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NATIONAL WASTE PREVENTION AND COMPREHENSIVE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 2008–2012 Sergio Gasca Alvarez, M.S. Director, Sustainable Waste Management

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NATIONAL WASTE PREVENTION AND COMPREHENSIVE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 2008–2012 Sergio Gasca Alvarez, M.S. Director, Sustainable Waste Management. 4TH WORKSHOP ON SOURCES AND MEASUREMENT OF DIOXINS, FURANS AND HEXACHLOROBENZENE. Mexico City October 2010. Waste in Mexico – Current Situation.

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NATIONAL WASTE PREVENTION AND COMPREHENSIVE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM 2008–2012 Sergio Gasca Alvarez, M.S.Director, Sustainable Waste Management


Mexico City

October 2010


Waste in Mexico – Current Situation

  • An average of 0.9 kg/person/day of waste generated (0.4 kg in rural zones and 1.5 kg in metropolitan zones and the northern border) = around 95,000 tons per day (35 million tons/year)
  • 87% of urban solid waste and waste requiring special-handling is collected (remainder disposed of by generators)
  • Of the waste collected, an estimated 64% is disposed of in landfills and controlled sites
  • Less than 50% of potentially recyclable material is recycled
  • There are few alternatives for the treatment and valorization of waste requiring special-handling (PET, building material wastes, laminated cardboard, tires)
  • Of the hazardous waste reported; 51% is treated, 35% is recycled, 6% is reused, 5% is stored in containers, and 3% is incinerated

Background to Waste Prevention and Management Program

(planning instruments)

  • Trash is one of the top three environmental/social problems listed in terms of perception
  • In tourist departure surveys, trash is the third most-common issue mentioned
  • Presidential campaign promise (2006)
  • National Development Plan 2007–2012: Key issue 4, environmental sustainability (2007)
  • 100 actions for the first 100 days of government, action 87 (2007)
  • Environment and Natural Resources Sector Program, 2007–2012: objective 12 (2007)
  • General Waste Prevention and Comprehensive Management Act (2003)
  • Basic Diagnostic for Comprehensive Waste Management (2006)
  • Waste Prevention and Management Policy and Strategies (2007)

Premises and Reflections

Waste management law dates to 2003, although discussions began in 1988.

Waste management focused on collection and disposal, primarily at open-air dumps and around 88 landfills.

Major differences among technical and financial capacities of states and municipalities.

States, municipalities and public not interested in dealing with waste.


Premises and Reflections

Good range of technologies for selection, composting and disposal (from solid waste to plasma)

Separation provided by informal sector and few collection centers

Recycling in Mexico is seen in traditional transactions involving waste of evident and high commercial value (glass, paper, cardboard, metal)

Financing inaccessible or hard to secure from governments


Waste Prevention And Management Program: National Waste Policy

  • Reduce waste generation and disposal (3 Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle)
  • Foster regional, metropolitan, or intermunicipal approaches to comprehensive waste management
  • Transform the current model, based solely on the collection and disposal of waste, to an environmentally sound, technically feasible, economically viable, and socially acceptable comprehensive management-based model
  • Strengthen recovery and valorization of waste as resources suitable for reuse, recycling, in heat production or as alternative fuels
  • Promote waste management operating agencies to streamline activities, without being vulnerable to changes in public administrations
  • Foster change in current production and consumption patterns
waste prevention and management program development
Waste Prevention and Management Program: Development
  • Preparatory meetings, February 2007
  • Five public consultation workshops with 450 participants: Cancún, Saltillo, Guadalajara and Mexico City (2), September–December 2007
  • First draft, with contributions from federal agencies, state and municipal environmental authorities, private and social sectors, academia, GTZ and JICA
  • Review by five national experts (February 2008)
  • Second draft available online for public comment (March–June 2008)
  • Consultation with key agents (May–August 2008):
      • Academic sector: UNAM, UAM, IPN, UIA, ITESM
      • Oil & gas sectors, mining sector
      • Development banks: SHCP, BANOBRAS-FONADIN, BECC-NADB, NAFIN
  • Third draft, with input from NGOs, advisory boards and ANAAES (August 2008)
  • Fourth draft, reviewed by Outreach and Liaison offices (October 2008)
  • Final draft (November 2008)
waste prevention and management program components
Organized in sections by type of waste and transversal topics:


