Diagnosis of Municipal Solid Waste Management in Latin America by po2933


									Diagnosis of Municipal Solid Waste Management in Latin America and the Carribbean

                                            Guido Acurio
                                           Antonio Rossin
                                       Paulo Fernando Teixeira
                                          Francisco Zepeda

Joint publication of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Pan American Health

First edition:   July 1997 - No ENV97-107 of the Inter-American Development Bank

Second edition: September 1998 - Serie Ambiental No. 18
                  Pan American Health Organization /
                  World Health Organization


Chapter 21 of Agenda 21 establishes the basis for a sound municipal solid waste management as part of
sustainable development. Agenda 21 points out that waste management should deal with adequate waste
minimization, recycling, collection, and treatment and final disposal. It also states that every country and
city should prepare its own programs according to its local conditions and economic capacities. In
accordance with the short and medium term goals set up at the United Nations Conference on Environment
and Development (UNCED, 92), carried out in Rio de Janeiro, for the year 2000 developing countries
should have created the abilities to monitor the four topic areas mentioned and should have established
national programs with proper goals for each one of them. As well, they should have consolidated criteria
for adequate final disposal and environmental surveillance and for 2005, at least 50% of municipal waste
will have been treated adequately.

This Diagnosis of municipal solid waste management in Latin America and the Caribbean, carried out
jointly by the IDB and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization, is a first attempt
to assess the progress achieved in the continent five years after the UNCED 92. The document should be
updated periodically to be useful to these and other international agencies so that they could establish action
programs in the municipal solid waste area. In addition, it is expected that the countries use it as an
instrument to establish realistic goals in their action programs.


The success of the first edition published by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in 1997 of this
analysis on the situation of solid waste management in Latin America and the Caribbean is unquestionable.
Since the first edition was out of stock and there was a continuous demand for this title, the Pan American
Health Organization (PAHO), with the agreement of IDB, decided to issue this second edition, which has
been reviewed to correct some mistakes of the first one

Executive summary
General Characteristics of the Region
Population and urbanization
Health and education
Socioeconomic and political prospects

Current situation
Institutional and legal aspects of municipal solid waste management
Technical and operational aspects
Economic-financial aspects
Health aspects
Environmental aspects
Social and community aspects

Critical aspects identified and conclusions
Institutional and legal area
Technical and operational area
Economic-financial area
Health area
Environmental area
Social and community sector

                                      EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

         This Diagnosis of Municipal Solid Waste Management in Latin America and the Caribbean, LAC, is
the result of a joint effort between the IDB and the Pan American Health Organization.

       The information included derives mainly from "El Manejo de Residuos S61idos Municipales en
América Latina y el Caribe", Environmental Series N° 15, PAHO, 1995, and "Desechos Peligrosos y Salud en
Amdrica Latina y el Caribe", Environmental Series N° 4, PAHO, 1994, which was complemented with data
compiled by experts in eight countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Trinidad and
Tabago, and Venezuela. As well, the sectorial studies on solid wastes carried out in Guatemala, Colombia,
Uruguay, and Mexico with the support of PAHO, IDB, IBRD, and USAID during 1995 and 1996, were used.

          The Diagnosis has identified the following critical aspects and conclusions under six categories: (1)
institutional and legal area; (2) technical and operational area; (3) economic and financing area; (4) health area;
(5) environmental area; and (6) social and community area.

1.      Institutional and legal area
1.1     Institutional weakness. In the countries of the Region, the solid waste sector has not been formally
        recognized, hence, until now its relevance and priorities have not received the attention it needs.
        The lack of a leader regulatory agency affects resource availability, information processes and
        service coverage. In the Caribbean, the institutional structure works better, partly, because of the
        size of the countries, which makes them possible to have a single governmental organization to
        conduct the sector.

1.2     Centralism and deficient operation. The role of the State as administrator, regulator and supervisor
        is deficient, as well as the role of local governments as operators. Limitations are due to centralism
        and lack of priority of solid waste management, despite the fact that many municipalities allocate
        almost half of their budget to urban cleaning.

1.3     Lack of planning. There are no long-term operational, financial or environmental plans with
        regard to solid waste management, both at national and executing agencies level.

1.4     Lack of national information and monitoring systems. This restricts planning and program
        formulation, appropriate decision-making, adequate management, hierarchy of activities, resource
        allocation, and monitoring, surveillance, and control.

1.5     Inadequate legislation. There is no coherence among legal provisions referred to municipal,
        special, and hazardous solid wastes and the threat they pose to public health and the environment.
        Legislation is incomplete and ambiguous with respect to the scope of action of the administrative
       entities involved and is incompatible with economic, social, and cultural situations. In addition, there
       are too much complementary and administrative ordinances. Most countries fail to comply with the
       international commitments assumed by their governments.

1.6    Noncompliance with legal instruments. In some cases, legislation is unknown due to insufficient
       dissemination; in other cases there is an advanced legislation but it is not enforced. In federal
       countries, there is not a regulatory formula to oblige municipalities to comply with certain federal
       environmental and financial standards.

1.7    Lack of policies to reduce solid waste generation. The official rhetoric still prevails as well as the
       promotion of environmentalist groups. Policies for recovery, reuse, and recycling of solid wastes
       have had a steady progress in the countries motivated by poor communities looking for income.
       Some countries have established policies based on the polluter pays principle, however, they
       cannot be applied due to lack of resources.

1.8    Short, medium and long-term programs. Few countries have formulated them; some master plans
       for metropolitan areas and large cities have been prepared, but only few have been implemented.
       Most pilot projects have only academic and technical value but little remain, due mainly to lack of
       economic and financial self-sustainability. Microenterprises projects, however, are excepted and
       its progress in LAC is constant.

1.9    Human resources qualification. There is lack of trained and skilled human resources at all levels.
       Wages are low and just for survival. Social and health benefits are few and do not exist for
       informal workers. Political interference is frequent and implies hiring of excessive personnel and
       appointment of non-qualified executives. This situation is even more critical in medium and small
       size cities.

1.10   Privatization. The current trend is toward greater participation of the private sector in solid waste
       management. The general opinion is that the private sector is more efficient than the public sector and
       that it can also improve service quality and costs. Contracting and concessions to the private sector are
       alternatives for municipalities that lack resources for investments.

2.     Technical and operational area

2.1    Management of especial and hazardous wastes. These are usually mixed with municipal solid
       wastes. The main causes of this problem are lack of control due to insufficient human and financial
       resources; no sanctions to violators; and political favors, privileges, and corruption.
2.2    Temporary waste storage. Lack of standardization and poor maintenance of containers is rampant,
       and the use of containers in public areas convert them in dirty dumps with odor and vector
2.3    Sweeping. Replacement of manual sweeping with mechanical sweeping is a dilemma for municipal
       authorities because manual operation takes up a high number of unskilled workers. On the other hand,
       the sweeping quality has been improved and its cost has been reduced with privatization.

2.4    Collection with equipment. Coverage higher than 90% has been achieved in numerous large cities
       of the Region. A critical aspect, however, is the low coverage in medium and small-size cities and
       the limited attention to urban marginal settlements.
2.5    Transfer stations. There are problems regarding its location and operation that can affect
       negatively the environment and life quality of nearby populations.
2.6    Incineration and composting. Incineration has been limited to hospitals and industries. As a result,
       critical aspects have not been identified. Most probably, Caribbean countries and some cities with
       specific problems will use it in the future. On the other hand, composting has presented critical
       problems due to lack of feasibility studies, including marketing and commercialization.
2.7    Final disposal. Governments, community, and the media have given priority to hospital solid
       waste management (600 t daily throughout the Region), however, the final disposal of 330,000 t
       daily of municipal waste that represent a potential hazard, has not received the same attention.
2.8    Sanitary landfill. It is the most common disposal method in LAC, although most of them do not
       fulfill the required technical specifications. The quality of few sanitary landfills has improved in
       recent years, although leaching is still not treated and synthetic membranes are not used for
       imperviousness. In medium and small-size cities, and even in some large ones, waste is disposed
       of in open dumps and water bodies. The construction of manual landfills is feasible as
       demonstration projects in very small urban nuclei; possibly, microenterprises are the viable
2.9    Equipment maintenance and facilities. It has been partly solved with the contracting out of
       maintenance service to private companies.
2.10   Recycling and reuse. It is practiced widely in LAC. In some cities, the recovered quantity has
       increased, scavenger groups have been organized, marketing of recovered material is more
       equitable and the number of recycling industries has also increased. However, the social problem
       of scavengers still prevails and no facilities have been drawn for them to access financial credits.

3.     Economic-financial area

3.1    Evaluation of economic benefits. Except for some countries of the Caribbean, the governments of
       the Region have not identified the economic benefits of adequate MSW and HW management.
       Since it is not possible to quantify them, evaluations are restricted to estimate the value of
       recovered and recycled materials, sale of compost, gas methane or energy from incineration,
       increase of land value recovered by sanitary landfills, and other marginal benefits.
     3.2     Sector financing. Most financial resources come from municipalities and limited national resources
             (federal or state). The interest of international and bilateral organizations is recent and usually
             financing is not exclusive for solid waste projects. Another problem is the access of intermediate
             and small municipalities to international and bilateral credit, and the lack of accounting
             information on solid waste management costs.
     3.3     Cleaning rates and tariffs. Municipalities usually collect very low rates and tariffs due to political
             reasons, difficulty of collection, lack of conununity education or because the service is of such a
             poor quality that the users refuse to pay for it. This aspect is crucial to achieve self-financing in the
             countries of the Region.
     3.4     Service collection. Collection is not efficient when included in the billing of real estate taxes or
             when it is collected directly at a specific rate, since the slowness index is very high. On the other
             hand, when it is invoiced with other public services, such as drinking water and electricity, it is
             usually efficient and self-financing is achieved. The problem appears when legal devices hinder
             this type of marketing or forbid the cut of water or electricity when the service is not paid.

     4.      Health area

               The population exposed to physical, chemical and biological agents of MSW are formal and
     informal workers who handle wastes; non-served population living near MSW treatment and disposal sites;
     scavengers and their families; and the population in general through surface and groundwater
     contamination, waste-fed animals, and exposure to hazardous waste. The main factors that contribute to
     this situation are the lack of concern of sector authorities and the poor quality of services.

     5.      Environmental area

              Negative environmental impact is present in the following decreasing order of risk: final disposal sites;
     temporary storage sites; transfer stations, treatment and recovery plants; and during collection and
     transportation processes. The impact affects water, air, soil, and landscape. Compliance of environmental
     protection regulations has to face institutional, legal, financial, and especially surveillance limitations. On the
     other hand, policies to reduce the generation of municipal, special and hazardous wastes have not given results;
     and the reduction of hazardous wastes at the source through cleaner production is still incipient. To achieve
     sustainable development, it is necessary to increase waste recovery, reuse, and recycling. The most important
     issue to prevent negative environmental impacts is to improve MSW management, specifically final disposal.

     6.      Social and community sector

              Community participation in solid waste management is weak because it is considered as a
     responsibility of the municipalities; hence, the attitude toward service payment is negative. The education of the
     actors of the process, authorities, producers, and generators, and especially the community is an
important part of Agenda 21 postulates and although it is a long-term process, it is the correct way to achieve
sustainable solid waste services. Achievements obtained in industrialized countries confirm it. Finally, as far as
unemployment and extreme poverty continue, there will be solid waste scavengers. It is necessary to mitigate
this social problem and to support the organization and development of managerial, operational and financing
capabilities of cooperatives, associations and microenterprises of scavengers.

        The management of municipal solid wastes (RSM) in Latin America and the Caribbean is complex and
has evolved in parallel with the urbanization process, economic growth, and industrialization.

         To address this subject, it is not sufficient to know the technical aspects of collection, street sweeping
and final disposal. It is also necessary to apply the new concepts on finance, decentralization, private sector
participation, health issues, environment, poverty in urban marginal settlements, education, and community

         Although municipal solid waste problems have been identified several decades ago, especially in
metropolitan areas, the partial solutions achieved so far do not cover all countries of the Region or most
medium and small-size cities and it has become a permanent political topic that usually generates social

         On the other hand, generation and management of hospital and industrial wastes are affecting, to a
greater or lesser extent, municipal solid waste management, including tolerated or illegal reception of high
quantities of harmful wastes that are difficult to handle and pose risks to human health and the environment.

         For the preparation of this diagnosis, bibliographic material included in the reference section has been
consulted. The basic information comes mainly from the documents "El Manejo de Residuos S61idos
Municipales en América Latina y el Caribe", Environmental Series N° 15, PAHO, 1995 and "Desechos
Peligrosos y Salud en América Latina y el Caribe", Environmental Series N° 14, PAHO, 1994. In addition,
information was complemented with data compiled by experts in eight countries, Argentina, Brazil, Chile,
Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Trinidad and Tabago, and Venezuela, considered as a significant sample of the Latin
American and Caribbean scenario. As well, the studies of Andlisis Sectoriales en Residuos Sólidos recently
carried out in Guatemala, Colombia, Uruguay, and Mexico, with the support of PAHO, IDB, IBRD, and
USAID during 1995 and 1996, were also used. In addition, specific documentation available in the
Headquarters of the Pan American Health Organization, PAHO, and in the Pan American Center for Sanitary
Engineering and Environmental, CEPIS/PAHO, was consulted. A consultant was hired to prepare the diagnosis
after reviewing files from the IDB, PAHO, the World Bank, and the Department of Statistics and Human
Settlements of United Nations; as well as two specialists to address health subjects related to MSW. Finally,
additional data were collected from the lectures of the XXV Congress of Sanitary Engineering carried out in
Mexico City from 3 to 7 November 1996.

         Part of the data and information are estimates provided by different national sources, thus, some
inconsistencies could appear eventually with regard to the figures. In fact, the lack of reliable information
systems is one of the critical aspects of solid waste management.

        In summary, for Latin America and the Caribbean, the sound management of collection, transportation,
treatment, and disposal of solid wastes continues to be an objective of high priority that should be
complemented with programs on waste reduction, reuse and recycling.

ABES          Associaqáo Brasileira de Engenharia Sanitaria a Ambiental
ABIQUIM       Associagáo Brasileira de InOústrias Químicas
ABRELP        Brazilian Association of Public Sanitation Utilities
AECI          Spanish Agency for International Cooperation
AID           Agency for International Development
AIDIS         Inter American Association of Sanitary Engineering and Environmental Sciences
ALTERNATIVA   Non-governmental organization of Peru
AMCRESPAC     Asociación Mexicana para el Control de Residuos Sólidos y Peligrosos
ASEAS         Asociación Colombiana de Entidades Administradoras de Aseo Urbano
ATSDR         Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
BANOBRAS      Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios Públicos (Mexico)
BNDES         Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Económico a Social (Brazil)
CEAMSE        Coordinación Ecológica Área Metropolitana Sociedad del Estado (Buenos Aires,
CEPIS         Pan American Center for Sanitary Engineering and Environmental Sciences
CETESB        Companhia de Tecnologia a Saneamento Ambiental (Sáo Paulo, Brazil)
CII           Inter American Investment Corporation (IDB)
COMLURB       Companhia Municipal de Limpeza Urbana (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
CONADESCO     Consejo Nacional de Manejo de Desechos Sólidos (Guatemala)
CONAMA        Comisión Nacional del Medio Ambiente (Guatemala)
CONAMA        Conselho Nacional do Meio Ambiente (Brazil)
DDF           Departamento del Distrito Federal (Mexico)
DESCO         Centro de Estudios y Promoción del Desarrollo (Peru)
DF            Federal District (Mexico)
DGRMR         Dirección General de Residuos, Materiales y Riesgo (Mexico)
DIGESA        Dirección General de Salud Ambiental (Peru)
DIRSA         Solid Waste Division (AIDIS)
ECC           European Community Commission
ECLAC         Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

EMA           Empresa Municipal de Aseo
EPA           Environmental Protection Agency (USA)
ESMLL         Empresa Municipal de Limpieza de Lima (Peru)
FEEMA         Fundagáo Estadual de Engenharia do Meio Ambiente (Brazil)
FIBGE         Fundagáo Instituto Brasileiro de Geografía y Estadística
FIESP         Federagáo de Industriais do Estado de Sáo Paulo
FINDETER      Financiera de Desarrollo Territorial (Colombia)
FOMIN         Multilateral Investment Fund (IDB)

GDP           Gross domestic product
GTZ           German Agency for Technical Cooperation
HW            Hazardous waste
IBAMA         Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente a dos Recursos Naturais Renováveis
IBRD          International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank)
IDB           Inter American Development Bank
IDRC          International Development Research Centre (Canada)
IFAM        Instituto de Fomento y Asesoría Municipal (Costa Rica)
INAPMAS     Instituto Nacional para la Protección del Medio Ambiente (Peru)
INFOM       Instituto de Fomento Municipal (Guatemala)
INCYTH      Instituto Nacional de Ciencias y Técnicas Hídricas (Argentina)
INTI        Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Industrial (Argentina)
IPES        Instituto de Promoción de Economía Social (Peru)
JICA        Japan International Cooperation Agency
LAC         Latin America and the Caribbean
LEF         Life expectancy at birth
MA          Metropolitan area
MSW         Municipal solid waste
MVOTMA      Ministerio de Vivienda, Ordenamiento Territorial y Medio Ambiente
NAFIN       Nacional Financiera (Mexico)
NAFTA       North American Free Trade Agreement
NGO         Non governmental organization
NRA         National Recycling Association (Colombia)
OACA        Oficina de Asesoría y Consultoría Ambiental (Peru)
OAS         Organization of American States
OECD        Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
PAHO        Pan American Health Organization
PROFEPA     Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente (Mexico)
PROTERRA    Member of the World Union for Nature (Peru)
REPAMAR     Pan American Network for Environmental Waste Management
REPIDISCA   Pan American Information Network on Environmental Health (CEPIS/PAHO)
REPINDEX    Specialized bibliographic index of REPIDISCA
SEDESOL     Secretaría de Desarrollo Social (Mexico)
SEGEPLAN    Secretaría General de Planificación Económica (Guatemala)
SEMARNAP    Secretaría de Medio Ambiente, Recursos Naturales y Pesca (Mexico)
SIMRU       Urban Solid Waste Monitoring System (CEPIS/PAHO)
SISNAMA     National Environmental System (Brazil)
SMISAC      Sociedad Mexicana de Ingeniería Sanitaria y Ambiental
SSW         Special solid waste
SWMCO       Solid Waste Management Company of Trinidad and Tabago
SUNASS      Superintendencia de Servicios de Saneamiento (Peru)
UNCED       United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
UNCHS       United Nations Center for Human Settlements (HABITAT)
UNDP        United Nations Development Program
UNEP        United Nations Environmental Program
USAID       United States Agency for International Development
WHO         World Health Organization
1.      Background

         The concept of sustainable development, advocated at the United Nations Conference on Environment
and Development (UNCED 92), includes the subject of solid waste which involves waste generation reduction,
recycling and reuse of all materials, and waste treatment and disposal in an environmentally sound way. To
guarantee sustainable development, stated in the Agenda 21, the governments, the private sector, and the
communities should establish policies, programs, and plans where the operators and the community could work
together to achieve a rational solid waste management.

