Shifted Focus: Morocco

Due to unfortunate circumstances regarding travel, I have had to shift the focus of my project to Morocco. However, I think the change in my project will make it ultimately stronger. I am no longer studying water management issues, but rather, another large problem affecting Moroccans: trash and waste management. I spent two months in Morocco last summer and was struck by the trash in the streets and lack of recycling program. As I turned to the internet to learn more about this issue, I found that there is very little information covering this problem. I asked my Moroccan friends who agreed that it is a big problem but no one talks about it. Morocco is a country with some very large sustainability initiatives, including the world’s largest solar farm, yet problems in the waste management sector still plague the average Moroccan. As we know, this type of pollution can impact human and ecosystem health. My aim is to study how this problem is viewed by Moroccans and who, if anyone, is working to resolve it.

I am excited to travel to Morocco next month to study this issue firsthand. I am in the process of making appointments with local waste collection and recycling start-ups as a jumping-off point for my original research. In the weeks leading up to this trip, I have been researching similar issues globally to contextualize the global waste epidemic and understand how to frame my research. These sources include Rosalind Fredericks’s book Garbage Citizenship, Josh Reno’s book Waste Away, and news articles about waste management infrastructure globally.

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