Sustainable Waste Management Practices at Petit Verger Prison
Mauritius Prison Service

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Land filling of waste is considered as the last treatment option in the Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) hierarchy. With the increasing amount of wastes going to the landfill in Mauritius, there is an urgent need to create and establish a sustainable waste management strategy. It is true that the implementation of any waste management strategy falls under the responsibility of the Local Government. However, it is also believed that institutions and communities must participate to establishing proper waste management practices. Before the implementation of any waste management strategy, it is important to classify and characterize the wastes being generated. This is achieved by conducting a waste characterization study so as to obtain data on current trends of various solid waste streams, which form the basic requirement to develop the ISWM Plan. In this regard, data on different waste streams need to be analyzed for the current and projected scenarios so as to generate comprehensive information on the quantity and type of recyclable and recoverable materials. Also, a baseline for continued long-term measurement of system performance needs to be developed and information be generated on the different sub-streams of waste to design, implement and monitor effective and efficient system for collection, transportation, recycling, treatment, recovery and disposal of various streams of solid waste. The most recommended waste management strategies as stipulated by the ISWM hierarchy are: re-use, reduce, recycling and composting. Based on the study carried out by Mohee (2002) on the waste composition, yard wastes, kitchen wastes and paper form more than 70% (wet weight basis) of the total composition of municipal solid wastes (MSW) in Mauritius. Given that 70% of MSW composition is organic in nature, the most appropriate waste treatment technology for treating these types of wastes is composting.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The Mauritius Prison Service has enlisted the University of Mauritius and Kinouété, a Non-Governmental Organisation, in its project for their technical advice, expertise and support. The “Sustainable Waste Management Practices at Petit Verger Prison” project has been designed to provide opportunity to detainees who would be interested in environmental issues that will help them to get a job or start their own enterprise in agriculture and compost making upon release. The participation of the community in the vicinity of Petit Verger Prison in the project will motivate the community to adopt a better attitude towards detainees which will eventually help released detainees in their resettlement and reintegration in the community as honest citizens. The local community in the vicinity of Petit Verger Prison, Pointe aux Sables, has been identified as close collaborators in the “Sustainable Waste Management Practices at Petit Verger Prison” project. The Community will be sensitized on “Maurice Ile Durable “(MID) concept and motivated to contribute in the sustainable development of Mauritius. Each volunteer family will be distributed with a green bin to keep their kitchen and garden wastes which will be weekly collected by detainees for composting at Petit Verger Prison. In order to implement sustainable waste management practices, a waste characterization study through a sensitization campaign was carried out so as to determine the amount and different types of wastes that are being generated at the prison and to determine the amount of green waste that the community of Pointe aux Sables is actually producing. This initiative will help in reducing the amount of wastes going to the landfill and will also show to the community as well as to the detainees that the wastes that are thrown away can be converted into a resource. This waste characterization study will also initiate the concept of source separation of waste. This project will lead to the creation of meaningful and income generating activities for detainees who are in the process of rehabilitation, on a long term basis and at the same time will include community involvement for waste separation and collection. The idea is also to change the perception that the community has on detainees and to facilitate the rehabilitation of detainees in their respective communities. The main objective of this project, that is promotion of waste reduction and reuse, falls well in line with the objectives set in the “Maurice Ile Durable” project. The objectives of this project are: • To develop a sensitization campaign on wastes segregation at the prison and at the community level for green wastes. • To carry out a waste characterization study at the prison so as to identify potential waste treatment options in view of decreasing the amount of wastes going to the landfill. • To create meaningful activities for detainees in view of their rehabilitation and resettlement. • To train detainees and officers on the making of compost on a large-scale basis, for example, in windrow and to outline the various design requirements for a large-scale composting facility. • To generate income through sale of compost. • Use of compost produced to the prison garden.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
• It is a project designed to create more opportunities for detainees towards their social reintegration and on the other hand allowing detainees to pay their debt towards the community. • The prison population was increasing significantly during the recent years and there was an urgent need to create more constructive activities for detainees. • To ensure sustainability of the project, the prison department had to develop an actuarial security risk assessment tool to identify the right detainees who can work in the community under minimum supervision. • The community as tax payers welcome the idea that detainees are contributing in a laudable initiative to protect the environment.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
