Friday, June 20, 2008

Argentina - Zero Waste In Buenos Aires

BioCycle (May 2008) reports that in late 2005, the City Council in Buenos Aires, Argentina unanimously passed a law, “Integral Management Of Solid Urban Waste, ” a Zero Waste law. The law sets goals and milestones to reduce the volume of municipal solid waste going to landfill disposal. “The first milestone is 30% reduction of waste to landfill by 2010, ” says Cecilia Allen of Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives' (GAIA) Latin America office in Buenos Aires. “That is followed by a 50% reduction by 2012, and a 75% reduction by 2017.

The law bans landfilling of recyclable and compostable waste by 2020. ” The baseline used in the law is the tons of solid waste disposed in 2004 (1.5 million metric tons). Impending closure of two of the three landfills servicing the city and surrounding region helped build political support for the Zero Waste law. CEAMSE (Coordinación Ecológica Area Metropolitana Sociedad del Estado), a joint venture of the government of the Province of Buenos Aires and the government of the City of Buenos Aires, has been managing urban waste in the Greater Buenos Aires region for almost 30 years. It owns the landfills, which receive up to 5,000 metric tons/day of municipal solid waste from the city alone. Garbage collection in Buenos Aires is mostly privatized, with five of the six districts serviced by contractors to the city. Buenos Aires city government services the sixth.

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