        In Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and in the technical-financing community there is
consensus to provide greater support to the solid waste sector. To date, the diagnoses carried out by some
countries and by cooperation agencies, such as the sector analyses made by the Pan American Health
Organization (PAHO), reveal that the solid waste sector does not have national policies nor plans and that the
urban cleaning area receives limited support at the local level. It is deduced also that the inefficiencies of the
sector are due to institutional, managerial and financing weaknesses of the operational entities, usually
municipal, which result in urban services with lower quality and coverage than those of the energy, water
supply and sewerage sectors.

         The Inter-American Development Bank, IDB, supports the improvement of living standards, including
the provision of basic social services in urban areas. Therefore, it has given importance to solid waste
management since it is one of the most serious problems of Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB Eighth
Increase is focused on three basic aspects: i) poverty reduction; ii) private and public sector modernization; and
iii) support to the countries of the Region to adopt growth processes from the economic, social, financial and
environmental points of view; i.e., sustainable development.

        The Pan American Health Organization, in compliance with their Governing Bodies, cooperates with
the countries of the Region to improve municipal and hazardous solid waste management, to extend service
coverage, and to develop human and institutional resources.

       With this document, the IDB joins efforts with the Pan American Health Organization to prepare the
Diagnosis of Municipal Solid Waste Management in Latin America and the Caribbean.

2.      General characteristics of the Region

2.1     Population and urbanization

        According to the United Nations statistics, in 1970 Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) had 283
millions population and in 1985, 482 millions. For the year 2000 and 2010, it is estimated a population of 524
millions and 604 millions, respectively. Almost 80% of the population belong to seven of the most populated
countries of the Region (tables 2.1.1 and 2.1.2).
        Education and family planning programs undertaken in most of the countries have reduced the average
population annual growth rate in LAC from 2.44 in 1970-1975 to 1.84 in 1990-1995. Even so, a population of
524 millions is estimated for the year 2000 (Annex 2.1.1).

         Since urban solid waste generation depends on the population, the LAC urbanization process needs to
be analyzed. In 1975, the urban population was 196 millions (61%) and in 1995, 358 millions (74%). In 20
years the population that required urban sanitation services grew more than 80% (Annex 2.1.2).

         The urbanization process of LAC, one of the fastest in the world, is manifested in 15 cities considered
among the 100 larger ones. For the year 2000, the 110 cities of LAC with more than 500,000 population will
constitute 50% of the regional urban population. In terms of solid waste management, they represent 110
important projects. To face the problem of thousands of large, medium and smaller cities with less than 500,000
population, however, is possibly a greater challenge since they shelter the other half of the urban population.
The projections show that this trend will grow and cities will be less populous (tables 2.1.3, 2.1.4 and Annexes
2.1.3 and 2.1.4).

         In summary, the high rate of urbanization of Latin America and the Caribbean is very important for
municipal solid waste management. On the one hand, metropolises and large cities, including marginal areas
and suburbs, will increase their demand of services, and on the other hand, thousands of medium and small
cities will require technical, financing, and managerial assistance, which will represent a major challenge for
national and municipal governments, and also for financing agencies and technical assistance organizations.
                                                                Table 2.1.1

                                                     Total population and growth rate
                                                   in Latin America and the Caribbean

                    Yea,                  Total population and projections                    Average annual growth
                                        (thousands in the middle of the ear)                           rate
                    1970                              283,214                                          2.44
                    1975                              319,883                                          2.28
                    1980                              358,437                                          2.11
                    1985                              398,416                                          1.97
                    1990                              439,716                                          1.84
                    1995                              482,005                                          1.67
                    2000                              523,875                                          1.50
                    2005                              564, 637                                         1.34
                    2010                              603,843

                       Source: United Nations. World urbanization prospects: the 1994 revision.

                                                                Table 2.1.2

                                          Group of Latin American and Caribbean countries
                                               according to its total population (1995)

           Total population           Countries
               (n mon)
    Less than 0.5                     Antigua and Barbuda, Netherlands Antilles, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica,
                                      Grenada, Guadeloupe, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the
                                      Grenadines, Suriname
    i Between 0.5 and 1.0             Guyana
    Between 1.0 and 5.0               Costa Rica, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay
    Between 5.0 and 10.0              Bolivia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras
    Between 10.0 and 20.0             Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Guatemala
    Between 20.0 and 50.0             Argentina, Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela
    Between 50.0 and 100.0            Mexico
    More than 100.0                   Brazil

             Source: ECLAC. Anuario estadístico de América Latina y el Caribe, 1995.

                                                           Table 2.1.3
                                         Percentage of urban population and growth rate
                                              in Latin America and the Caribbean

Year                      Urban population                         Urban population       Average annual growth rate
                            (thousands)                                     (%)                     (%)
1970                          162,674                                      57.4                     3.74
1975                          196,172                                      61.3                     3.47
1980                          233,342                                      65.1                     3.11
1985                          272,534                                      68.4                     2.84
1990                          314,161                                      71.4                     2.60
1995                          357,689                                      74.2                     2.30
2000                          401,361                                      76.6                     2.04
2005                          444,374                                      78.7                     1.80
2010                          486,141                                      80.5

       Source: United Nations. World urbanization prospects: the 1994 revision.
                   Table 2.1.4
  Number of cities grouped according to its size
in Latin America and the Caribbean (projections)
2.2     Health and education

         The main objectives of municipal and hazardous solid waste management are to protect and improve
human health and the environment by reducing human exposure to injuries, accidents, nuisances and diseases
due to inadequate solid waste management.

        It is difficult to establish a direct relationship between inadequate municipal solid waste management
and health. Some health conditions statistics of the LAC population are presented below. It is recognized that
diseases have multiple causes, among them, poverty, malnutrition and lack of basic sanitation services,
including deficient solid waste management. table 2.2.1 shows that during 1990-1995, 15 countries of LAC had
mortality rates above 30 for each 1,000 live births. The average infant mortality rate for Latin America and the
Caribbean for that five-year period is 47 per 1,000 live births, a value that is 4 to 6 times higher than the one
observed in the most developed regions of the world, such as Europe (11 per 1,000) and North America (8 per

         In recent decades, life expectancy at birth (LEB) in Latin America and the Caribbean has increased. In
Latin America and the carbibbean           Latin the 1990-1995 period that value increased 3 years in LAC and,
as shown in table 2.2.2, except for Haiti, all countries reached 60 years or more of LEB, which is the value
established as a worldwide goal in the health for all strategy for the year 2000. With regard to the regional goal
of the Americas set in 70 years, 17 LAC countries have already surpassed it in 1995. The improvement of
municipal and hazardous solid waste management is a factor that increases LEB.
                                                                    Table 2.2.1

                                   Infant mortality rate during 1990-1995 by groups of countries

Infant mortality rate(*)              Countries
Less than 10.0                        Barbados
Between 10.0 and 20.0                 Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Netherlands Antilles, Trinidad and
Between 20.0 and 30.0                 Argentina, Bahamas, Suriname, Panama, Uruguay, Venezuela
Between 30.0 and 40.0                 Belize, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay
Between 40.0 and 50.0                 Ecuador, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras
Between 50.0 and 60.0                 Brazil, Nicaragua
Between 60.0 and 70.0                 Peru
More than 70.0                        Bolivia, Haiti

          (*) Deaths of children under 1 year per each thousand live births.

                           Anuario estadístico de           Latina y el

                                                                 Table 2.2.2

                                              Life expectancy at                   -1995
                                                  in Latin America and the Caribbean
                  55.0 to 59.9
                  60.0 to 64.9                Bolivia, Guatemala
                                              Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guyana,
                                              Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru,
                                              Argentina, Bahamas, Belize, Chile, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, Mexico,
                                              Netherlands Antilles, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Trinidad and

                 75.0 and more                Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Costa Rica, Cuba

                                      of years left if a person lives under this mortality rate.

          Source: ECLAC. Anuario estadístico de América Latina y el Caribe, 1995.
          Undoubtedly, there exists a correlation between education and cleaning practices. In general, the higher the level
of education, the higher the ecological and environmental awareness and the more rooted personal hygiene and cleaning
habits of dwellings and public areas. As well, more assertion in demanding better public services, including refuse

          The illiterate population over 15 years old has been diminishing in the Region. The statistical information from
ECLAC for 1990 showed that only five countries had more than 20% of illiteracy, eight countries had ranges between 10%
and 20%, and nine countries had succeeded in reducing illiteracy to less than 10% . It is obvious that illiteracy will be a
serious limitation for a community education program in solid waste management, especially among urban marginal
population (table 2.2.3).

                                                            Table 2.2.3

                                         Illiterate population over 15 years old
                            in Latin America and the Caribbean, grouped by countries (1990)

      % illiterate population        Countries
           Less than 5 %             Argentina, Guyana, Jamaica, Uruguay
      Between 5% and 10%             Antigua and Barbuda, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Paraguay, Suriname
      Between 10% and 15%            Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela
      Between 15% and 20%            Brazil, Dominican Republic
      Between 20% and 30%            Bolivia, El Salvador, Honduras
          More than 30%              Guatemala, Haiti

                   Source: ECLAC. Anuario estadlstico de America Latina y el Caribe,

2.3      Economy

         In the 1970s, the Region had a sustained growth and the gross domestic product per capita rose froth 1,600 to
2,162 dollars in constant 1980 prices. In the decade of 1980 there was a strong decline and in 1990 it reached a minimum
of 1984 dollars. During this decade it began to recover, reaching 2,125 dollars in 1994. The economic prospects for Latin
America and the Caribbean countries are positive and it is estimated that this trend will continue to the end of the decade.

          According to information from ECLAC, in this decade the annual growth rate of the mining and manufacturing
industry is increasing, leading to economic improvement, although it also represents higher generation of hazardous solid
          Traditionally, governments allocate a significant part of its budgets to infrastructure, although recently the private
sector is making investments in the energy and communication sector. Nearly 60% of the investment in infrastructure in
Latin America and the Caribbean have been financed with external loans
    for the energy, transportation, and telecommunications sectors, and to a lesser extent, for drinking water and

    low, if not insignificant.

             During 1990
    inflation reduction and a significant affluence of external capitals. To achieve this, radical adjustments such as
    opening to global trade, restriction of public expenses, fiscal austerity, and privatization programs were

    sanitation services, a process initiated in the previous decade (table 2.3.1; Annex 2.3.1 and Annexes 2.3.2 and

                         Evolution of the GDP per capita in Latin America and the Caribbean
                                                                         (US dollars of 1980)
                                 1980                                             2,162
                                 1988                                             2,037
I                                                                                 2,015
                                 1991                                             2,017
                                 1994                                             2,125

                                 Source: MAC Anuario estadístico de Aniérica Latiw y el Caribe, 1995.

    2.4      Socioeconomic and political prospects

            Although the gross domestic product per capita is rising in most of the countries, investments and
    savings are still low and poverty and indigence rates are maintained or are even worse. In 1990, 34 % of urban
    households were in poverty conditions and 13 % in indigence conditions (table 2.4.1). In Honduras, more than
    60% of the population are poor and the level of indigence in Guatemala and Honduras reaches to more than
    20% of the households (table 2.4.2). This poverty situation and the lack of community education programs,
    represent a serious restriction to achieve self-financing of municipal solid waste services.

            According to ECLAC statistics, in 1990 there were almost 110 millions of poor people among the
    urban population of LAC and 41 millions of them were indigents. The main problem is to harmonize the
    economic growth recovery of the countries with measures and programs to improve the situation of lowincome
        Most countries of Latin America and the Caribbean give great importance to macroeconomic stability,
to increase their competitiveness in the world market, and the offering of opportunities to the population,
especially the low-income ones.

        The democratic practice and the decentralization process in most of the countries, place urban solid
waste in the first level of discussion when municipal elections are near, since every local government platform
proclaims public sanitation improvement. Unfortunately, in most cases the subject is used only for electoral
campaigns. On the other hand, environmentalist and community movements are playing a relevant role in rising
awareness with respect to the inadequate management of municipal and hazardous solid waste. Each time it is
more frequent to see parliaments, national government entities and municipalities engaged in discussions to
improve urban sanitation services and hazardous waste management. Other process that is gaining momentum
and has good perspectives in this decade is the privatization of solid waste management services.

                                                                 Table 2.4.1

                    Households in poverty and indigence conditions in Latin America and the
                                       (Percentage with respect to the total)

         Year                      Poverty (a)                                       Indigence (b)
                                        Total               Urban                    Total                            Urban
         1970                                40             26                       19                                    10
         1980                                35             25                       15                                     9
         1986                                37             30                       17                                    11
         1990                                39             34                       18                                    13

        a) Percentage of households with income lower than double of the cost of the basic food basket. b) Percentage of
        households with income lower than the cost of the basic food basket.

        Source: ECLAC. Anuario estadístico de America Lwina y el Caribe, 1995.
Hazardous waste refers to solids or semisolids wastes (for example, sludge or liquids, except for those which can be
disposed of in the sewerage) that present toxic, reactive, corrosive, radioactive, or inflammable characteristics and that
are managed together with municipal solid wastes, in an authorized or clandestine way.

                                                            Table 2.4.2
                        Situation of urban poverty and indigence in groups of countries, 1992
                                        (% Households with respect to the total)

            Percentage of urban households in poverty               Countries
           Less than 10                                             Argentina, Uruguay
           10 to 20
           20 to 30                                                 Chile, Costa Rica
           30 to 40                                                 Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Panama,
                                                                    Paraguay, Venezuela
           40 to 50                                                 Bolivia, Guatemala, Peru
           50 to 60                                                 -
           More than 60                                             Honduras
           Percentage of urban households in                        Countries
           indigence situation
           Less than 5                                              Argentina, Uruguay
           Between 5 and 10                                         Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico
           Between 10 and 15                                        Colombia, Panama, Paraguay, Venezuela
           Between 15 and 20                                        Bolivia, Brazil, Peru
           More than 20                                             Guatemala, Honduras

                   Source: ECLAC. Anuario estadistico de Ainérica Latina y e l Caribe,1995.

 3.       Current situation

 3.1      Institutional and legal aspects of municipal solid waste management

          3.1.1 Institutions of the sector

                   For this analysis, solid waste institutions are the agencies that manage or are linked to the
          management of solid or semisolid waste generated in domestic, commercial, institutional and industrial
          sectors, street sweeping, health centers (special wastes) and other organizations formally and
          informally managed in urban areas and suburbs of different size and complexity.
        The functions of these institutions can be grouped into:

        N:      Regulators, planners, supervisors, controllers, advisers.

        Or:     Operational, administrative, executing, financing, trading.

        On the other hand, the levels at which these agencies are located are:

                 National or federal level
                 State or provincial government level
        -        Local or municipal level.

         Table 3.1.1 shows the organizational and functional structure of the urban solid waste sector in
Latin America and the Caribbean. Note that urban solid waste refers to municipal waste including
special and hazardous waste handled within urban areas.

