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Diagnosis of hotel waste management in Djerba


The programme “Cooperation in Urban Development and Dialogue” (CIUDAD) is funded by the European Neighbourhood Policy; it aims at encouraging dialogue and cooperation among civil societies in the European Union and outside its borders, while simultaneously promoting good governance and sustainable development in urban areas of partner countries.

The Integrated Waste Management in the Mediterranean Region (GODEM) project is implemented in the framework of the CIUDAD programme and aims at creating a permanent network for the exchange of information and experiences in integrated waste management between local and regional European authorities on one hand and the authorities of the southern coast of the Mediterranean on the other.

In parallel, its objective is to improve the capacities of local and regional authorities on issues such as good governance and integrated management of waste in the Mediterranean through the implementation of local and concrete projects and the adoption of a participative and integrated approach.

In this context, the Brussels Institute for Management of the Environment (IBGE-BIM) called on sba to help local authorities in Djerba to complete the diagnosis of household and similar waste management in the hospitality sector on the island.


The diagnosis of waste management in Djerba is based on three complementary components allowing the collection of general information on the local context and its comparison with the real situation. The objective is to take into consideration the reality of the tourism sector on the island, the practices with respect to minimising and recovering waste as well as the purchasing policy adopted by hotels. For the diagnosis, 2009 is considered a base year for the data.

Desk study | A desk study to collect general information on the island, its population, tourist activities and the practices with respect to waste treatment.

Preliminary assessment | Field visits for assessing a representative sample of 3, 4 and 5-star hotels. Collecting and analysing available data in hotels as well as observations during visits are the basis of the field work.

Analysing data and synthesis | Examining the collected data to understand the functioning of hotels, their environmental restrictions with respect to waste management and their purchasing policies. At this stage, improvement opportunities for the sector were identified.

Environmental practices in the hospitality sector in Djerba

Touristic zones on the island of Djerba are mainly located in Houmt Souk and Midoun. In Midoun there is a large number of hotels in comparison with the total number of hotels on the island. In Djerba, 48% of the hotels are 3-star hotels, 34% are 4-star hotels and, 13% 5-star hotels.

As for many economic activities, tourism and its expansion affect the environment. Establishing specific infrastructure for tourists will have repercussions on the environment with respect to energy consumption, water supply, waste and waste water generation and air pollution. Thus, for hotels there is a need to become more respectful of the environment.

Rationalization and resource management initiatives in the hotel sector in Djerba are voluntary and motivated by customer sensitivity to environmental issues. In some cases, environmental commitments are linked to a process of seeking an eco-label. In general, these voluntary practices take the form of actions in the environmental domains of waste, water and energy.

Focus on waste

A tourist in Djerba generates 2.82 Kg/day of waste whereas an inhabitant would generate 0.62 Kg/day. Waste is rather seasonal. Indeed, waste production peaks are recorded mainly in July and August when the hotels of Djerba receive the highest number of tourists.

Waste treatment in Djerba consists of dumping waste in a controlled landfill in Guellala. Guellala landfill started in May 2007; it has a life expectancy of 15 years and receives in average 125 tons of waste per day. Thus, in 2009, the landfill treated 46,129 tons of which nearly 40% came from two tourist zones on the island (Houmt Souk and Midoun).

Concerning recyclable waste, some of the initiatives carried out in this domain concern the recovery of plastic (especially PET), cardboard and edible oil. To this effect, some hotels have signed conventions with Tunisian recovery enterprises. For example, PET is sorted at source in specific containers and recovered by a recycling enterprise in Sousse.

Perspectives for local hotels

Environmental labelling | Environmental efforts carried out by proactive hotel managers on the island allow their establishments to consider the creation of an eco-label. The most well known labels for accommodation services in the region are the 'Ecolabel Tunisien' and ‘Clef Verte'.

Incentive mechanisms | Two incentive mechanisms were identified for the hospitality sector in Djerba to implement environmental projects and support targeted initiatives. The first is the Fonds de Développement de la Compétitivité (Fund for the development of competitiveness) in the tourism sector and the second is the Fonds National pour la Maîtrise de l'Energie (National fund for the management of energy).

Pilot actions | The implementation of pilot actions in the field of rational waste management in the hospitality sector has a strong potential because of the large number of hotels on the island. Common pilot actions for hotel managers will allow the development, the organization, the structuring of the waste recycling and recovery industries on the island.

Details of the project are available in the report: Diagnosis of Waste Management in Hotels in Djerba - November 2010

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