The first plastic treatment plant has opened in Maputo as part of a programme for sustainable waste management in the city. The facility, situated near the lixeira (rubbish dump) in the Hulene neighbourhood on Avenida Julius Neyrere, is the first phase in a pilot project known as Recicla to encourage environmental protection while creating job opportunities for lixeiros, or rubbish collectors, in the city.
Opened in the early 1970s in what was then open countryside some five kilometres east of the city centre, the Hulene refuse site is now at the centre of one of the most densely populated neighbourhoods in Maputo.
Under the programme local residents can buy plastic waste from the lixeiros working at the dump and have it broken down at the plant before selling it as pulp to local industries for a profit. The project also contemplates a system of door-to-door collection of plastic waste in other parts of the city.
Recicla is the result of a partnership between the International Association of Lay Volunteers (LVIA), an Italian non-governmental organisation, Maputo city council, the Mozambican Caritas and the German department for development cooperation. There are also plans to collect and recycle of organic waste in the capital.