        In 12 countries of the Caribbean, including Suriname, services are operated directly by
governmental agencies, which in addition to managing and financing the services, also plan, regulate,
control and have the power to contract out or give in concession the partial or total operation of solid
waste management services to private entities. The size of these countries and their limited urban
population facilitate this type of organization that is usually in charge of the Ministries of Health or
autonomous solid waste authorities.
                              Table 3.1.1

Organizational and functional structure of the urban solid waste sector in
                 Latin America and the Caribbean
        On the other hand, in 23 countries of Latin America, including Belize, Guyana and Jamaica,
the operation, management, and financing are under the municipal regimen, but the regulatory,
planning, supervision and evaluation functions are responsibility of the ministries of the environment,
health, planning, development, etc. Municipalities, as autonomous entities, make concessions and
contract out totally or partially solid waste management services in their area.

          In Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela, which have federal governments at a state or
province level, there are also government entities that have, to a greater or lesser extent, regulatory,
planning, advisory, supervision and control functions in solid waste management. When the provincial
or state levels do not have this capability, the central government usually intervenes.

         With regard to hazardous waste, the national level (,federal, state or provincial) is responsible
for the proposal and emission of standards for their legislative sanction and the corresponding control
and registry of these wastes.

        In addition to these governmental institutions, the following formal and informal entities have
been and are linked to solid waste management in the countries of the Region:

   •    Private sector: composed of companies or individuals that act totally or partially as contractors
        or concessionaires of solid waste management operations, or by consulting groups that prepare
        projects, feasibility studies, environmental impact assessments and offer technical and
        managerial assistance. In several countries of the Region, there is already a national enterprise
        capability and others are developing it. Consortia are frequently formed between national and
        foreign companies that have enough capacity to respond to the demand in this field. However,
        there is not a regional or national directory of these private sector capacities, except Brazil with
        ABRELP (Brazilian Association of Public Sanitation Utilities).

   •     International and bilateral organizations: IDB, IBRD, PAHO/WHO, UNDP, UNEP, ECLAC,
         GTZ, JICA, USAID, and AECI are the main agencies involved in investment proposals,
         technical assistance, institutional development, training, and environmental impact assessment
         related to municipal solid waste and, to a lesser extent, to hazardous waste.

   •                Non governmental organizations: national and foreign entities devoted to social and
        environmental prójects related to solid waste, and particularly, to scavengers and
   •           Other formal agencies universities and educational and training institutes of the sector. It
        includes sanitary and environmental engineers associations, associations of urban cleaning
        companies, recyclers associations, and other formal agencies such as waste management
        microbusinesses. All of them are working in the countries and its activity is growing, as it
        has been shown by the urban cleaning associations of Colombia and Bolivia. The role
        played by the Inter-American Association of Sanitary Engineering, AIDIS, through its
         Solid Waste Division, DIRSA, in resource promotion and mobilization should be

    •    Other informal organizations: guilds, associations and cooperatives of informal scavengers,
         collectors, recyclable material traders, and recyclers that due to its number and social
         implications should be considered in any municipal solid waste management plan.

         This institutional framework has restrictions in most of the Latin American countries due to
factors such as:

    •    Lack of a clear definition of the scope of action of the different agencies.

    •    Duplication of efforts and functions.

    •    Absence of an information system and limited or null data exchange.

    •    No identification of the components and leader of the sector to consolidate a real solid waste

    •    Limited institutional capacity of most of the executing and regulatory organizations to assume
         their functions and responsibilities.

   •     Apparent lack of political will at the decision-making and priority setting levels. The interest
         ends, in many cases, after the elections.

       Table 3.1.2 presents the range of entities linked to the sector in Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico,
and Uruguay, which limits the relation and coordination among them due to the reasons mentioned

        In the Caribbean, due to the size of the countries, the institutional structure works better since a
single governmental organization in charge of solid waste regulation and operation is enough.

        In some of these countries, the Ministry of Health is in charge, but in others such as Barbados
and Trinidad and Tobago, a sanitation and solid waste authority has been created with administrative
and financing autonomy.

         The agencies related to the waste sector in another group of LAC countries are shown in table, according to the information collected by local experts for this diagnosis. In Brazil, the law that
determines the national environmental policy, established the National Environmental System,
SISNAMA, with participation of the Federal Government, states, municipalities, and civil society.
                           Table 3.1.2
Organization of the solid waste sector in four Latin American countries
Organizational of the solid waste sector in a group of countries of LAC
3.1.2 Organization of operational entities
         About 15 years ago, sanitation services were handled directly by municipalities under a
centralized administration, as well as the lighting, paving, parks and gardens, and markets services, etc.
Tariffs were collected with land taxes and no concept of financing or operational efficiency was
applied. Services during the 1950 decade were directed by people who had emerged from the bases and
had evolved from workers to chiefs of services or improvised administrators with a "command gift".
That was the condition required for a service characterized by extensive use of labor force. This
panorama began to change in the 1970 decade because of the complexity of the service logistics and
the decision of municipal governments and financial agencies to finish subsidies.

          The CELURB (now COMLURB), created in 1973 in Rio de Janeiro, is one of the first public
utilities with an administrative system independent from the municipal bureaucracy. Currently, 45 % of
the cities included in table 3.2.7 have formed municipal cleaning utilities (MCU) to improve the
quality of the service provided. On the other hand, although the administrative activities, policy
formulation and planning continue to be a responsibility of the municipality or its company, in the
operational aspect, a rapid tendency to grant contracts to private companies is observed. This
characteristic is observed in more than 50% of the cities studied and tends to increase (see table 3.2.7).
According to reports on Sáo Paulo, Bogotá, Caracas, Santiago, and Buenos Aires, personnel
performance is highly increased when services are privatized, however, the areas that continue to be
served by the municipal service are those with major restrictions.

        In summary, a clear orientation toward privatization is currently noticed and not toward the
formation of municipal cleaning utilities. An example is Lima, where the public cleaning utility
(ESMLL), created in 1983, was dissolved in 1996 and then the municipality contract out a private
company to manage the collection in part of the city, the transfer station, and two landfills.

         Another trend observed is the formation of metropolitan companies in large cities where
several municipalities or political-administrative entities are located. In general, the company formed
deals with final disposal and transfer, leaving the collection to the municipalities. The company is
managed by a directory composed by the mayors or their representatives, who designate a manager. In
Annex 3.1.1 some typical organizations in the Region are presented. Regarding urban cleaning
services, research done by FIBGE in Brazil, in 1989, indicated that from a total of 4,425 municipalities
surveyed, 4,162 (94 %) had direct municipal management; 29 (0.7 %) were managed by other
companies; 115 (2.6 %) by public utilities; and 199 municipalities (2.7 %) did not have cleaning

         The previous trends are typical of large cities. Direct municipal management of the services
prevails in medium and small cities and it is precisely in this type of cities where critical management,
operation, and administration problems are identified. In these cases, the municipality commonly
assigns part of the services to small contractors and microbusinesses.
    3.1.3 Planning and information

          a)      Planning

                    Most countries do not have a formal solid waste sector or a sector leader clearly
          identified. Institutions are weak and although solid waste management frequently generates
          alarming and conflicting front-page news, either due to social and labor problems or to
          situations affecting human health and the environment, the sector hardly meets its objectives of
          improving the solid waste management sector, reducing waste generation or recycling
          recovered materials. Few are the countries where national development plans have taken into
          account solid wastes. Although it is true that in light of emergencies produced by hazardous
          wastes, efforts were made to alert and classify these serious problems, these concerns were
          occasional and the results were insignificant. With regard to the national planning of municipal
          solid waste, the situation has not improved because in several countries the operational and
          regulatory institutions work on their own, without any national policy or plan in the medium or
          long term. A sample of an initial planning in the countries can be observed in table 3.1.4.
          While Colombia has historically progressed in the planning of the sector and Mexico is
          initiating it, Uruguay and Guatemala are still left behind. The situation in other countries of the
          Region is also weak, except for Chile, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, and some countries of the

          b)       Information and monitoring
                   In the countries there are no national information systems nor monitoring of the solid
          waste sector. The various institutions participating in the sector do not have enough
          information regarding their own requirements and information is highly incompatible due to
          the different criteria used in its collection. In practice, the information from institutions in
          charge of defining policies and assigning resources is not compatible with their function
          requirements. In addition, the limited available information is not shared by other entities and
          frequently such information does not reach the different levels of a single institution.

                   The previous insufficiencies at institutional level are often counterbalanced through
          surveys that lack methodological support and are difficult to validate. On the other hand, the
          frequent request of similar information by several institutions generates reticence and lack of
          interest among the surveyed.

                    Table 3.1.4 shows the current restrictions on solid and hazardous waste information in
          four countries of Latin America, a situation that is similar in other countries of the Region.
          This lack of information happens in institutions at the federal, state and municipal level. The
          institutions and agencies of the sector in all countries require a national, up-to-date and friendly
          accesible information system. At the regional level, since 1982, PAHO/WHO coordinates
          through CEPIS, the Pan American Network of Information in Environmental Health
          (REPIDISCA), which provides bibliographic services and documents on municipal solid
          waste. Its database contains more than 7,500
      references on the topic. REPIDISCA published in 1994 a REPINDEX specialized in
      municipal solid waste, which included 950 bibliographic records on the subject.

               PAHO has also established a Urban Solid Waste Monitoring System (SIMRU) that
      has the purpose of collecting and updating information on urban solid waste management at
      the regional level. Part of the collected information is presented in this document.

              As well, with the support of GTZ, CEPIS has established in Lima , Peru, the Pan
      American Network for Sanitary Waste Management (REPAMAR) that promotes research
      and development of projects in this field. Currently, projects are being developed in eight
      countries of the Network: Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico,
      Paraguay, and Peru.

3.1.4 Legal framework and international agreements

      a)      Legal framework

               In most countries, the topics related to municipal and hazardous solid waste are
      discussed by several public management sectors, such as environment and health, urban
      development, communications and transportation, industries, trade, labor and others. In
      addition, its regulation is contained in several laws, regulations and legal instruments that are
      often overlapped. This multiplicity makes it necessary to delimit with greater precision the
      area, components and functions of the responsible authorities and to define legal mechanisms
      to solve the overlapping, taking into account the principle that every administrative authority
      can only do what the law allows it to do.

               The democratic regimen of the countries of the Region, either federal or centralized,
      determines that the laws on environment and health are given by the Legislative Power to be
      promulgated by the Executive Power. In addition, the central or federal government and the
      states also regulate through decrees and resolutions, but always within the provisions of the
      State Constitution. In turn, the municipalities through edicts and municipal ordinances manage
      the solid waste operation within their area.

               For different reasons, including the political ones, the interpretation and application of
      these legal instruments cause conflicts and confusions. Thus, for example, the Municipality of
      Lima and the Congress discussed on the authority of that Municipality to dissolve their urban
      cleaning company and contract out a private one.

              Table 3.1.5 summarizes the available information on legal instruments or the ones
      being prepared in some countries. The laws are not necessarily specific on municipal solid
      waste, but are included in other legal instruments on health or environment.
        In that table it has not been cited the law or municipal code that practically exists in all
countries, which includes general provisions on municipal solid waste management and

Constitution, a fundamental law of the countries, that states that the municipalities are
responsible for organizing public services, such as urban cleaning, has not been mentioned

                      Table 3.1.5
Legal instruments in some Latin America countries
             If laws and regulations related to hazardous waste management were to be effective,
    technical and administrative capability is required at the national and subordinated levels (for
    example, state, province, municipality, etc.). At the technical level, the management of every
    chemical substance should be done ideally under the principle "from cradle to grave." The
    technical options for hazardous waste management range from waste prevention to processes
    optimization or modification, recycling, storage, treatment (including incineration), disposal in
    a secure landfill, and a subsequent surveillance to detect any occasional contamination along
    the years.

            At the administrative level, it is necessary to legislate the effective control and to

    information summarized in table 3.1.6 has been taken from two sources, from the information
    on legislation obtained in the countries to prepare documents on hazardous waste and health in

    (Bolis, 1993). Only legislation directly related to hazardous waste control was taken into

    industrial waste generator is responsible for its management. This responsibility extends to
    personal and environmental damages caused in any of the conditioning, transportation,
                                                             Table 3.1.6

                         Hazardous waste legislation in some Latin American countries

Country            Type of legislation            Year         Contents
Argentina          Law N° 24051                   1991         Law on hazardous wastes
                   Decree N° 181-92               1992         Prohibits hazardous waste import
Brazil             Law                            1990         National enviromnental policy
                   Resolution                     1994         Defines hazardous waste and establishes the criteria for
                                                               waste import and export
Costa Rica         Decree                         1989         Prohibits toxic waste import and transportation
                                                               Law on hazardous solid waste
Ecuador            Sanitary code                  1971         Provisions for toxic substances elimination
Mexico             Decree                         1988         Provides regulations on hazardous waste considering
                                                               the general law on ecology and environmental
Panama             Law                            1991         Prohibits toxic waste import
Paraguay           Law                            1990         Prohibits individuals and companies to import materials
                                                               classified as industrial toxic waste
Uruguay            Decree                         1989         Prohibits the import of hazardous wastes
Venezuela          Decree                         1987         Approves standards for control and transportation of
                                                               toxic waste

         Source:               PA110; Desechos peligrosos y salud en Atnirica Latitia y el Caribe. 1994. Serie Ambiental N' 14.
                   PAHO; IDB. It fotmes de expenos locales para el presente diagn6stico. 1996.
                   Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnologicas. Lixo municipal; manual de gerenciamento integrado. Sáo Paulo, 1995.
                             Regarding the development of hazardous waste legislation, Argentina, Brazil,
                   Mexico and Venezuela are probably the most advanced (CEPIS, 1993). In the case of
                   Brazil, hazardous waste management is delegated to the states; thus, the most
                   industrialized and with advanced economies, such as Sáo Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, have
                   well structured programs. Mexico has issued several regulations at the national level under
                   the general law on ecology and environmental protection. Regulation enforcement,
                   however, is deficient since the appropriate governmental structures have not been
                   consolidated. Venezuela and Argentina are in a similar situation; legislation exists but
                   there is no infrastructure to implement and supervise its application. These two countries
have taken as a basis the Agreement of
on Cuba indicates that this Convention is being used to develop their own legislation.

         The remaining countries have only limited laws and a minimum infrastructure control.

legislation in this area. It should be noted that some countries have recently taken the first
measures to control industrial waste management.

than 70% of the national production) has adopted the resolution that establishes a system for
the identification and monitoring of industrial solid wastes. This resolution will make possible

the Instituto               Obras Sanitarias in Quito carried out a survey within the Industrial

launched and the first phase included a national survey on hazardous waste production.


         Since environmental problems have global effects, they are becoming an important
factor in trade. This would have its effects on the
wastes and, in a broader sense, on the agreements to further international trade through the
reduction or removal of barriers.

1960s most of them were buried or disposed of in inadequate dumps. During the 1960s reports
on surface water and groundwater pollution began to appear and the fear of the public

States, this awareness prompted a "superfund" to deal with thousands of inadequate dumps. At

solid waste disposal centers (incinerator, dumps, etc.) near to the communities. This attitude is
reflected in the expression "not in my backyard" or                             However, most
hazardous solid and semisolid waste continue to be handled jointly with municipal solid

        During the 1980s, the concern for hazardous wastes consequences encouraged
developing countries to subscribe an international agreement including a set of basic rules to
        transboundary movement of wastes or its prohibition under specific conditions. This
agreement, known as the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movement of
Hazardous Waste and their Disposal, was signed in March 1987 during a conference held in
Basel, Switzerland. It became legally compulsory after being ratified by 20 countries that
committed themselves to implement the Convention provisions in international law.
        In the Region of the Americas, the countries that have ratified the Convention are
listed in table 3.1.5. In Brazil, where the legislation is administered at the state level, the
transboundary movement is applied not only to waste transportation between countries, but
also between states.

         Due to the difference in the disposal costs between Mexico and the United States,
there have been many cases of illegal transboundary movements. In 1986, the Annex III of the
bilateral agreement referred to the cooperation between Mexico and the United States to
control hazardous waste on their common border was signed. This Agreement indicates that
the in-bond assembly industries should return their wastes to the United States, where the raw
material that produced the waste was originated. However, it is likely that most hazardous
waste are being disposed of in Mexican territory, due to lack of effective surveillance.

      Other international agreements signed in some countries related to solid waste
management are:

        North American Free Trade Agreement (Mexico), 1993
        Decision 14/27 of UNEP (Directives of London), 1989
        Regulation of the International Atomic Energy Agency, 1990
        Directives of the International Conference on Population and Development,
        Cairo, 1985

•       Commitments assumed at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
        Development, OECD.
c)      Surveillance for law compliance

         The lack of surveillance to verify compliance with legal instruments and standards
that regulate municipal and hazardous solid wastes is an important restriction for its effective
management. This is due mainly to poor resources of the municipalities and government
agencies, as well as to bureaucratization and lack of education and community participation.
Some countries may have a very advanced legislation but it turns out inoperative because there
is no enforcement at all. If municipal surveillance is null the inefficient operation of
govemmental agencies handling hazardous wastes is even more serious. In other cases, legal
instruments are not adequate to the reality of the country and as a result, they are not
applicable or, even worse, they may increase public authority corruption. These critical aspects
are observed in all the countries of the Region.
3.1.5 Policies, plants and programs

      a)       Policies

              Most countries do not have specific national policies on waste problems and the few
      that have attempted to develop them, such as Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, and Chile still need to
      overcome obstacles, restrictions and new queries.

