraction, incineration, or use for electrical or thermal power generation.
Along with the reform, a legal framework for the private sector participation in streets sweeping, municipal waste collection and disposal has been set up. As a result, concession contracts have been awarded by municipalities to private sector operators for the construction and operation of sanitary landfills.
Given the increasing financial burden, municipalities are not keen to invest in LFG elimination or utilization projects. The CDM Program of Activities will help generate additional revenues for municipalities and/or private landfill operators to promote investment in such projects. More generally, it will help promote an integrated municipal solid waste management approach, generating local environmental and social benefits, and catalyze financial resources towards sound sustainable development practices in the sector in Morocco.
Each of the LFG capture, and flaring or utilization projects will be considered as a component project activity, or CPA. The project will be implemented as voluntary activity by the municipalities and will be progressively added as CPAs under the framework Program of Activities. The municipalities participating in the program will either construct and operate the project themselves or contract it out to the private sector.