Purpose and methodology


Guiding policy principles

Objectives and strategies

Program actions by type of waste

Hazardous waste

Urban solid waste

Mining-metals & oil

6 transversal topics:

Scientific and technological development;

Waste, climate change & energies

Waste in risk & disaster situations

Education & training

3 Rs & life cycle

Waste information system


Evaluation, benchmarking, expected results & updating

Waste Prevention and Management Program: Components

Waste Prevention and Management Program: Primary Actions

  • Increase, diversification and access to funding options
  • Overhaul and modernization of legal-administrative framework on waste
  • State and municipal programs for waste prevention and management
  • Construction of comprehensive waste management infrastructure: comprehensive waste management centers, transfer stations, separation plants, heat valorization, composting and landfills
  • Condemnation and remediation of disposal sites
  • Inclusion of landfills or controlled sites in biogas recovery programs (CDMs, carbon bonds)
  • Priority waste management plans with a national focus: tires, batteries, vehicles, farm waste, e-waste, construction waste
  • Development of national subsystem for environmental waste reporting
  • Training and awareness campaigns and programs
  • Compliance with international commitments (Rotterdam, Basel, Stockholm, etc.)

Expected Results

Waste valorization

Reduction in greenhouse gases

Increase in useful life of solid waste

Waste Prevention & ManagementProgram

Decrease in public health risks

Decreased soil and water polluction

Soil improvers


Declining use of virgin materials to manufacture goods


Waste Prevention and Management Program: Impact in 2012

  • Site remediation and improvement or expansion of disposal infrastructure
    • Control 186,000 – 213,000 tons of urban solid waste per year, increasing current receiving capacity by 18%
    • Reduce disposal in clandestine dumps by 1.5%
    • Increase HW confinement capacity from 0.4 to 1.5 million tons/year
  • Material or heat valorization
    • Increase urban solid waste separation facility capacity by at least 1,200 tons/day (10-15%)
    • Increase capacity to use organic waste by at least 50% (from 61 to 93 plants)
    • Increase valorization of glass, cardboard, metals and plastics by 11%
    • Recovery of 3,000 to 4,000 tons/day of urban solid waste (11–15%) through comprehensive recycling and valorization centers
    • Increase use of mining-metals waste by 50%
    • Recovery of around 303,000 tons per year of special-handling waste (construction, electronics, wastewater plant sludge)
  • Capture and use of greenhouse gases
    • Reduction of around 9.4 million tons of CO2eq per year

Key Semarnat Activities in Waste

Prevention and Management Program

  • Program began with an authorized budget of 300 million pesos for infrastructure and remediation projects and comprehensive management programs for urban solid and special-handling waste
  • Advisement and validation of highlighted projects for environmental budget allowance in 2009, 2010, and 197 projects slated for 2011
  • Other infrastructure projects in Baja California, Michoacán, Jalisco and Tamaulipas
  • Other financial resources (Fonadin, Cocef, Semarnat or environmental budget allowance) to fund infrastructure, remediation or studies
  • Drafting of handling plan standards, standards revision (NOM-083) and technical guide for building landfills
  • Distance training course on comprehensive waste management and coordination with support groups (Sedesol, Giresol, GTZ, Remexmar, etc)
  • State study results available, such as potential landfill sites, technology assessments, waste flows, automobiles, appliances, tires, scrap, glass

Thank you very much.

Sergio Gasca Alvarez, M.S.

Director, Sustainable Waste Management

General Bureau of Environmental, Urban and Tourism Development

+52 (55) 54 90 09 80