              The decentralization policies in Latin America have not had a major influence on solid
      waste management since, constitutionally, these services have been and are administered in a
      decentralized way by municipalities.

                 The recent neoliberal policies are influencing and strengthening the privatization trend
       of solid waste management services initiated in the 1980s. Nevertheless, it should be noticed
       that this policy is being applied mainly in metropolises and large cities and in a more restricted
       way, in medium cities with the participation of microbusinesses.

                In the countries of the Region, policies to reduce solid waste generation have not been
       established formally. In spite of the official rhetoric and the promotion of
       environmentalist groups, results are still not evident.

                There has been sustained progress in the countries with regard to solid waste recovery,
       reuse and recycling policies, although in most of them official policies have not been
       established, but have arisen spontaneously several decades ago from poor communities
       looking for income alternatives. In all countries, informal segregation is commonly practiced
       and frequently it is the only income source for large segments of poor and unemployed
       population. In Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, and Venezuela large recycling programs are in

                 With regard to hazardous waste, produced mainly by the industry, the principle "the
       polluter pays" has been established, although not explicitly, in several countries of the Region.
       It is difficult to apply due to lack of resources required to hire skilled personnel for control and
       surveillance and because there is not adequate technology and scientific instruments. In
       Mexico, the policies on sustainable development are considering solid and hazardous waste
       management. In Brazil there is a National Environmental Policy law and in Argentina, a law to
       define the environmental policy is being prepared.

                Other national policies and strategies, stated but not implemented, are: improvement
       of the coverage and quality of urban cleaning services; community education and participation
       in solid waste management; promotion of waste recovery at the source; technical assistance to
       municipalities; and sound hospital waste management.
b)      Plans, programs and projects

         In 1995 and 1996 the governments of Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Uruguay,
with PAHO, IDB, IBRD and USAID support, carried out the solid waste sector analyses in
those countries. It is expected that these studies, as it has already been occurring, can be used
as tools to prepare policies aimed at developing the sector, to identify and overcome critical
aspects of collection and final disposal and in addition, to provide criteria for the adoption of
strategies leading to viable solutions, according to the possibilities and potentials of the

         ECLAC, with the collaboration and contribution of GTZ, from the German Republic,
is implementing the project "Policies for environmentally sound management of urban and
industrial solid waste." It has carried out studies in Brazil (Campinas), Chile, Ecuador (Quito),
Colombia (Cartagena), and Argentina (C6rdoba), it has offered courses and seminars, and has
produced and disseminated several reports and documents.

        Moreover, with the support of GTZ, CEPIS is coordinating through REPAMAR, the
development of projects on environmental management of hospital wastes: solid waste
generation minimization, industrial pollution prevention; and technical cooperation between
universities, among others, to be implemented in eight countries.

         Most countries identify as serious the problem of urban solid waste handled together
with hazardous wastes and consider that the solution should be faced immediately. However,
this is not reflected in the few plans, programs, and projects in process.

        Master plans for metropolitan and large cities are in high demand but few have been
implemented and unfortunately most solid waste management plans are improvised and
influenced by occasional environmental policies.

         The Region has pilot waste management projects, some are academic and others are
technical, but few remain during several years. The reason is that project design does not
include monitoring or follow-up, nor the adoption of legal, institutional, administrative or
self-sustainable economic and financing mechanisms. The exception is the creation of
collection microbusinesses and cooperatives (especially, recycling) that 20 years ago did not
exist. Although they currently need support to improve its managerial and operational
capacity, they can be regarded as permanent and successful experiences. Some more recent
projects financed by IDB, JICA, IBRD and other agencies that have used preinvestment loans
to prepare master plans including strategic planning concepts, such as financial sustainability
and environmental impact, are also considered successful ventures.
                       Table 3.1.7
Plans and programs identified in some countries of the Region
3.1.6 Human resources

      a)      Personnel

             Since countries do not have a solid waste management information system, the
      number of people formally working in this area in LAC is unknown.

              Table 3.2.7 shows that in large cities there are on average 0.9 employees per each
      1,000 population. Assuming that in medium and small cities the factor is lower and the
      coverage is smaller, it is estimated that in the Region there are almost 350,000 formal workers
      in urban cleaning services.

              According to a research carried out in Brazil by FIBGE, in 1989 there were 223,347
      people working in sweeping, cleaning, collection, transportation and final disposal in the cities
      of Brazil. This would imply 2 employees per every 1,000 population (110.8 million of urban
      population in 1990 in Brazil), an indicator that would increase to more than 700,000 formal
      workers in urban cleaning services in the Region, if such index is taken as a parameter for all
      the LAC urban sector.

              To the previous figures it would be necessary to add microbusinesses workers,
      personnel hired, scavengers and people involved in recycling. If every family of these workers
      consists of five members, it is easy to estimate that more than 1 % of the total LAC urban
      population depends economically on urban solid waste management.

      b)      Training

               With some exceptions, in large cities, personnel has received little training especially
      at the medium and basic levels. This is more critical in medium and small cities. At a higher
      level, there have been some regional actions to prepare engineers mainly in technical aspects.
      For 25 years, with the support of PAHO, the University of West Virginia, first, and Buenos
      Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Mexico, afterwards, intensive courses of three to five weeks have
      been offered. These courses include studies and projects, service operation and administrative,
      financial and commercial aspects. In addition, other universities of Brazil, Mexico, Chile, and
      Colombia have sanitary and environmental engineering programs including solid waste
      components, and postgraduate courses. PAHO and its Pan American Center for Sanitary
      Engineering and Environmental Sciences, CEPIS, have also contributed to the training of
      technical personnel through short courses and internships (Twin Universities Program) and the
      Resident Professionals Program. In recent years, JICA is also training Latin American
      personnel through twothree months courses in Japan. CETESB of Sáo Paulo, Brazil, has also
      been an important support for technical training in Brazil.
                 Several public cleaning utilities offer limited training to their personnel, especially in
        sanitary landfill operation and collection and sweeping aspects. For example in Costa Rica, the
        Instituto de Fomento y Asesoría Municipal, IFAM, is the entity responsible to train municipal

3.1.7 Private sector participation

          In the last 20 years, and especially in this decade, the most spectacular change in solid waste
services has been the privatization of the operating systems as a consequence of the recent neoliberal
political trend.

        The most usual procedures for collection, street sweeping and urban solid waste disposal can
be grouped as follows:

        a)       Direct municipal operation

                 Direct municipal operation implies that the service is provided entirely with personnel
        and equipment from the municipality or public company. That is the way Asunción, Mexico
        City, Panama, San José and Managua operate, among others, as well as most of medium and
        small cities of Latin America. The operation, management, commercial, financial and planning
        systems are totally municipal. The commercial system collects a tariff based on the cost of the
        land or drinking water or electricity bills. This procedure is highly vulnerable to political

        b)       Municipal autonomous utility

                 The municipal autonomous utility operates as a public or mixed corporation
        (public-private). This system is commonly used to avoid administrative restrictions, such as
        the rigid wage structure of the municipality. In this case, cost recovery is carried out by the
        municipality while planning, management and financing are handled by the company itself.

                 The Companhia Municipal de Limpeza Urbana de Rio de Janeiro, COMLURB, is an
         example of this system. The same happens in Brasilia, Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre in Brazil;
         Quito in Ecuador; Cali and Medellin in Colombia; Caracas in Venezuela; Barbados and
         Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean; SIMEPRODE in Monterrey, Mexico; and
         Cochabamba, Sucre, and Tarija in Bolivia.

         c)      Contracted municipal operation

                 The municipality contracts out the total or partial operation to a private company,
         which operates under municipal control and supervision. The municipality pays the contractor
         according to the valuation of the services provided. The other organizational systems are
         managed by the municipality or the public utility, including fee collection, although there are
         cases where it is necessary to contract out the collection and supervision to a private company.
        This procedure has been named "privatization", although it only means that the public
sector delegates a task to a private company for an agreed value under contract. Even the
system control and monitoring can be delegated to a private consulting group.

         Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires have used this procedure during almost 20 years for the
collection, transfer, treatment, and final disposal of solid wastes. In Sao Paulo, the contracting
companies operate almost 500,000 tons of refuse by month and the billing amounts to more
than US$ 30 million per month. Other cities using this procedure are Bogotá, Caracas, Cali,
Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Belo Horizonte, Santiago, Montevideo, Santo Domingo, Monterrey,
Guayaquil, and La Paz; in 1996, Lima contracted out the operation to a private company. In
medium size cities, this method is growing rapidly. In Costa Rica, 15% (13) out of the total of
small cities have contracted services. The company in Lima manages 41,500 tons monthly
(collection, sweeping, transfer and final disposal in the district of Lima and the transfer and
final disposal of the rest of the city) and receives US$ 1,125,000 per month, i.e. approximately
US$ 27 per ton.

d)      Private operation (concessions)

         Under the private system, collection, sweeping and transfer operations are carried out
by a private company operating as a concessionaire, usually under a franchise system. With
this procedure, the municipality controls and supervises the services and the private companies
are the ones directly dealing with the users and solid waste generators. Obviously, service
planning and general responsibility for the services continue to be of the municipality. This
procedure is characterized by the "monopoly" of the service exerted by the concessionaire on
the total or part of the city granted.

        This type of service provision is not common in Latin America and the Caribbean,
examples are the city of Guatemala and the city of Fernando de la Mora in the metropolitan
area of Asuncion.

         Both in modality c) and in this one, the existence of regulatory entities to rule the
relationships between the private company, the municipalities and the users is relevant to
guarantee adequate and efficient services.

        In Guatemala, the Gremial Metropolitana de Recolectores de Basura (GMRB) that
groups more than 300 collectors and the Cooperative with more than 20 members and other
independent collectors are in charge of collecting and transporting 80% of the city refuse and
disposing it in the municipality landfill; the marketing is done directly with the users. In
Fernando de la Mora, municipality of Asunci6n, Paraguay, a private company has the
concession to collect solid wastes and charges directly the bills to the users.

e)      Community operation and microbusinesses

        In some cases, waste management is operated by members of the community, through
organizations, cooperatives or microbusinesses with or without the coordination of the local
government. These systems usually receive the support of NGOs, such as the
ONG Alternativa in Lima, Peru, or community associations providing services to low income
urban areas based on appropriate technologies. In addition to providing collection and
sweeping services, they also participate in the treatment, recovery and recycling stages; in
some cases, they provide cleaning services to buildings, as in Medellin.

          The manual collection microbusinesses were initiated in 1989 in Villa El Salvador,
marginal district of Lima, Peru, sponsored by the NGO Instituto Peruano de Economfa Social,
IPES. This organization created 50 solid waste microbusinesses in metropolitan Lima.
Initially, these microbusinesses were dedicated to collection, but now they have diversified
their services, including sweeping, segregation, recycling, composting and manual sanitary
landfills. At the end of 1994, in Peru, 140 microbusinesses provided 1,502 jobs and served a
population of 1.2 million people in 20 municipalities, with successful examples such as the
city of Cajamarca.

        With the support of GTZ, microbusinesses have been promoted with positive results
in La Paz, Alto, and others cities of Bolivia; the municipality of Los Patios in Costa Rica;
marginal areas of the city of Cúcuta in Colombia; and Quito in Ecuador. In Costa Rica, there
are currently 75 microbusinesses and cooperatives and they are also being created in Panama.

        Microbusinesses are totally private organizations that offer services or can act as
contractors of the municipalities or as private company subcontractors, as occurs in Lima and
La Paz. They have few employees, are labor intensive, keep low costs, and use simple

        It is worth mentioning the role of GTZ in Bolivia and the successful result of urban
cleaning microbusinesses in that country, which in addition have the official support of the
Fondo Nacional de Desarrollo Regional and the Asociación de Entidades de Aseo
Municipales, ASEAM. The high quality of the publications and booklets on microbusinesses
produced by those entities in Bolivia displayed at the XXV Congress of AIDIS in Mexico is
also emphasized.

        In addition, the community is organized in cooperatives and private associations that
also participate in solid waste management, such as the recycling associations and
cooperatives of Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, and the community project of Alameda Norte in

f)      Free market operation

         Under the free market operation, service providers contract out freely and directly the
solid waste generators for the management, transportation and final disposal operations,
without the intervention of the government, although this one should regulate them. This
system is applied mainly to large generators and to industrial waste generators. This procedure
is used almost in all the countries of the Region.
       The informal concession, through which individuals offer services in areas where the
municipality does not cover household demand, is also used.

g)       Mixed operation

       The mixed operation involves the participation of two or more of the previous
procedures. These mixed operations assume different forms, such as:

     •   The authority or public company contracts out the collection, street sweeping and final
         disposal to one or more private companies, including microbusinesses.

     •   The municipal authority contracts out partially some services to private companies.
         For example, for equipment maintenance or only contracts vehicles and other
         equipment required for the service.

         In this regard there are several procedures; in some cases, the municipal authority
leases the equipment and the private companies contribute with personnel, as in Santa Cruz,
Bolivia; other times, as in Rio de Janeiro, the companies provide the collection vehicle with
the driver, and the municipality contributes with the workers.

       This mixed procedure is being used increasingly in Latin America and the Caribbean;
the COMLURB of Rio de Janeiro and the municipal authority of Niteroi, Brazil apply it.

         In all countries, the private sector participates in some degree in solid waste
management, either in collection and street sweeping or in final disposal. For example, several
sanitary landfills of Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru
and Venezuela are handled by the private sector.

         The current trend is to increase the participation of the private sector in solid waste
management. This is due to the fact that although technical aspects are known, the ones related
to administrative, financing and commercial management of the services have serious
limitations in municipal public services. The community perceives that, in general, the private
sector is more efficient than the public sector (municipal) and therefore, they consider that
cleaning services costs would be reduced if they were provided by this sector and that
competition among private companies can also improve the quality of the services. A recent
survey by ABRELP found that around 65 % of the urban population of Brazil was served by
40 private companies.

         At the XXV Congress of AIDIS in Mexico (1996) a speaker indicated that a survey
including 2,000 cities of the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States served by the
private sector, revealed that competition among companies reduced the costs between 25 to 45
% . In the analysis of five Latin American cities with private urban cleaning contracts, costs
were reduced to half and in Malaysia they were reduced in 25 % . This happens when there is
competitiveness, transparency in the contracts and
responsibility to fulfill them. Another speaker mentioned the following referential costs in
urban cleaning contracts in Mexico:

        Manual sweeping                     US$ 0.80 - 1.50 km of street
        Mechanical sweeping                 US$ 0.25 - 0.50 km of street
        Collection                          US$ 8.00 - 12,00 t
        Sanitary landfill                   US$ 4.00 - 8,00 t
        Medical waste                       US$ 0.30 - 0.80 kg

        Currently, the following polemical issues of urban cleaning services privatization are
discussed publicly in the Region:

    •   Solid waste management is linked to public health and to environmental conditions,
        therefore, the action of the national and municipal government on control, monitoring
        and regulation of the services handled by the private sector should be permanent.

    •   Policies, surveillance measures and penalization should be established to enforce laws,
        regulations, guidelines and criteria. In general, the efficient provision of services by
        private companies requires the strong and transparent presence of the municipality for
        surveillance and control. This role corresponds also to the regulatory entities that are
        being created in several countries with the privatization processes.

    •   Since profit is the main objective of private companies, it is difficult that large
        companies be interested in participating in solid waste management of medium and
        small cities. In addition, some areas are not very attractive to private companies.

    •   According to the previous consideration, the private participation in urban marginal
        areas, usually poor and of difficult access, will be doubtful. Microbusinesses or other
        creative alternatives may be the answer to these two restrictions.

    •   The responsibility for short, medium and long term planning, both from the national
        and municipal government, cannot be granted to the private sector.

    •   Some privatization processes cause mistrust among municipal workers, due to the
        possible loss of employment, which in turn causes social problems and violence, as has
        occurred in some cities of the Region. On many occasions, wages and benefits of the
        workers have declined drastically.

      On the other hand, the private contracting sector of Mexico, as it was stated in the
same Congress, considers the following restrictions in the biddings:

    •   Short time to prepare proposals (sometimes 15 days)
                      • Inconsistent information

                      • Deficient terms of reference

                      • Excess or lack of requirements

                      • Lack of transparency.

3.2     Technical and operational aspects

         It should be emphasized that most of the qualitative and quantitative information contained in this
chapter were taken from estimates and projections existing in available documents or were obtained by experts
in different institutions. They were not necessarily originated from field investigations and may present

                3.2.1 Classification of the municipal and hazardous solid wastes

                  Solid wastes can be classified in accordance to its origin (household, industrial, commercial,
        institutional, public, etc); to its composition (organic matter, glass, metal, paper, textile, plastic, inert
        and others); or its level of danger (toxic, reagent, corrosive, radioactive, inflammable, infectious).

                         For this analysis, the following wastes have been considered as urban solid wastes:

                 a)      Municipal solid wastes (MSW)

                          Municipal solid wastes are those from residential, commercial, institutional, and
                 industrial sources, including small and cottage industries and street sweeping, of an urban
                 conglomerate managed by municipal authorities.