The “Sustainable Waste Management Practices at Petit Verger Prison” project has been carried out in different phases as described below. •Phase 1: Sensitization Campaign A sensitization campaign on the separate collection of green wastes shall be carried out with the inhabitants of the region concerned, targeting in the first instance 500 families to gradually be extended to all 1000 families in the region. This will be reinforced with the production and distribution of pamphlets as well as a strategy for community involvement. The community outreach will involve the participation of the community of Pointe aux Sables. Communication vehicles can be general talks, brochures and leaflets, as well as a composting open-day at Petit Verger Prison. The awareness education programme will:  create community awareness of the environmental benefits of waste segregation and composting;  promote participation of detainees in collection services; and  provide advice and technical know-how to detainees and prison officers on composting practices. •Phase 2: Waste Characterization Study A waste characterization study will be carried out at Petit Verger Prison and among the community residing in the vicinity of Pointe aux Sables. The waste characterization study implies the selection of a sample size and the definition of a sampling protocol. For higher statistical accuracy and confidence level, the number of samples will have to be large. However, usually for solid waste data, the confidence level (C.L) is set at 80% or 90% (Cacadia 2003, cited UNEP 2009). The number of samples is also influenced by level of variation of materials in the samples. For example, if a certain type of material contained in the sample is in lower percentages with respect to other materials (for example, aluminium) higher number of samples will be required to confirm the quantity of that material in comparison with the higher percentage material (for example, food). As per UNEP (2009), to achieve a C.L of 70%, the minimum sample size for different wastes constituents for residential is as shown in Table 1. Table 1: Number of samples for waste composition Materials Confidence level (C.L) 70% Newsprint 9 Cardboard 27 Aluminium 10 Ferrous 8 Glass 6 Plastic 10 Organic 4 Another important factor that needs to be considered in this study is the timing of sample collection so as to achieve representative data. Waste disposal patterns vary according to the time of day or week. Therefore, based on the economic viability, the study will include plans either (1) to collect data that covers the entire period of disposal, or (2) to collect data that may be assembled later in a way that represents the entire period. As such, the local knowledge plays an important role in identifying and planning for appropriate timings for data collection for various waste streams or for different types of materials. This method of quantifying waste involves visiting or contacting the waste generators, that is, the community and determining through measurement or observation, the amount of waste disposed during a given time period. The participants in this waste characterization study will be provided with plastic bags for the collection of the different waste components for a period of 2 weeks. •Phase 3: Theoretical Training on Large Scale Composting Process The champions in composting will undergo a training session so as to equip themselves with all the information that they will need on composting and the troubleshooting measures. The trainers will be in a position to teach earth friendly ways of creating healthy, beautiful gardens as well as to increase yield in crop production without the use of chemical fertilizers. •Phase 4: Identification of site and design of compost shed For the large-scale composting program a windrow composting system will be developed. The windrow composting system will treat wastes that have been collected from the community. Training will be conducted on how to set up and monitor a windrow composting system. TASKS TIMEFRAME Sensitization / Training Campaign with officers & detainees March / April 2013 Training on Composting Process April 2013 Sensitization Campaign at Community Level April 2013 Waste Characterization Study at Prison & Community Level May 2013 First Report Writing May 2013 Windrow Design April - May 2013 Windrow Shed Construction May – June 2013 Windrow Set-up June – July 2013 Monitoring of Composting Process June – September 2013 Final Report Writing September 2013 Open Day / Expo Sales at Petit Verger Prison October / November 2013

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The Mauritius Prison Service has enlisted the University of Mauritius and Kinouété, a Non-Governmental Organisation, in its project for their technical advice, expertise and support. The University of Mauritius (UoM) has been engaged on various waste management projects in Mauritius and in Africa. The University of Mauritius has also designed and tested a rotary drum composter under the academic and technical expertise of Professor Romeela Mohee who has conducted research in the field the composting since 1998. Some examples are the Waste recovery at community level (2007); the Waste composting at farmer level (1997–2000). Also, a Domestic waste recycling program by four regional women associations was conducted in 2006-2007 in Mauritius. Regarding dissemination of knowledge, a 92-page manual entitled Trainer’s Package on Composting was developed in 2007, to raise awareness amongst young Rodriguans on the benefits of composting and to encourage farmers to compost organic waste by the same group of researchers. Beyond Mauritius and Rodrigues, there has been development of composting technology in other African countries including Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa. In May 2002, the Regional Compost Network was initiated to connect researchers in the field of composting in southern Africa, with participants mainly from Mauritius, Kenya, Botswana, South Africa and Reunion. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) funded the project, which was implemented by the University of Mauritius, under the aegis of the United Nation Office for Project Services (UNOPS). A Certificate in Solid Waste Management was also conducted in Seychelles, Comoros Islands, Bostwana, Reunion Island and Mauritius. There has also been an exchange program for MPhil/PhD research on waste management between Reunion Island and Madagascar. Furthermore, the University of Mauritius was entrusted the responsibility of organising an International Conference on Solid Wastes in Mauritius in September 2011. Currently, the University of Mauritius is one of the partners of an EU-funded project under Re-Sources Project with other ACP countries (ENPRO (Togo), ERA (Cameroun), Planete Contact, University of Quisqueya, 2IE (Burkina Faso)) for the dissemination and the exchange of knowledge and expertise on (1) waste characterization, (2) composting, (3) biogas production, (4) Combustible, (5) Education and Sensitization, and (6) carbon credit. Association KINOUETE is a registered Non-Governmental Organization working since 2001 towards the rehabilitation and reintegration of detainees and ex-detainees in Mauritius. Its actions start inside prison where they offer Life Skills Groups, Pre-release Groups and individual counseling services. Having prepared the detainee to reintegrate society after release, they then offer support and guidance through a team of professional Reintegration Social Workers, Coordinators and Counselors who facilitate this process. Association Kinouete strongly believe that the rehabilitation and reintegration services we offer both inside and outside prison contribute to reduce recidivism amongst our beneficiaries and help marginalized people return to the mainstream. Our work also aims to reduce the amount of people affected by extreme poverty, through a process of empowerment and increased autonomy. The Drop-In Centre is open every weekday in Floréal, where Reintegration Services and Counseling Services are offered to ex-detainees. Every month we have a group Encounter session where men and women ex-detainees meet and share about the joys, challenges and difficulties met during their reintegration. In addition they are now offering temporary residential facilities to up to 6 women after prison. This will give them an opportunity to adopt a new non deviant lifestyle enabling them to settle back into society and increase their chances of successful reintegration and reduce the risk of recidivism.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
• Senior management and staff were motivated and initiated through team building exercise. • Detainees also were motivated to join in this project by participating in the celebration of the World Environment Day in the community with other organisations within the civil society. • Members of the community were sensitized and they were very interested to collaborate in the project. • Through a dedicated NGO and the University of Mauritius, we applied for fund with the UNDP GEF Grant and a sum of 50000 USD was granted. • The Prison Department renovated an old lorry which was out of order to convey the waste from the community to the prison for the production of compost. • Detainees were also enlisted in an Enhanced Earnings Scheme whereby they were able to generate income as weekly wages.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
• The synergy created to see academic institution, civil society, international organisation, staff of the prison and detainees working together towards a sustainable environmental project. • The smooth social reintegration of detainees and at the same time engaging them in constructive activities. • Creation of wealth from waste.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Continuous project monitoring and evaluation will be carried out at specified intervals that will determine project success and can help the Mauritius Prison Service (MPS) identify risks that may prevent these outcomes from being achieved. The MPS approach will provide tangible value to the project success and include: • A clear view of the expectations of the various project stakeholders to create efficiencies in the project, benefit and control activities based on alignment with stakeholder expectations. • A unique and independent perspective on relevant risks at each phase of the project implementation, presenting an understandable view of the road block(s) that could potentially prevent the MPS from achieving project success. • Continuous feedback to project stakeholders and project manager(s) enabling them to proactively identify and address potential implementation risks before they significantly impact the project. • Transfer of knowledge, enhancing the MPS capabilities to successfully deliver future projects. Monitoring & Evaluation Plan Phase Steps & Process Outputs Timeframe & Reporting Training Identification of detainees in terms of their interest Identification of officers in terms of their interest and commitment Gain in knowledge and skills and more chance of employability upon release Gain in knowledge and skills and possibility of becoming a skilled trainer in this field Assessment made at end of training to ensure that the training objectives have been met and the targeted audience are well acquainted with compost. Sensitization Campaign -Identify participants at Community Level Community involvement in the project Evaluation done after each campaign so as to assess whether the objectives have been met Characterization Study -Characterization of wastes generated at the Prison & in the community (Paper; Organic; Green Waste; Plastic) Determine the amount and different types of wastes that are being generated at the prison and in the community of Pointe aux Sables. Sample size and the definition of a sampling protocol Timing of sample collection so as to achieve representative data. Waste disposal patterns vary according to the time of day or week. Therefore, based on the economic viability, the study will include plans either (1) to collect data that covers the entire period of disposal, or (2) to collect data that may be assembled later in a way that represents the entire period. Large Scale Composting Process -Collection of green waste at Community Level Identification of site and design of compost shed Windrow composting system will be developed. It will treat wastes that have been collected from the community. Training will be conducted on how to manage a windrow system. Production of compost on a large scale for internal use and sale to the general public Frequency of Waste Collection Amount of Waste Collected Amount of Compost Produced Internal Use of Compost Sale of Compost

