Mustapha, owner of a gelssa

Mustapha is the owner of a gelssa (the word derives from the verb gels, “to sit down” in Moroccan dialect) in the Lahraouine district of Casablanca. Gelssas are fenced enclosures of varying sizes where materials brought in by street waste pickers are sorted and transformed. Mustapha attempted to create an “Association for the defense of recycled material retailers” to advocate for their recognition by public authorities. “The aim was to help people and organize our activity through an association to gain access to rights and healthcare. This profession is poorly recognized, but people are really keen to defend themselves.” Although the association was not authorized by the authorities, Mustapha continues his struggle as much as he can. “We are contributing to the country’s economy. If it were not for us, these materials wouldn’t get recycled, they would just have to be burnt.”

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