                         The residential or household component includes kitchen wastes, paper, plastics, glass
                 and tin containers, cardboards, textiles, yard wastes, soil, etc. In Latin America and the
                 Caribbean this represents 50 to 75% of the total MSW.

                         The commercial component from warehouses, offices, markets, restaurants, hotels and
                 others constitutes 10 to 20% of the total MSW.

                         The institutional component from public offices, schools, universities, public services
                 and others represents 5 to 15% of the total MSW.

                         Industrial wastes come from small industries (batteries, textiles, shoes, etc.) and craft
                 workshops (tailor's shop, carpenter's shops, fabrics, etc.). This component varies widely
                 according to the cities and could represent 5 to 30% of the total MSW. Industries and major
                 services usually handle their waste on their own or use private contractors, although some
                 municipalities offer these services to industries in a less than efficient way.
              Waste from sweeping of streets and public areas is composed of solid wastes thrown
      by pedestrians, dirt, tree pruning, etc. and represents 10 to 20% of the total MSW. b) Special
      solid wastes (SSW)

                Due to their quantity or management, some special wastes can pose health risks, such
      as solid wastes from health centers; outdated chemicals and drugs; expired food; wastes from
      facilities, for example, batteries, sludge, rubble; and bulk wastes that with authorization or by
      habit are handled by municipal authorities. Other non-hazardous wastes include dead animals,
      abandoned cars, debris, yard wastes, public festivals wastes and others.

      c)      Hazardous wastes (HW)

               Hazardous wastes are those solid or semisolid wastes that due to its toxic, reactive,
      corrosive, radioactive, inflammable or infectious characteristics represent a real or potential
      risk to human health or the environment when they are managed improperly within the urban
      area together with municipal solid waste.

3.2.2 Solid waste generation

      a)      Municipal solid wastes

              The generation of household solid wastes in the Region varies from 0.3 to 0.8
      kg/capita/day. When household wastes include other wastes such as residues from stores,
      markets, institutions, small industries, sweeping and others, this quantity increases from 25 to
      50%. The daily generation is from 0.5 to 1.2 kg per capita with a regional average of 0.92.
      tables 3.2.1, 3.2.2 and 3.2.3 are based on information collected from different sources and
      mainly from PAHO. These tables show that in metropolitan areas and in cities over 2 millions
      population (sample of 16 cities), the average was 0.97 kg/cap./day; in other 16 large cities of
      500,000 and 2 millions population the average was 0.74; and in a sample of 24 medium and
      small cities of less than 500,000 population, the average was 0.55 kg/cap./day. With an
      average generation of 0.92 kg/cap./day, it is estimated that the urban population (360 million)
      in LAC countries is producing 330,000 daily tons of municipal solid waste.

               This confirms that the size of the cities and per capita income are factors that
       determine the increment of waste generation per capita (Annex 3.2.3). In addition, the
       application of policies to reduce municipal solid waste generation is still weak and these
       values are increasing. Studies of JICA in Guatemala City and Asunci6n carried out between
       1992 and 1993, respectively, showed an annual increase of 1 to 3% in waste generation linked
       to per capita income increase. On the other hand, the following MSW generation has been
       observed in relation to income:
       Low income countries                      0.4 - 0.6 kg/cap./day
       Average income countries                  0.5 - 0.9 kg/cap./day
       High income countries                     0.7 - 1.8 kg/cap./day

        In the Caribbean, household waste generation is estimated in 0.58 kg/cap./day and the
commercial and institutional waste in 0.45 kg/cap./day with a total municipal solid waste
generation of 1.0 kg/cap./day.

b)      Special solid wastes

        There is no available information on special solid waste generation in urban areas of
the Region. However, with regard to hospital solid waste generation, a study carried out in
1991 by PAHO/ECC in Central American countries and Panama, estimated the following
average values for hospitals in those capitals:

        i)      Unit generation per bed:                                  3.0 kg/bed/day
        ii)     Non-hazardous parts considered as MSW:                    1.5 kg/bed/day
        iii)    Part of recyclable wastes:                                1.0 kg/bed/day
        iv)     Part of hazardous hospital wastes:                        0.5 kg/bed/day

         These values do not differ largely from developed countries and the rest of America
(table 3.2.4 and Annexes 3.2.1 and 3.2.2). Since in the Region there are approximately 1.2
million hospital beds, the amount of hazardous hospital waste could be 600 tons per day.

       Hospital hazardous wastes are usually handled together with MSW in a deficient and
hazardous way.

c)      Hazardous wastes

        Annexes 3.2.4, 3.2.5 and 3.2.6 present tables estimating the annual hazardous waste
generation in LAC countries surveyed by PAHO in 1993. There are no data or estimates
available on how much of those hazardous wastes are handled together with MSW.

        According to Mexican authorities, it is considered that 3% (14,500 t/day) of the total
of industrial wastes are hazardous or toxic for human health or the environment. In Argentina,
different estimates indicate that the annual generation of hazardous wastes in the province of
Buenos Aires would vary between 50,000 and 100,000 tons. In Lima, 300 t/day of hazardous
wastes were estimated and the dumps or areas where they are disposed of or stored are

        The solid waste management company of Trinidad and Tobago (SWMCO) indicates
that approximately 50,000 t of industrial wastes are generated annually, including industrial
hazardous wastes and pathogenic solid wastes.
         According to information from CETESB, in the metropolitan area of Sáo Paulo,
Brazil, 554 t of hazardous waste are generated daily; 52 % receive final treatment (286 t/day)
and the remaining 228 t/day are disposed of in clandestine dumps. Data from FEEMA, from
the 1989-1990 period, indicate that hazardous waste generation in the State of Rio de Janeiro
was 636,000 t per year, from which only 20% (130,000 t/year) were treated and disposed of

        It is correct to assume that one part of these hazardous wastes is handled separately
within the cities and other part is handled together with municipal solid waste.
                                                                      Table 3.2.1

                                      Municipal solid waste generation per capita in metropolitan areas
                                            and cities with more than two millions population

city                                              Population (000)             MSW production                Per-capita generation
                                                                                  (t/day)                        (kg/cap./day)
M.A. * Sáo Paulo, Brazil (96)                           16,400                    22,100                             1.35
M.A. Mexico City, Mexico (94)                           15,600                    18,700                             1.20
M.A. Buenos Aires, Argentina (96)                       12,000                    10,500                             0.88
M.A. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (96)                        9,900                      9,900                             1.00
M.A. Lima, Peru (96)                                    7,500                      4,200                             0.56
Bogotá, Colombia (96)                                   5,600                      4,200                             0.74
Santiago, Chile (95)                                    5,300                      4,600                             0.87
Belo Horizonte, Brazil (96)                             3,900                      3,200                             0.83
Caracas, Venezuela (95)                                 3,000                      3,500                             1.18
Salvador, Brazil (96)                                   2,800                      2,800                             1.00
M.A. Monterrey, Mexico (96)                             2,800                      3,000                             1.07
S. Domingo, Dominican Rep. (94)                         2,800                      1,700                             0.60
Guayaquil, Ecuador (96)                                 2,300                      1,600                             0.70
M.A. Guatemala, Guatemala (93)                          2,200                      1,200                             0.54
Curitiba, Brazil (95)                                   2,100                      1,300                             1.07
Havana, Cuba (91)                                       2,000                      1,400                             0.70
Total                                                   96,800                    93,900
                                                                                                          I 0.97

         * M.A. = Metropolitan area

         Source:             Data provided to PAHO by those responsible for the services in the 1994-1996 period and also extracted from
                             sector studies of PAHO and JICA.
                                                      Table 3.2.2

                              Municipal solid waste generation per capita in cities
City                                        Population              MSW production                 Per capita generation
                                              (000)                    (t/day)                         (kg/cap./day)
Cali, Colombia (96)                           1,850                     1,350                               0.73
Brasilia, Brazil (96)                         1,800                     1,600                               0.89
Medellin, Colombia (87)                       1,500                      750                                0.50
Montevideo, Uruguay (95)                      1,400                     1,260                               0.90
Quito, Ecuador (94)                           1,300                      900                                0.70
San Salvador, El Salvador (92)                1,300                      700                                0.54
M.A. Asunción, Paraguay (96)                  1,200                     1,100                               0.94
Rosario, Argentina (96)                       1,100                      700                                0.64
Managua, Nicaragua (88)                       1,000                      600                                0.60
Barranquilla, Colombia (96)                   1,000                      900                                0.90
San José, Costa Rica (95)                     1,000                      960                                0.96
Tegucigalpa, Honduras (95)                    1,000                      650                                0.65
Panama, Panama (95)                            800                       770                                0.96
La Paz, Bolivia (96)                           750                       380                                0.51
Cartagena, Colombia (96)                       600                       560                                0.93
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and                    500                       600                                 1.2
Tobago (93)
Total                                          16,300                     12,180                             0.74

          Sources:        PAHO. El manejo de residuos sólidos inunicipales en America Latina y el Caribe. 1995.
                          PAHO. Andlisis sectoriales de residuos sólfdos. 1995-1996.
                          JICA. Infonnes de estudios de Asunción y Guatemala. 1993-1994.
                                                              Table 3.2.3

                                 Municipal solid waste generation per capita in cities
                                         with less than 500,000 population

city                                           Population (000)               MSW production              Per capita generation
                                                                                 (t/day)                     (kg/cap./day)
El Alto, Bolivia                                       450                         200                             0.44
Apodaca, Mexico                                        350                         100                             0.30
Chiclayo, Peru                                         300                         180                             0.60
Santa Marta, Colombia                                  210                         230                             1.10
Oruro, Bolivia                                         190                          70                             0.37
Godoy Cruz, Argentina                                  190                         100                             0.53
Buenaventura, Colombia                                 190                         180                             0.96
Palmira, Colombia                                      190                         120                             0.63
San Rafael, Argentina                                  180                          90                             0.50
Sucre, Bolivia                                         140                          60                             0.43
Concordia, Argentina                                   120                          40                             0.33
Ica, Peru                                              110                          60                             0.54
Tarija, Bolivia                                         90                          30                             0.33
Rivera, Uruguay                                         80                          60                             0.75
Riohacha, Colombia                                      80                          80                             1.00
Venado Tuerto, Argentina                                70                          40                             0.57
Linares, Mexico                                         70                          30                             0.43
Trinidad, Bolivia                                       60                          30                             0.50
Tacuarembó, Uruguay                                     50                          20                             0,40
Madrid, Colombia                                        40                           9                             0.22
Artigas, Uruguay                                        30                          36                             1.20
Granadero Bergson, Argentina                            21                          15                             0.70
Aracataca, Colombia                                     16                           6                             0.35
Zacamil, El Salvador                                    15                           8                             0.50
Total                                                 3.242                       1,789                            0.55

        Source: PAHO. Estudios sectoriales y del Sistema de Monttoreo de Residuos Urbanos, SIMRU. 1996.
                                                         Table 3.2.4

                                     Quantities of hazardous waste generated
                                     by health care centers in certain countries

Country            Number of             Hazardous          Country                         Number of          Hazardous
                     beds               waste (t/year)                                        bees                waste
Anguilla                24                     5.3          Guatemala                          13,667            2.993.1
Argentina           150,000                32.850.0         Jamaica                             5,745            1.258.2
Barbados              2,111                  462.3          Mexico                             60,099           13.161.7
Bolivia               8,749                 1.916.0         Nicaragua                           4,904            1.074.0
Brazil              501,660               109.863.0         Paraguay                            5,487            1.201.7
Colombia             45,761                10.021.7         Peru                               30,629            6.707.8
Cuba                 50,293                11.014.2         Saint Lucia                          399               87.4
Chile                42,969                 9.410.2         Trinidad & Tobago                   4,281            937.54
Dominica               322                    70.5          Uruguay                            14,133            3.095.1
Ecuador              16,426                 3.597.3         Venezuela                          47,200           10.336.8
Guyana                2,204                  482.7

     Source: PANO. Desechos peligrosos y salud en Antérica Latina y el Caribe. Serie Anibiental N' 14. 1994.

     3.2.3 Waste composition and characteristics

               Several countries of the Region have quantified the composition and characteristics of their
      MSW, which can be interpreted, on one hand, as an indicator of the average family income and degree
      of consumerism and, on the other, as data to determine the salvage value of waste for recycling. Waste
      characterization also makes possible to estimate the space and infrastructure required for sanitary

               Table 3.2.5 shows the results of some percentage composition analyses carried out under
      different waste moisture conditions. The organic matter values, between 40 and 70% , are higher than
      those of industrialized countries and obviously, the percentage of paper and cardboard, metal and glass
      are lower, but the amount of plastic is similar.

               It is important to consider the conclusions of two recent studies conducted in Chile and Costa
      Rica; a great reduction in the percentage of glass and a considerable increase of plastics
were found. The studies were conducted to observe the difference after 10 years of the first analyses.

         Other characteristics that make MSW of LAC countries different from those of developed
countries are the high content of moisture which varied from 35 to 55 % and the higher specific weight
that reached values from 125 to 250 kg/m3 when weighed loosed. Values from 375 to 550 kg /M3
were observed in the compactor truck, and from 700 to 1,000 when they were compacted in sanitary

        Research on lower calorific values of some cities is varied but usually combustible wastes are
lower than in the United States and Japan, where incineration is the method most used for final
treatment (table 3.2.6).

        The analysis of information on MSW generation and characteristics suggests also the
following observations:

                Per capita generation of MSW increases according to the size of the cities.

                Most part (up to 70%) of MSW come from household or residential sources.

        The correlation between MSW production and per capita income has been demonstrated. For
        example, in Buenos Aires, the quantity of MSW collected in 1989 -a year of high economic
        recession- was reduced compared to the 1980-1985 average. This correlation was verified
        again in Buenos Aires when the higher economic activity during 1991-1994 produced a strong
        increase in the waste disposal level; and then, the 1995 recession reduced that level. Also, the
        Venezuelan recession from 1987 to 1989 reduced in 14% the MSW collection in Caracas. In
        Lima, MSW generation during 1987-1991 was reduced due to strong economic recession. The
        same phenomenon has been observed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    -   There exists a correlation between the quality of MSW generated and the economic condition
        of the countries. The countries with lower income generate less waste and its components are
        less recyclable.
                                                                                   Table 3.2.5

                                            Composition of municipal waste (% in weight) in various countries
Country                       H20%        Cardboard and paper             Metal             Glass          Textile            Plastics        Organic      Others and inert
Brazil (96)                     -                25.0                      4.0               3.0             -                  3.0              -             65.0(')
Mexico                         45                20.0                      3.2               8.2            4.2                 6.1            43.0             27.1
Costa Rica                     50                19.0                       -                2.0             -                 11.0            58.0             10.0
E1 Salvador                     -                18.0                      0.8               0.8            4.2                 6.1            43.0             27.1
Peru                           50                10.0                      2.1               1.3            1.4                 3.2            50.0             32.0
Chile (92)                     50                18.8                      2.3               1.6            4.3                10.3            49.3             13.4
Guatemala (91)                 61                13.9                      1.8               3.2            3.6                 8.1            63.3              6.1
Colombia (96)                   -                18.3                      1.6               4.6            3.8                14.2            52.3              5.2
Uruguay (96)                    -                 8.0                      7.0               4.0             -                 13.0            56.0             12.0
Bolivia (94)                    -                 6.2                      2.3               3.5            3.4                 4.3            59.5             20.8
Ecuador (94)                    -                10.5                      1.6               2.2             -                  4.5            71.4              9.8
Paraguay (95)                   -                10.2                      1.3               3.5            1.2                 4.2            56.6             23.0
Argentina (96)                 50                20.3                      3.9               8.1            5.5                 8.2            53.2              0.8
Trinidad & Tobago        -I            20.0--                         10.0 I         10.0             7.0 I             20.0 I           27.0 I         6.0
                                                                                     l                                                                  --

              ~'~ It includes textile and organic

              Sources: PAHO. El manejo de residuos sólidos en América patina y el Caribe. Serie Ambiental NE 15. 1995 PAHO.
                                 Estudios sectoriales de residuos sólidos. 1996. Ministry of Health, Chile. 1995.
                                 Fundación Natura. Manejo de los desechos sólidos en el Ecuador. 1994.                                                                        fi
                                 PAHO. Sistema de Monitoreo de Residuos Urbanos, SIMRU. 1996.
                                 PAHO; IDB. Informes de expertos locales para el presente diagnóstico. 1996.
                                                              Table 3.2.6

                              Municipal solid waste characteristics in some cities

Cities                                      Specific weight                  Moisture (%)   Lower caloric value
                                                (kg/m)                                          (Kcal/kg)
Asunci6n (93)                                     180                                50           1.192
Buenos Aires                                      250                                50
Guatemala City (91)                               240                                61           1.039
Mexico City. (96)                                 245                                50
Montevideo (95)                                   200                                 -             -
Rio de Janeiro (90)                            190-250                               50             -
Santa Cruz, Bolivia (90)                          160                                50             -
United States (Middle)                                                                            2.800

 Source: PAHO. Estudios sectoriales de residuos sólidos. 1995-1996.
             JICA. Estudios sobre residuos sólidos de Guatemala y Asunción. 1992-1993.

