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Mexico City trashes it’s garbage problem

Interesting article on how Mexico City has become so successful in reducing waste that it is closing it’s largest landfill.

Mexico City will close one of the world’s largest garbage dumps by Dec. 31 and will instead turn the garbage from millions of people into reusable materials and energy, MayorMarcelo Ebrard announced Monday.

Some 700 trucks that carry garbage to the Bordo Poniente will no longer be admitted as of Monday, and all operations will cease by the end of the year, Ebrard said.

Trucks will still enter the recycling separation plant and a composting plant already on the premises.

The city that once dumped 12,600 tons of garbage daily already has cut the amount in half this year through recycling and composting, said government undersecretary Juan Jose Garcia Ochoa.

The concrete giant Cemex SAB has agree to buy 3,000 tons daily to turn into energy, Garcia said. The city is seeking other landfills to dump the remaining garbage in smaller amounts while it institutes a new recycling program in the new year.

Built on a dry lake bed partly to handle the rubble from the devastating 1985 earthquake, Bordo Poniente has taken in more than 76 million tons of trash.

Closing the dump will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum of 2 million tons of carbon dioxide a year, according to the city government.

Ebrard said the city is implementing strict measures to stop illegal dumping at the site and to process materials into compost. It will also embark next year on a major project to harness the methane gas produced at the dump into energy, he said.

Ebrard said the city also plans to open a new plant to recycle construction waste into building material.

The Mexican capital itself has about 8.8 million residents, but its metropolitan area holds more than 20 million.

The city has been working for years to turn one of the planet’s biggest and messiest waste management systems into the greenest, at least in Latin America.

Three years ago, the city recycled only 6 percent of its garbage. Today, that number is close to 60 percent, having grown substantially in the last year, Garcia said.

The good news is that Saskatoon is on it’s way to making some of the same things come true, the bad news is that we can’t seem to get curb side recycling off the ground so it’s a long ways off.

One Comment

  1. Ian H. says:

    Sounds interesting. I thought S’toon’s recycling program was up and running nicely. I certainly appreciate the new company where you don’t need to sort or take the labels off the plastic containers anymore. Are there not that many folks using it?

    P.A.’s system is city-run, but more limited in what it accepts. That seems to be the trade-off.

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