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Implementation of this innovative environmental project could face countless risks which could prevent the desired project outcomes from being achieved, if not properly monitored. These risks could include: • Project Risks: Insufficient resources, scope changes, poor communication • Control Risks: Unfamiliar technology, misunderstood objectives, lack of end-to-end understanding, poor data quality • Benefit Risks: Lack of accountability, poorly defined metrics, invalid organisational case assumptions RISK MANAGEMENT Activity Risk Risk Mitigation Measures Activity 1: Training of officers and detainees at Prison Level • Lack of motivation • Absenteeism of detainees and officers • Awareness on importance of waste segregation and management • Enhanced earnings scheme for detainees • Income generated from proceeds of sale of compost will be distributed Activity 2: Sensitization Campaign at Community Level • Lack of participation • Poor communication • Identify local drivers / leaders in the community • Media Coverage • Importance of waste segregation at source • Municipality of Port Louis, the Min. of Environment and the Mauritius Post involvement in the project Activity 3: Characterization Study • Poor data quality • Misunderstood objectives • Specific data collection and analysis well defined – carried out by technicians of UoM • Objectives clearly defined and set Activity 4: Large Scale Composting Process • Detainees in the community for waste collection • Unfamiliar techniques • Climatic Conditions • Low-Risk detainees involvement in the community under constant supervision • Wearing of fluorescent overall for easy identification • On the job & off the job training to be provided to both detainees and officers by technicians from UoM Activity 5: Organisation of an Open Day at Petit Verger Prison • Breach of Security • Open Day will be held in the outer compound of the prison

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
• Upgrading of the environment. • Social reintegration of detainees. • Collaboration and involvement of other stakeholders in the project. • Generate income and creating employment opportunities for detainees upon their release. • Making optimum use of detainees instead of warehousing them in prison.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
Information and Communication strategies will be used so as make this innovative eco-friendly project widely appreciated in the local community as well as to the general public. Particular attention will be devoted to the use and adaptation of modern information and communication approaches. There will be an establishment of an Information and Communication (IC) mechanism with different partners to ensure comprehensive and continuous information exchange among partners regarding project activities and the setting up of an IC mechanism to the outside world to publicize the partnership and disseminate information on project progress and results. Replication Strategy will be applied and its aim would be to maximise the chances of ‘regional transfer’ of good practices. The sharing of information will start within the prisons where prisoners themselves will help each other and share their experiences. This will further be supported by organisational structures such as working with peers, coaching, setting up communities of practice and publish in a local newspaper. Researched information will be made available to institutions and universities for further research. We intend to continue to work in collaboration with the general public and organisations directly involved in the project and those concerned with the employment of detainees in custody and released ones. (Ex-) detainees, engaged in the project, will be encouraged to share their experiences through talks in local communities and forums. In this way we are not simply delivering information, but combining information with experience. People working in similar projects can read and learn from each other, may be ask and discuss problems or news in the talks/forums. This will improve the on-going project and further similar projects as well. We believe that this kind of information and knowledge sharing can support new structures, networks, partnerships and projects within Mauritius and the region. Education and awareness programmes will be carried out in various establishments and community so as to highlight the benefits of waste derived compost and the positive effects of compost use for soil improvement. Recycling and composting programmes will be dispensed with the community so as to empower homeowners to take control of their environmental responsibilities. The development of a ‘Master’ composter group to support community composters and the establishment of a Mauritian community composting network will be set up. Community composting will be promoted nationally as an effective and environmentally sound waste management option for organic waste.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
• State-of-the-art techniques to manufacture compost. • Techniques that can help to protect the environment. • The issue of rehabilitation and resettlement of detainees is not only the business of the prison department but also involves other stakeholders. • Improvement in the working relationship between staff and detainees.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Mauritius Prison Service
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Jean Philippe Bruneau
Title:   Commissioner of Prisons  
Telephone/ Fax:   (T) +230 401 6600 (F) +230 4660618
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   Prison Headquarters, Beau Bassin
Postal Code:  

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