 3.2.4 Service coverage and quality

              a)          Storage

                      Few cities adequately store wastes in their houses, commercial establishments,
              hospitals and other generation points. So far, container standardization or use of plastic bags
              has only been achieved partially in Havana, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. In other cities,
              only medium and high income strata have adequate containers and in other sectors only health
              education is provided to improve containers through inexpensive changes. Other typical
              storage problems occur in markets, industries, and clandestine or tolerated deposits in
              peripheral areas where there are no services and people place their refuse on vacant lots or
              public roads where it is collected by trucks. In addition, street vending in public areas is
              increasing in all LAC cities.

                      Since the previous decade, solid waste management services of the Region are using
              containers of different sizes. Few are the cities with good quality services either due to lack of
              adequate equipment for timely transportation, because containers hinder urban order, or
        Private companies have recently begun to participate in storage and transportation and
it is achieving good results in management. In several countries, private industries make
containers, even for export.

b)      Sweeping of streets and public areas

         The sweeping of streets and public areas is done mainly in paved and busy areas. In
most Latin American cities, personnel performance ranges from 1.0 to 2.0 km/day of street
(that is 2.0 to 4.0 km of gutter), 30 to 90 kg of refuse is collected per kilometer and between
0.4 and 0.8 sweepers are required per every 1,000 population. This depends on the support of
mechanical sweeping, ratio of paved and non paved streets, degree of difficulty of
sweeping, and community education and cooperation. There are cities with higher degree of
difficulty, such as Rio de Janeiro, that requires beach cleaning. Mechanical sweeping has
lower costs but implies labor displacement and outflow of foreign currency from the country
since street sweepers are usually imported. In Chile, 93 % of urban localities (370 cities) have
some type of sweeping and cleaning of their public thoroughfares, estimating that 80% of
paved streets are served by such services. About 50% of sweeping services in cities with more
than 50,000 population have been contracted out to private companies. table 3.2.6 presents
data on sweeping in some cities of the Region.

        The replacement of manual sweeping with mechanical sweepers is a critical aspect
that continues to be discussed in LAC due to social conflicts caused by personnel dismissal in
countries with high unemployment rates. Even more so, when manual sweeping absorbs a
high number of workers, especially women, who are not skilled for others types of
employment. Many municipal solid waste management services usually use up to 50% of their
work force in sweeping of streets and public areas.

       When the collection service is inefficient or inadequate, the quantity of solid waste
from sweeping is increased with household or residential refuse.

        Whether manual sweeping uses intensive labor or because mechanical sweeping
requires expensive imported equipment and trained operational personal, this service is
frequently expensive and becomes a very important component of solid waste management.

         Most of the cities with more than 200,000 population use sweepers and mechanical
sweepers. Cities with less than 200,000 population usually use manual sweeping. In large
cities, 100% of paved streets in downtown are swept. Lack or deficiencies in equipment
maintenance is the major obstacle of mechanical sweeping.

        The municipality is responsible for sweeping the commercial area of the cities, but in
several countries residents are responsible for cleaning the street in front of their property. An
example of this is observed in the cities of Bolivia.
         The contracting of sweeping services to the formal private sector and microbusinesses
is increasing in the cities of the Region, with advantages related to cost reduction and quality
of the service. Since the transfer to the private sector usually implies personnel reduction, it
arouses social conflicts and violence as occurred in Lima during 1996.

        Perhaps the most important aspect of sweeping, especially in busy areas with high
concentration of street vendors, is the placement of garbage cans and environmental education
of the population to cooperate with the service. In LAC countries the placement of garbage
cans is often arbitrary and without any planning. Health education and environmental
campaigns are not permanent, they are not planned and are not supported by formal education
or by community organizations.
                                                                           Table 3.2.6
                                                                 Data on sweeping in some cities

city                                      Type of sweeping                        Manual and mechanic            Population (millions)           Y. coverage of paved   Performance (kMAayj"
                                                                                  sweepers                                                              atrNte
San Rafael, Argentina                     manual and mechanic                     25 man., 2 meth.       0.18                            700                            0.8
Rosario, Argentina                        mechanic                                7                      7.1                             700                            2.6
San Luis, Argentina                       manual                                                         0.12                            100                            0.2
Godoy Cruz, Argentina                     manual                                  180                    0 19                            100                            0.5
Concordia. Argentina                      manual and mechanic                     2 meth.                0.17                            100
Perez, ArgeMina                           manual                                                         022                             too                            2.4
Granadem Barposnia, Argentina             manual                                                         0.21                            100
Villa Mercedes, Argentina                 manual and mechanic                     16 man., 2 mach.       0.9                             100                            0.5
El Alto, Bolivia                          manual                                  24                     0.452                           100                            2.4
La Paz, Bolivia                           manual and mechanic                     i meth.                0.738                           100                            0.5-2
Crum, Bolivia                             manual                                  49                     0 193                           100                            27
Potosi, Bolivia                           manual                                  22                     0.117                           700                            2.4
Sucre. Bolivia                            manual                                  18                     0.144
7artja, Bolivia                           manual arid mechanic                    20 man., 3 meth.       0 098                           700                            2.7
Trinidad, Bolivia                         manual                                  13                     0.062                           100
Curitiba, Brazil                          manual and mechanic                     530 man., 5 meth.      2.08                            100
Sao Paulo. Brazil                         manual and mechanic                     5000 man., d meth.     11.5                            80                             2
Joao Pessoa, Brazil                       manual and mechanic                     730 man., 1 mach.      0.68                            90                             2
Salvador, Brazil                          manual and mechanic                     2 meth.                2.3                             58
Belo Horizonte, Brazil                    manual and mechanic                     2345 man., 2 meth.-    25                              70                             1.1
Brasilia, Brazil                          manual-                                 745                    18                              25                             1.3
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil                    -manual and mechanic                    5741 man., 28 meth.    5.5                             90                             1.8
Santiago de Cali, Colombia                manual and mechanic                     535 man., 10 meth.     1.85                            97                             2.81
Alajuela, Costa Rica                      manual                                  300                                                    10                             3
Escobedo, Mexico                          manual                                  40                     0.28                            90                             0 25
Benito Juarez, Mexico                     manual                                  2-                     0.05                                                           2
Guadalupe, Mexico                         manual                                  55-                    0.8
Monterrey, Mexico                         manual and mechanic                     18 meth.               1.1
Garcia. Mexico                            manual                                  10                     0.25                            30
Sta Catarina, Maxim                       manual and mechanic                     23 man., 1mech         -0.2                            20
Salinas Victoria, Mexico                  manual                                  4                      0.074                           80                             2.5
San Nicolas, Mexico                       manual and mechanic                     119 man., i meth.      0 525
Apodaca, Mexico                           manual                                  10                     0.35                            20
San Pedro Garza. Mexico                   manual and mechanic                     30 man., 2 mach.       0.113                           100                            2
Asuncion, Paraguay                        manual and mechanic                     204 man , 4 meth.      0.51                            80
Lima, Cercado, Peru                       manual                                  258                    0.39                            70
Chiclayo. Peru                            manual                                  176                    0.3                             70                             1.1
Ica, Peru                                 manual                                  1                      0.11                            88                             7.5
Mercedes, Uruguay                         manual                                  18                     0.37                            70                             2.4
Col. de Sacramento, Uruguay               manual                                  14                     0 25                            20                             0.8
Saito, Uruguay                            manual                                  29                     0.1                             30-50                          5
Tacuarembo, Uruguay                       manual                                  20                     0.45                            40                             2
Fray Bentos. Uruguay                      manual                                  34                     0.22                            35                             1
Durazrro, Uruguay                         manual                                  26                     0.34                            35                             1.3
Rivers, Uruguay                           manual                                  11                     0.81                            77                             1
Montevideo, Uruguay                       manual and mechanic                     728 man., 14 meth.     1.4                             70                             1.5
Artipas, Uruguay                          manual                                  20                     0.32                            100                            __

            ' Performance per sweeper in km/sweeper/daily shift. It includes both sides of the street.
            Source: PAHO. Sistema de Monitoreo de Residuos Urbanos, SIMRU. 7996.
c)      Collection

        Several large cities of Latin America such as Buenos Aires, Santiago, Rosario,
Havana, Mexico City, Sáo Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Montevideo, Brasilia
and Caracas have collection coverage of 90 to 100%. In Chile, 99% of urban population have
regular MSW collection service. However, many metropolitan areas such as Mexico, Sáo
Paulo and others do not include marginal areas located in other metropolitan municipalities.

          The average collection coverage is 89% in large cities and 50 to 70% in small cities
(Table 3.2.7). Collection demands 0.2 to 0.4 workers per 1,000 population depending on the
generation per capita, housing concentration and road access. On average, each worker
collects two to five t/day. The most common equipment is the compactor truck with 10 to 15
m' of capacity and two trips of four to eight tons per shift. When only cne trip is done due to
labor conditions, trucks make two shifts. High and medium income areas are well served but
in marginal areas the services are sporadic. Unfortunately, little attention is given to poor areas
due to payment capacity, rough topography, bad condition of the streets or illegal character of
the settlements.

       The national basic sanitation survey carried out in 4,425 municipalities of Brazil by
FIBGE in 1989, revealed that the solid waste collection equipment in those municipalities
amounted approximately 39,000 units in total, with the following distribution:
               • Compactor trucks                           4,200 (11 % )
               • Dump trucks                                3,600 (9%)
               • Enclosed non-compactor                     400 (1 % )
               • Other types of trucks                      2,300 (6% )
               • Carts hauled by animals                    1,200 (3 % )
               • Manual carts                               27,300 (70%)
                   Total                                    39,000 (100%)

         In countries such as Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras,
Mexico, and Peru, unconventional collection methods have been applied through community
participation. These primary collection methods substitute carts and manual or
semi-mechanical carts for conventional collection equipment, providing jobs to local people.
Until now the result of the experiences have been variable. Other methods include containers
mechanically loaded with compactor trucks provided with hoists. People organize themselves
to carry their refuse to those containers, reducing service costs. Where there is no official
collection service, especially in marginal areas, collection is occasionally done by the informal
sector and frequently wastes are disposed of in clandestine dumps.

         In the Region, collection costs vary from 15 to 40 dollars per ton and from 50 to 125
dollars in the United States. As a result of national policies, some countries of the
Caribbean, Cuba and Chile reported more progress. In the last one, collection coverage for
urban population has reached 98.2 % . In the rest of the countries, medium and small cities
have achieved lower coverage and their equipment is permanently in bad conditions. Tables
3.2.8 and 3.2.9 present data on collection in some countries and cities.

         Since no data is available to compare collection efficiency among different municipal
services, indicators such as collected ton/person, collection worker per 1,000 population and
population per collection truck are being used. Although the collection technology among the
countries of the Region is similar and based on imported equipment, productivity and
efficiency varies widely among cities. Not all the municipal services of large cities use optimal
techniques of routing and transportation; in medium and small cities the procedures are totally
empirical and hence, inefficient.

         Collection costs compared to industrialized countries are lower, mainly because of the
low cost of the Latin American labor force. The above deficiencies and limitations are being
overcome by private companies, whose participation in waste collection is increasing. This
does not occur in small cities, where microbusinesses will probably grow with better
possibilities as it is happening in Costa Rica and Peru.

         Other collection characteristics in most countries of the LAC are the use of
conventional equipment, rear or lateral load compactor trucks appropriate for paved roads, but
inadequate for steep streets or cities located at high altitude over the sea level. The compaction
system also has problems because refuse has high density, maintenance is poor and spare parts
are scarce. Therefore, many collection services use open collection trucks and dumpers which
demand low-cost maintenance and operation, while lower efficiency is compensated with low

         Collection frequency is usually two or three times per week and daily in some sectors
where commercial solid waste generation demands it (downtown, markets, commercial
centers, tourism areas, etc.). In some cities, as Lima, collection frequency is daily in high
income residential areas, which represents high costs. Users feel satisfied, though, they must
take out small quantities of refuse every day. In the other extreme, collection frequency in
marginal areas is once a week, once each two weeks or occasionally.

        Metropolitan areas and large cities are solving their collection service problem
through contracts to the private sector, as it occurs in Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo, or through
concessions to private consortia, as in Bogota or even to informal collectors, as in Guatemala
City. In Chile, 80% of collection services in cities over 50,000 population are currently
operated by private companies. Productivity is higher in the private sector than under the
municipality management. In Colombia, for example, while Cali uses 0.4 workers per 1,000
population for the municipal collection system, Bogotá requires 0.17, Barranquilla 0.15, and
Santa Marta 0.12/1,000 population under the private system.

        Low coverage in medium and small cities, and limited or no service to urban marginal
settlements are considered critical aspects of waste collection.
                                         Table 3.2.7
Coverage of solid waste collection and final disposal in Latin American capitals and some large cities
                                                     Table 3.2.8

                            National urban cleaning coverage in some countries
Country                 Population (millions)                                                       Sanitary (2) or
                                                                                                  controlled landfill
                                  Total                   Urb                                      (other method)
Chile (94)                        13.8                    11.8                  99%                       83
Brazil (96)                       155                     120                   71 %                      28
Cuba (91)                         10.9                    8. 3                  95 %                      90
Costa Rica (96)                   3. 7                    1. 8                  66 %                      68
Trinidad (93)                      1.3                     0.8                  95%                       70
Bolivia (96)                       7.4                     4.5                  68%                       50
Haiti (96)                         7.2                     4.9                  30%                       20
Honduras (96)                      5.7                     2.5                  20 %                       0
Paraguay (96)                      5.0                     2.6                  35 %                       5
Peru (96)                         23.5                    17.2                  84 %                       5
Uruguay (96)                       3.2                     2.9                  71 %                       0
Antigua (95)                      0.07                    0.03                  85 %                       -
Dotninica (95)                    0.07                    0.03                  50%                        -
Granada (95)                      0.09                    0.06                  50%                        -
Venezuela (95)                    21.8                    20.3                  75 %                      85
Peru (95)                         23.5                    17.2                  60 %                       0
Mexico (96)                       91.1                    70.5                  70 %                      17

 Notes.-          ~'~ Estimated collection coverage based on urban population
                  ~2~ Estimated landfill coverage based on collected quantity

 Source:          PAHO. Desechos peligrosos y salud en América Latina y el Caribe. 1995. Serie Ambiental N° 15.
                  PAHO. IDB. Informes de expertos locales para el presente diagnóstico. 1996
                                                   Table 3.2.9

                                            Collection in some cities

     City (millions of                 Storage                  N' of trucks        Performance              Frequency
        population)                                          (truck/N° pop.)
Havana, Cuba (2)                    10% individual                   200             3 min/100 m              6/7, 3/7
                                   90 % (containers)            (1 / 10,000)
Mexico, D. F., Mexico (11)            Individual              1500 (1/7,300)           4 t/pers.                6/7
Rio de Janeiro*, Brazil (5)           Individual                      565             3.3 t/pers.               3/7
                                     Standardized                 (1/10,000)
Caracas, Venezuela (3)                Individual                 350 (1/8,000)         4.5 t/pers               2/7
San José, Costa Rica (0.25)         70% plastic bag              35 (1/7,000)          3-5 t/ ers.         6/7
Bogota, Colombia (5.6)                Individual                                  0.17 workers/ 1,000 6/7, 3/7, 2/7
                                     Standardized                                        POP.         _
Medellin, Colombia (1.5)              Individual              115 (1/13,000)      0.20 workers/1,000 6/7, 3/7, 2/7
                                    Standardized d                                      POR.--
Cali, Colombia (1.8)                  Individual              109 (1/16,000)      0.40 workers/1,000 6/7, 3/7, 2/7
                                     Standardized                                        POP-
Barranquilla, Colombia                                           49 (1/20,000)    0.15 workers/1,000 6/7, 3/7, 2/7
(1.0)                                                                                     o.
Sáo Paulo, Brazil (16.4)              Individual              600 (1/27,000)                               3/7
Brasilia, Brazil (1.8)                Individual              144 (1/12,500)      0.65 workers/1,000         6/7, 3/7,
                                     Standardized                                        POP-                1/7, 1/15
Montevideo, Uruguay (1.4)             Individual                 169 (1/8,300)    0.43 workers/1,000          6/7, 3/7
                                     Standardized                                        POP.
Asunción, Paraguay (1.2)                                         50 (1/24,000)    0.19 workers/ 1,000      6/7, 3/7, 1/7
Monterrey, Mexico (2.8)                                       183 (1/15,300)      0.08 workers/ 1,000        3/7, 2/7
United States (average)               Individual                     -                    pop.             1/7, 2/7, 2/7
                                                                                       5-8 t/pers.
                                     Standardized                 (1 /4,000)                            -

 Source:           PAHO. El manejo de residuos sólidos municipales en Antérica Latina y el Caribe. 1995.

                   Serie Ambiental N° 15.
d)      Transfer

          Rapid urban growth makes difficult to locate adequate final disposal sites because
neighbors opposed to it and the cost of the land increases. Large distance to new sanitary
landfills has lead to a growing use of transfer stations to transport refuse in 40 to 60 m3 units
with lower unit costs. There are transfer stations in Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina,
Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela and some are under construction in Asuncion, San
Salvador, San Jose and other cities. In Rio de Janeiro, Mexico, Caracas, Monterrey,
Guadalajara, and Buenos Aires, more than 50% of the collected refuse go to transfer stations.
In the Region, transfer stations are expected to be more common.

