Mexico To Enforce Trash Separation

Since 2004, the Mexico City government has been trying to convince residents to separate their trash for recycling and composting purposes. An ambitious solid waste law requires residents and businesses to separate organic waste from inorganic trash.

Unfortunately, a lot of plastic and other inorganic matter ends up in the organic receptacles, stymieing efforts to generate a clean channel of compostable garbage. As we reported last year, the city produces about 12,000 tons of waste a day. Some 5,100 tons are organic waste, a huge potential resource for local farmers if only it could be collected by the city's trash services. This week, the city's environment minister, Martha Delegado, announced that she has had enough of the tomfoolery in the trash division and would hereby try to enforce the solid waste law with a mano dura, or heavier hand. The federal district, or Distrito Federal, of Mexico City is divided into 16 boroughs, and Delegado's plan is to offer new training courses for the garbage personnel in each bureau to sensitize them to the importance of recycling and composting. Delegado's office has given each borough a deadline for 150 days to come up with their own specific plan for carrying out the solid waste law. If they don't comply, they'll be fined.

Since 1998, the city has operated a compost plant in a peripheral industrial zone. But the plant has always operated under capacity in part because the city has struggled to capture all the organic waste and deliver it to the plant. Perhaps Delegado's new leadership on the issue will change that. : Via Teorema Ambiental (Spanish link)

Photo credit: Teorema Ambiental
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