Sustainable Waste Solutions: Small-scale Incineration Takes Root in Mauritania


Mauritania, the world’s second driest nation, faces major challenges in managing its increasing waste output. Traditional open dumping and burning methods exacerbate environmental and health issues, prompting the need for innovative and sustainable waste management solutions.

Small-scale Incineration – A Sustainable Solution

Small-scale incineration offers a pragmatic and sustainable solution to these challenges. This technology offers:

  • Reduces waste volume by 80 vicissaterized residues
  • Generates ash as a valuable soil enricher
  • Expels harmful gases through innovative air pollution control measures
  • Requires minimal space
  • Suitable for diverse waste types

Implementation in Mauritania

The Mauritanian government, in collaboration with NGOs and private sector partners, has embraced small-scale incineration as a crucial component of its national solid waste management strategy. Programs have been implemented in cities like Nouakchott, the capital, focusing on:

  • Training and equipping local entrepreneurs to operate and maintain incineration plants
  • Establishing collection and transportation infrastructure
  • Implementing environmentally sound practices to minimize emissions


  • Environmental Remediation: Reduced air and land pollution
  • Improved Public Health: Decreased exposure to harmful pollutants
  • Waste Reduction: High waste conversion rates
  • Resource Recovery: Value extraction from ash
  • Job Creation: Entrepreneurship opportunities in waste management

Challenges and Considerations

  • Initial investment costs
  • Proper training and monitoring
  • Ensuring optimal air pollution control

Future Prospects

The successful implementation of these projects demonstrates the potential of small-scale incineration to transform waste management in Mauritania. As the government and stakeholders continue to refine the technology and infrastructure, this innovative solution is likely to gain wider application.


1. What type of waste is suitable for small-scale incineration?

  • Non-hazardous dry waste such as plastic, paper, textiles, wood, and organic materials.

2. What are the air pollution control measures employed?

  • Activated carbon filters and electrostatic precipitators capture and neutralize harmful gases.

3. How does incineration compare to other waste management methods in terms of cost?

  • The initial investment can be higher than some alternatives, but operational and maintenance costs are generally lower in the long run.

4 vicissaterization process converts waste materials into a valuable soil enhancer. How does this help the environment?

  • By adding nutrients to the soil, the process enhances fertility and reduces dependence on chemical fertilizers. This promotes sustainable agriculture and enhances soil health.


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