         The costs of these services vary from 5.00 to 17.00 dollars per ton, depending on
the distance. The current costs in the United States range between 15 and 25 dollars. In
Table 3.2.10 data on some transfer stations of the Region are presented. In Brazil, transfer
cost is US$ 0.25 t/km.

         Most cities with more than one million population have several transfer stations with
different designs. Collector trucks discharge the refuse directly in large trailers that transport
large loads of waste to the final disposal site. These trailers that usually do not have
compaction, sometimes receive compacted waste as in the transfer stations of Bogotá and
Buenos Aires, which have stationary compactors. The Federal District of Mexico has 14
transfer stations. In Brazil, according to a 1989 FIBGE study, from the 4,425 municipalities
surveyed, only 19 had transfer stations carrying 7,716 t/day.
                                                                         Table 3.2.10
                                                                Data on transfer in some cities

City                                       Type and number                  Ton/day                  Units                    Population   Trucks     Cost in
                                                                       __                                                                             US$ r t
Mexico D. F., Mexico (11)              Direct and without storage 14         3,000              Compactors 60 m'                 260        50
                                                                             (30%)            Without compact and
                                                                                                   runnin tloor
Rto de Janeiro, Brazil (9,9)               Without compact. 4                3,700    30 to 45 m' with and without compact.      70         40           5
                                                                            (40% )
Lima, Peru (7,5)                       Direct and without compact.           1,5(X)          60m' without compact.                -         12           13
                                                                            (37 % )
Caracas, Venezuela (3,0)                         Direct                      1,20()                 2 x 24 m'                     -         12            -
La Paz. Bolivia (0,7)                            Various                    320                         -                        18          9           5
Buenos Aires, Argentina                        Combined, 3                 5,000                     60 m'                       150        45        17 (with
11)                                                                        (45%)                                                                    depreciation)
Sao Paulo. Brazil (16,4)                    Without compact.               5.600                    40-60 m'                     180        45            6
                                                   3                       (35%)
Brasilia, Brazil (1,8)                              -                   600 (40%)                       -                        15         13            -
Cali, Colombia                                      -                     80(6%)                        -                         7         10            -
Monterrey, Mexico (2.8)                            2                       2,200                        -                         -         42            -
                                                                          (90% )
Santiago, Chile (5,3)                               1                   3.000(65%)                      -                         _          -            -

Source:                        PAHO. El rnanejo de residuos sólidos en Arnérica Latina y el Caribe. 1995. Serie Ambiental N°15.
                               PAHO. Sistema de Monitoreo de Residuos Urbanos. SIMRU. 1996
                               PAHO, IDB. Infonnes expertos locales para el presente diagnóstico.

                               e)         Treatment, incineration and bioconversion

                                       Due to lack of land, its high cost or to strict environmental legislation, many
                               developed countries have adopted incineration and composting as treatment processes that can
                               become partially competitive even when an advanced technology is used. These processes,
                               which take advantage of refuse characteristics, gave place to projects on incineration with use
                               of energy, bioconversion through compost, production of auxiliary fuel or RDF (refuse
                               derived fuel) and biogas from sanitary landfills (in Santiago, Chile, for residential use and in
                               Rio de Janeiro for COMLURB vehicles). These technologies have been adopted by several
                               LAC cities with discouraging results in most cases, except for some biogas recovery projects,
                               due to lack of technical, institutional and economic analyses to justify feasible investments.
                               Currently, only in some LAC cities and under very special circumstances, incineration and
                               composting technologies would be justified. According to PAHO, these treatments cost 20
                               times more than sanitary landfills.

                                       Accordingly, incineration is restricted to small incinerators for special wastes, mainly
                               in hospitals, ports, airports and industries, except for the city of Sao Paulo where the
                               municipality is enclosed by other municipalities of the metropolitan area. The incineration
composting and recycling plants, each plant with a capacity of 2,500 tons per day. Each plant
will burn 1,250 tons per day or will compost other 1,250 daily tons. The cost of the project is
US$ 600 million and should be financed by the private sector. A 20 year concession will be
given and the Municipality of Sao Paulo will pay US$ 70 per ton treated during the first 3
years and US$ 25 per ton from the fourth year onward. The bidding was carried out 2 years
ago but the project has not been implemented yet because there have been problems with one
of the bidding consortia. In the city of Mexico, the municipal incinerator was closed in 1992
because it did not meet emission standards. The incinerator of the city of Buenos Aires is not
working either. In Santiago, Chile, an attempt to install an incinerator was rejected because it
was not economically viable. It has been reported that in Barbados, the government had to pay
the loan for a small incinerator (a ton per day) that was granted to a private company.

         Up to now, no private company has invested or operated a large municipal incinerator
in the Region. On the other hand, old incinerators from several cities have been forbidden to
avoid air pollution. Since the potential emission of dioxins and furanes, among other
pollutants, pose a high health risk, the installation of low capacity incinerators has not yet been
authorized in the Federal District, Corregidora (Querétaro) and other cities of Mexico.
Incineration plants with energy recovery have recently been offered to various municipalities,
although the economical and technical feasibility of those investments has not been confirmed.

         The production of compost through simplified processes, such as piling, rotary
biodigestors and recently, worm breeding, are also being abandoned due to its costs and
because its promoters promised profits to municipal authorities, when it has been verified that
the use of more environmentally acceptable alternatives has a cost. It is estimated that in the
last 20 years no less than 30 compost plants have been purchased in the Region, some never
were installed and the machinery was abandoned; other 15 have closed after few years because
the municipalities did not continue the subsidy. Lack of feasibility studies and reduced local
market to trade derived products have been the main causes of failure for these installations.
Even though they were environmentally acceptable, municipalities could not continue
subsidizing the high operational costs of the plants, especially if they had less expensive final
disposal alternatives. Table 3.2.11 presents some data on the worldwide treatment and final
disposal trends.

         The program for recovery and use of biogas produced in sanitary landfills deserves
special attention. Monthly, in the city of Santiago, Chile, an average of 4 million cubic meters
of biogas is recovered with a calorific power of more than 5,000 kcal/m3. This biogas is mixed
with oil gas and distributed to the city through a pipe network for domestic consumption
covering 40% of the total demand for this type of fuel. The sale price of the biogas to the gas
company is US$ 1.25 per million of Kcal. Biogas recovery is similar in the city of Valparaiso.

       In a survey carried out in Brazil it was confirmed that 41 large and medium recycling
and composting plants and 13 incinerators were in operation.
                                                 Table 3.2.11

                                       Worldwide trend for treatment
                                            and final disposal

Percentages of treatment and final disposal
Country or region           Sanitarduy j fill (or               Combustion            Compost

United States                           80                          19                   <1
Japan                                   30                          70                    2
Germany                                 70                          30                    3
France                                  55                          40                    9
Switzerland                             20                          80                    -
Sweden                                  40                          55                    5
Spain                                   80                          15                    5
Latin America                           98                          <1                   <1

     Source: PAHO. El manejo de residuos sólidos municipales en América Latina y el
              Caribe. 1995. Serie Ambiental N° 15.

     There is few information on compost plants in Latin America, but the following is available:
             Acapulco, Mexico                        A plant was purchased but it never worked.
             Guadalajara, Mexico                     A plant (160 t/shift) worked during 15 years.
             Monterrey, Mexico                       A plant (160 t/shift) worked during 15 years.
             Villa Hermosa, Mexico                   Inactive.
             Oaxaca, Mexico                          A plant (80 t/shift) was in operation. It is not
                                                     known if it continues working.
             Toluca, Mexico                          Inactive.
             San Salvador, El Salvador               Closed for more than 25 years.
             Medellin, Colombia                      It never worked.
             Venezuela                               A plant was purchased but it never
             Quito, Ecuador                          Pilot plant of 5 t/shift with rotary biodigestor. It
                                                     is not know if it continues working.
Cuenca, Ecuador                         Pilot plant with rotary biodigestor. It is not know
                                        if it continues working.
Guayaquil, Ecuador                      The installation of a plant that never worked
                                        generated a political crisis.
Brasilia, Brazil                        Two plants working in Brasilia
Brazil                                  Small plants have been installed but have not
                                        been evaluated in the medium term. Sáo Paulo,
                                        Brasilia and Rio de Janeiro have large plants. In
                                        Rio de Janeiro, two plants with a joint capacity of
                                        1,800 t/d and a total cost of US$ 40 million were
                                        installed and have had difficulties to start up.
                                        According to a study carried out by the Instituto
                                        de Pesquisas Tecnológicas de Sáo Paulo, IPT, in
                                        1990 there were 57 composting facilities with
                                        incorporated recycling; from that total, 18 were
                                        operating, 15 under construction and the 24
                                        remaining were out of order.

        Some demonstration projects of solid waste recovery and bioconversion promoted
and sponsored by NGOs and operated by the community, have succeeded. However, they
succeeded as projects of academic value and demonstration of technical process, but only in
few cases the experience has been maintained or replicated massively because they did not
have institutional, administrative, economic and financing self-sustainable mechanisms.

         Table presents some comparative figures with regard to treatment and final
disposal costs.
                                                  Table 3.2.12

                                                Treatment costs

                                 Costs of alternative treatment methods

            Method                       Investment cost in US$ per              Operation cost in US$ per ton
                                                ton installed                         (with amortization)
Sanitar landfill, USA                                S/D                           $30 (varies from 15 to 60)
Sanita landfill, LAC (**)                      5,000 - 15,000                       $6 (varies from 3 to 10)
Composting                                     20,000 - 40,000                     $25 (varies from 20 to 40)
Incineration, USA (*)                         125,000 - 160,000                    $60 (varies from 50 to 90)

     (*)     The cost per ton is the net cost after selling the energy. The gross cost would be US$ 90 per ton.
     (**)    The technical specifications of sanitary landfills in USA are more stringent than LAC countries, which affects
             the costs.

     Source: PAHOIWHO

                      In Table 3.2.13 data on treatment in some LAC cities are shown. Except for the case
             of cities near to agricultural and industrial complexes, it is unlikely to see the private sector
             interested in investing and operating composting plants unless they are small industrial
             projects for a reduced local market of gardens and domestic plants.

                      Successful worm breeding projects to produce humus have been reported in
             Colombia, Cuba, Peru and Brazil, but they are pilot experiences carried out at a very small
             scale and with technical and social assistance.

                      It is known that some demo projects of waste anaerobic digestion have shown
             technical feasibility, but they have not been implemented because its cost-effectiveness has
             not been demonstrated.
          Table 3.2.13
Treatment of MSW in some cities
i)      Sanitary landfill

          Table 3.2.7 shows that among 33 large cities, 30% of the refuse go to sanitary
landfills and 35 % to semi-controlled landfills. The remaining facilities do not meet minimum
sanitary standards and can be classified as garbage dumps. If these figures are compared with
those from one decade ago, a good progress is observed. This only occurs, however, in some
large cities that due to its size produce statistical diversions which may lead to an exaggerated
optimism. Indeed, the situation in most cities is not favorable (Table 3.2.8). On the other hand,
most of the so-called sanitary landfills do not meet enough technical specifications to be
recognized as such, not even to be considered as controlled landfills. In Brazil, in a
nation-wide survey, 88% of the cities had open dumps, 9 % had controlled landfills and 3 %
had sanitary landfill or other adequate final disposal method.

         In Chile, the coverage of solid waste disposal in sanitary landfills is 83% at the
national level. From a total of 409 cities, 184 have sanitary landfills; thus, Chile is considered
a leader in this type of final disposal in LAC.

          In the Region, waste moisture and composition determines reactions in sanitary
landfills different from those described in the technical literature from developed countries.
The density of compacted refuse is greater (800 to 1,000 kg/m3), which extends the life of
landfills beyond the expected. With 50% of moisture, the field capacity is reached rapidly in
the landfill with the compaction; thus, the methanogenic stage of the decomposition occurs
and biogas is produced. Biogas is used in gas distribution networks in Santiago and Valparaiso
(Chile) and was used in the decade of 1980 as fuel for trucks and light vehicles for supervision
in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). It is worth mentioning that none of the two countries are oil

         If the 330,000 daily tons of urban refuse produced in the Region were disposed in
sanitary landfills, a 380,000 in' area would be required for disposal daily. This gives an idea of
the land demand and the need to design strategies so that operating agencies have priority in
municipal planning to obtain urban or suburban areas.

          In the Region, operation cost for a sanitary landfill varies from 3.00 to 10.00 dollars
per ton, depending on the size, quality of operation, topography and hydrogeological
conditions of the site. In the United States, the average cost is 30 dollars per ton due to the
strict legislation.

         It should also be noted that no country of the Region treats leaching, it is infiltrated
into the subsoil or discharged in surface waters instead. The city of Santiago recirculates these
liquids in landfills because rain is scarce. In several cities, new designs are already considering
treatment, such as in Buenos Aires and the Federal District of Mexico. Another aspect that has
received attention is the inclusion of the cost of the landfill after its closure in the cleaning
service tariff (Buenos Aires and Santiago), taking into account the difference between cost and
        Table 3.2.14 shows data on sanitary landfills from some cities of the Region provided
by service operators. However, reports from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru,
Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, and sector studies carried out by PAHO in Colombia,
Guatemala, Mexico, and Uruguay prepared by local experts for this document, indicate that
coverage and quality of sanitary landfills are lower than those indicated in that Table. Table summarizes this information on quality and coverage of sanitary landfills in 11
countries of the Region.

         Scavengers are a problem in almost all cities and make the sanitary landfill operation
unsafe. It is necessary to make a difference between landfill scavengers and those from the
city. When there are landfill scavengers, it is not possible to develop a real sanitary landfill. To
yield to the social demands that allow recycling in landfills and to keep essential rules of
operation makes the difference between a second-rate landfill and a real sanitary landfill.

          One of the major problems is to operate sanitary landfills in small cities with less than
50,000 population that produce little refuse because the high cost of a tractor is not justified
due to scale economies. It is worth mentioning the manual sanitary landfills program of
Colombia, which can be a solution to this type of problems. In Chile, substantial progress has
been achieved in cities with less than 20,000 population since from 342 locations, 22% (69
localities) have access to sanitary, manual or mechanized landfills. There are experiences in
many countries, but mostly at a pilot level.
                                                               Table 3.2.14
                                           Data on sanitary landfills in some cities

City                         Landfill           Percentage of           T/day           Landfill         Biogas         Biogas use     Landfill
                          quality(method)        waste filled          landfill         number         ventilation                     cost $/t
Mexico D.F.                 Good (area)             50%                 5,000              1              Yes               No        4.00 (op.)
Lima, Peru                 Regular (area)           30%                 1,500              2              Yes               No        4.00 (op.)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil      Good (area)             81 %                5,500              3              Yes               Yes          4.00
Sáo Paulo, Brazil           Good (area)             94%                11,800              3              Yes               No          12.00
Santiago, Chile             Good (area)             100%                4,600              2              Yes               Yes          6.00
Havana, Cuba               Regular (area)           80%                 1,500              2              No                No             -
Caracas, Venezuela         Regular (area)           100%                3,400              2              Yes               No             -
San Jos&, Costa Rica       Regular (area)           100%                 500               1                -               No           2.90
Bogotá, Colombia            Good (area)             100%                4,200              1              Yes               No           2.70
Buenos Aires,                  Good                 100%                9,600              5              Yes               No       10.00 (tot.)
La Paz, Bolivia                Good                  100%                350                1              Yes               No           -
Medellín Colombia              Good                  100%                750                1              Yes               No           -
Guayaquil, Ecuador             Good                  100%               1,400               1              Yes               No         2.20
Rosario, Argentina            Regular                100%                700                1               -                No           -
Brasilia, Brazil              Regular                75%                1,100               1               -                No           -
Curitiba, Brazil               Good                  100%               1,300               1               -                 -           -
Monterrey, Mexico             Regular                100%               2,400               1              No                No           -
Trinidad and Tobago           Regular                100%                                   3              Yes               No         5.40
                                                                   I 1,200

           Source:   PAHO. El manejo de residuos sólidos municipales en América Latina y el Caribe. 1995. Serie Ambiental N' 15.

                     PAHO. Sistema de Monitoreo de Residuos Urbanos, SIMRU. 1996.

                     Lectures presented at the XXV Congress of AIDIS in Mexico, 1996.
                   Information on sanitary landfills in some countries of Latin America
                                           and the Caribbean

Country                                 Information on sanitary landfills
Argentina                               There are five sanitary landfills located in the metropolitan area
                                        of Buenos Aires and one in Cordoba.
Brazil                                  It is estimated that no more than 3 % of 40 thousand tons of
                                        refuse collected daily have adequate final disposal.
Chile                                   83 % of the waste collected in 184 cities is disposed of in
                                        sanitary landfills.
Colombia                                Except in Medellin and Bogota, there are no sanitary landfills in
                                        the country.
Costa Rica                              There are no sanitary landfills.
Ecuador                                 There is one sanitary landfill in Guayaquil and controlled
                                        landfills in Quito.
Guatemala                               There are no sanitary landfills in the country.
Mexico                                  It is estimated that there are only 10 to 15 sanitary landfills in
                                        the country, including two in the Federal District.
Peru                                    There are no sanitary landfills in the country.
Trinidad and Tobago                     In Trinidad there are three controlled landfills and in Tobago
                                        there is one controlled landfill.
Uruguay                                 There are no sanitary landfills.
Venezuela                               In 11 zones under study, covering 38 municipalities served and
                                        the metropolitan area of Caracas, there are no sanitary landfills.

         Source: PAHO; IDB. Inforrnes de expertos locales para el presente diagnóstico. 1996. PAHO.
                  Estudios sectoriales de residuos sólidos en cuatro países. 1995-1996.
          In the last 10 years, the use of sanitary landfills has increased in the Region and all the
capitals and large cities of LAC and Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean have sanitary
landfills or the so-called controlled landfills. Usually, in the latter ones, collector trucks are
controlled in the gate but the load is not weighted; scavenger settlements are not allowed
within the landfill area, but a classified waste segregation is allowed; waste is compacted and
covered daily; non-waterproof method or material is used; in some, biogas is ventilated;
leaching is not collected or treated; and quality ranges from those landfills with characteristics
close to a sanitary landfill up to open dumps (Table

         Cities such as Belo Horizonte, Buenos Aires, Guayaquil, Medellin, Mexico City,
Querétaro, Santiago and Sáo Paulo have real sanitary landfills, some of them even use
synthetic membranes as impervious material.

         Several landfills are operated by private utilities, such as in Argentina, Brazil, Chile,
Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, and Peru. Usually, land is provided by the municipality
and die concessionnaires operate them in accordance with technical specifications given by the
local authority; in turn, they charge the municipalities through an invoice according to weight
or volume of wastes.

         Sea dumping of MSW is prohibited by international agreements. In several countries
of the Caribbean, however, it is an environmental and health problem demanding immediate
solution since it affects them by reducing tourism.

         Countries such as Brazil, Peru, Chile, St. Vincent, Guyana, and Ecuador (Global
Waste Survey IMO, 1995) declared that they were disposing of their wastes in the sea, despite
these international agreements. In some cases, sea dumping of MSW was part of projects to
recover seashore lands.

        Once completed, sanitary landfills may become green and sports areas, as it is
observed in Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Sáo Paulo, Porto Alegre, and other sites.

g)       Recycling

          In the countries of the Region, poor people recover secondary materials from
municipal solid waste as an income source. Barterers that buy or exchange used materials;
garbage collectors that separate wastes during their route; scavengers that separate wastes in
landfills, and people who buy wastes from offices (paper), restaurants (to feed animals),
industries, etc., all of them are part of the recycling system.

         Recycling is widely practiced in LAC countries. Compared with developed countries,
recovery and recycling is different due to the low content of recyclable materials produced by
households. An important factor is the market for recovered material because if in the
surrounding areas there are no factories to reprocess them, recycling will be limited to reuse or
sale to intermediaries who trade them in more remote processor plants. The decisive factor is
extreme poverty that makes it necessary to become
informal scavengers to survive. It is estimated that the number of scavengers in the Region
surpass one hundred thousand families involved in solid waste recovery.

         The degree of recycling in the countries is not known but, in general terms, it is not
very high in weight compared to the quantity of waste generated. Recycling is achieved in two
ways, the first is through separation and collection in industries, businesses and large
generators of homogeneous recyclable materials (paper, cardboard, bottles, plastics and
ferrous and non-ferrous metals) to sell them to specialized private collectors. Usually, this type
of recycling is profitable and environmentally positive because it can be carried out under
conditions that protect the worker's health. This type of recycling programs, especially glass,
have achieved great success in Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela. The Federal District of
Mexico has three municipal waste separation plants with a capacity of 1,500 t/day each one,
recovering 10 to 15 % of the material, as reported by the Federal District Department.

         The second type of segregation is practiced in the refuse itself and consists of three
possible interventions: first, by scavengers that pick up recyclable items in bags or containers;
second, by garbage collectors in the collector truck; and third, by scavengers in the landfill.
Obviously, this form of recovery is not recommended since it usually endangers the health of
the segregators, causes aesthetics problems in the city, and inefficiencies in the municipal
services. In general, the main beneficiaries are the intermediaries and the leaders of segregators
and unions. In a recent study coveting seven cities of Mexico it was verified that the quantities
recycled by these three types of intervention was less than 2% of all the refuse in weight.

         One of the problems of waste recovery is the diversion of collector trucks from their
routes to discharge and sell wastes to recyclers, which increases collection costs. Another
problem is pig feeding with wastes, which is critical for public health when pig breeders build
their corrals within or near the dumps. A study carried out in Lima by DESCO in 1994
revealed that around 800 t/day were used to feed pigs in clandestine sites that provide up to
50% of the daily pork consumption.

         The most common recycling method in developed countries is the separation of
recyclables in every household through community participation campaigns. In countries with
active participation of the civil society and high educational level, results have been positive
although some critics state that the real cost of the recovered material is high and that recycling
companies pay subsidized prices. In countries of LAC, this method is applied partially only in
some cities of Argentina, Colombia, Brazil and Mexico (in 1994 there were 82 selective
recovery programs). The difference is due to unemployment and poverty, which favor the
existence of scavengers, a social group that does not exist in developed countries where
separation is done directly by the community at the source.

        In metropolitan Lima it is estimated that almost 5,000 people are involved in informal
segregation, recovering 290 t daily (7 % of the total generated) that are taken to
350 retail deposits and 28 wholesale deposits where they are traded to 1,500 recycling
companies, mainly small industries.

         In Colombia, with the support of NGOs, scavengers groups have been transformed
into cooperatives or private formal associations that are achieving a successful operational
management. For example in Cali, the Precooperativa Socios Unidos is in charge of
classifying and trading the material separated previously at the source. Source separation is
only partial, since in spite of public campaigns, non-recyclable material is also included. Three
out of seven tons collected daily are not recyclable. This program recycles between 40 and 60 t
per month. Other groups of scavengers in Cali recycle 250 t weekly. In total, it is estimated
that approximately 50 t are recovered per day, which only means less than 4% of the refuse
generated daily in the city.

         Colombia is possibly the most advanced country in the organization and promotion of
scavengers. In many cities, pre-cooperatives of scavengers have been established supported by
non governmental and also governmental organizations for sanitary recovery, installation of
centers to collect recovered materials, and fair trading with the recycling industry. The
pre-cooperatives of Barranquilla are building seven collection centers; in Manizales, the main
pre-cooperative has built a plant to recover 20 t/day, 10% of the total generated in the city at a
cost of 1.2 million dollars; the two main pre-cooperatives of Popayán have collection centers
and another new cooperative is developing a worm breeding project using organic matter from
sanitary landfill.

         Recovery of materials separated at the source was also successful in some cities of
Brazil since there were no cooperatives for this recovery and, on the other hand, the municipal
support for these programs obtained profits, such as longer life of the sanitary landfill, lower
collection costs, lower consumption of natural resources, and improvements in public health
and the environment. In Rfo de Janeiro, there are 16 cooperatives with 1,300 workers that
separate 1,800 t per month (less than 1% of the MSW generated), which makes possible to
obtain monthly salaries over the minimum wage. In Sao Paulo, the NGO CEMPRE,
Compromiso Empresarial para Reciclagem, promotes recycling with an integrated
management approach and jointly with the Instituto de Pesquisa Tecnoldgica (Institute of
Technological Investigation) of Sao Paulo, it has published a manual on integrated waste
management. Waste recovery with previous separation in households was also applied in
Buenos Aires and remains but subsidized.

         In Venezuela there are 199 recovery and recycling centers that cover 75 % of the
material recovered in the country, but include only large waste generators.

        In summary, solid waste recovery by segregation is not high with regard to the
generated quantity, but for thousands of families it represent their only means of survival.

        The quantity of recovered material is larger when industries and large waste
generators participate and the recycling industry promotes the process. Interesting result
have been obtained in Colombia and other countries where large quantities of the following
waste are recycled under this modality:

•   Glasses: in 1994, the two main glass industries in Colombia recycled 142,000 t and
    paid US$ 62 per ton. In Venezuela, 20% of the glass is recycled. In Peru, 25 t/day is
    recovered. Mexico has also a large program.
• Metals: the semi-integrated steel industries of Colombia purchase annually 220,000 t
    of recovered scrap metal. In Brazil, in 1995, 18 % of ferrous metal packing was
    recovered and it is expected to reach 50% in two years; with regard to aluminum
    containers, 50% was recycled. In Venezuela, 78% of the aluminum is recycled.
• Paper and cardboard: these materials represent the highest volume of recyclables in
    Colombia, particularly from domestic and commercial origin. According to the
    Chamber of Pulp, Paper, and Cardboard, ANDI, in 1994, 49% (311.2 thousand tons)
    of the total of paper and cardboard came from recycled material and 80% was
    recovered by segregation. The price is between 120 and 140 dollars per ton. In Brazil,
    approximately 1.5 million tons of paper were recovered for recycling in 1993. In
    Venezuela, 55 % of paper were recycled in 1994. In Peru, 9,500 t/year are recovered.
    In Chile, 200,000 t/year are recovered, which represent 33 % of what is recoverable.
• Plastic: plastic recovery is done despite the highly polluting characteristics of the
    process, especially in small plants that do not meet environmental protection standards
    and requirements. In Brazil, only two recycling plastic industries, of the various
    existing, use 1,000 t/month of recycled material. In Chile, plastic recovery reaches
    23,000 annual tons (7 % of what is recoverable), which constitute 10 % of the annual
    plastic demand. In Uruguay, plastic was recovered but there was no market for it.
         Some data on recycling are shown in Table 3.2.15. In the Caribbean countries,
solid waste recovery is not frequent because there are no recycling plants since the market
in each island is small and most of the consumption items are imported; thus, solid waste
final disposal and packing must be done in the country, without possibilities of recovery.
However, there are exceptions as in Trinidad and Tobago where there is a glass factory
that recycles 20% (4,400 t annually) of the total of collected glass; on the other hand, in
that country 2,400 of paper are recovered (5 % of the total of paper discarded annually)
and are traded in Venezuela.
             Table 3.2.15
Data on recycling in some cities of LAC
      h)       Maintenance of equipment and facilities

               Maintenance of urban cleaning equipment and facilities is deficient in all the Region.
      There is no preventive maintenance, there are no spare parts warehouses, the purchasing of
      supplies is bureaucratic, and usually there are no funds for equipment replacement.

               To solve this problem, it has been intended to contract out the maintenance service to
      the private sector or to privatize the urban cleaning service, being the concessionaire or private
      contractor the responsible for maintenance.

3.2.5 Special wastes

      a)       Health center wastes

              Special wastes generated in health centers are a risk for the staff and for the public in
      general when they are not properly disposed of. However, not all solid wastes from health
      centers are dangerous. As it was previously stated, generation in the Region has been
      estimated in 3.0 kg/bed/day and the dangerous part of it in 0.5 kg/bed/day.

               In several countries of the Region, management of solid waste from health centers is
      being discussed. Discussions are more characterized by the alarmist tone of the debates than
      by the objective analysis of the problem, its consequences, and possible solutions to be
      implemented in the short, medium and long term. Even at the governmental level, this subject
      is discussed more politically than technically and only regulation of treatment and final
      disposal aspects is sought. Some concepts are currently being clarified and the municipalities
      of Brazil have set the following directives with regard to hospital waste:

           •   implementation of differentiated collection systems;
           •   appropriate handling of waste within health centers, including training;
           •   minimization of potential pathogenic waste requiring special treatment through
               separation at the source.

               With regard to the adequate treatment and final disposal method for these wastes
      there is no consensus among technicians. Under consideration are incineration; landfilling in
      specific cells together with MSW; recycling after sterilization in autoclave; and other
      expensive processes such as microwaves and irradiation. From 4,425 Brazilian municipalities
      surveyed, 61 (1.4%) have hospital incinerators; 266 (6.0%) have sanitary landfills; 19 (0.4%)
      have landfills for special wastes; and the remaining 4,074 (92.2%) burn their waste in the open
      or dispose them in open dumps.

              At the country level, Chile and Cuba manage special waste adequately, as well as
      some cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Cali and Sáo Paulo. For many years, incinerators have been
and administrators prefer to take the refuse to disposal sites of the city. Studies from different
countries reveal that very few incinerators work properly and are usually deactivated, and
those that are operating do not fulfill national emission standards. A way of reducing costs
consists in installing incinerators to burn only infectious wastes, which requires an internal
process to separate them at the source.

        The problem of medical wastes concerns all the countries and some treatment
methods, such as sterilization and microwave ovens are being used. In Cali, a commercial
autoclave was recently installed to treat medical wastes. In Buenos Aires, there are 15
treatment centers for pathogenic wastes and a mobile treatment system with autoclave has
been authorized. In Mexico, disinfection with chlorine dioxide (13 t/day) is being used and in
Peru autoclaves are being used in some province hospitals.

          A European study estimates that the cost of incineration and thermal sterilization of
pathogenic wastes varies from US$ 250 to US$ 2,000 per ton according to the size of the
installation. In Mexico, the cost of management and adequate disposal of hazardous waste is
between US$ 80 and US$ 1,500 per ton.

          In regional terms, hazardous wastes from health centers represent less than 1 % of the
total MSW generated by day (over 300,000 t daily). Most of this hospital waste is currently
being handled together with MSW, thus, they are disposed of in sanitary landfills, controlled
landfills and open dumps. In Mexico, apparently only 46% receive treatment and the fate of
the rest is unknown. In Venezuela, it is estimated that 30 to 40% are treated. Public authorities,
mass media and the population in general are highly concerned about sanitary handling of
hospital wastes, but they do not show interest in solving the sanitary disposal of the remaining
99% of municipal solid waste. Table 3.2.16 shows waste management methods in health
centers of some countries of the Region.

         With regard to legislation, as far as it is known, Mexico is the only country with a
detailed environmental regulation at the national level (1996). In Brazil, Sao Paulo has a
specific regulation at the state level. In other countries, there are laws without regulation or
very general decrees.

          In Colombia, for example, Bogota has a differentiated collection for hospital solid
waste using red plastic bags, but only 20% is collected due to the over cost for the generating
institutions and the lack of control of health authorities. According to the evaluation carried
out in 1992 by JICA, in some hospitals pathogenic wastes are burned in incinerators that work
deficiently. Barranquilla has a daily route for separate collection of industrial and hospital
solid wastes. Collected wastes are placed in a special cell to which scavengers do not have
access. The city of Cali has a separate route for low-risk hospital wastes that represent 40% of
the total (disposed of in dumps without previous treatment); high-risk wastes (60%) are treated
through sterilization. For sterilization, an industrial autoclave with a capacity of 300 lb/cycle is
used performing 10 cycles during eight operating hours. Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and
between US$ 0.60 and US$ 2.00 per kg of pathogenic waste and in Mexico ranges between
US$ 0.50 and US$ 1.00 per kg.

        The private sector is participating in the management of health center wastes in some
countries, such as Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela.
                                                                    Table 3.2.16

                                      Waste management methods in health care centers in
                                                some countries of the Region

Country                     Area                                 Public hospitals Private hospitals Other health services
Argentina                   National                                                        IN (20%), OD (38%), OT (42%)
Bolivia                     La Paz                               SL                             SL                          SL
                            Cochabamba                           SL                             SL                          SL
                            Santa Cruz                           IN, SL                         SL                          ND
Brazil                      Sáo Paulo                                                          IN + RS (59%), OT (41 %)
                            Bahia                                SL                             -                           -
                            Rio de Janeiro                       IN, SS                         -                           IN
Colombia                    Bogotá                               IN, SL                         IN, SL                      -
Cuba                        Cienfuegos                           IN, SL, OD'                    -                           -
Chile                       Metropolitan                         IN 2 (41%), OT (59 %)          IN (38 %), OT (62 %)
Ecuador                     National                             ND                             ND                          ND
Guatemala                   Metropolitan                         OT                             OT                          OT
Guyana                      National                             IN (10%), SL (90%)3            IN                          -
Jamaica                     Kingston                             IN' (25%)j, SL, OD             IN (50%), SL, OD            SL, OD
Mexico                      ZMCC                                 SL, OD                         SL, OD                      SL, OD
                            Monterrey                            IN, SL                         IN, SL                      IN, SL
                            Guadalajara                          IN (5%), SL                    ND                          -
Nicaragua                   Managua                              IN, SL, OD                     IN, SL, OD                  SL
Paraguay                    Asuncion                             IN                             IN                          SL, OD
Perú                        National                             IN (3%)', SL, OD               IN (3%)3, SL, OD            SL, OD
Trinidad & Tobago           National                             IN', SL                        IN', SL                     -
Uruguay                     National                             IN                             IN                          -
Venezuela                   Caracas                              IN (40%)3, SI.                 IN (31 %)3, SL              -

                    OP                       Open disposal                        OT                     Others (not specified)
                    IN                       Incineration                         ND                     No data
                    SL                       Sanitary landfill                    -                      Non existent

                    I.          Treatment or disposal is based on waste classification:
                                IN: clinical materials and sharps; SL: anatomical-pathological waste; OA: common waste.
                    2.          Similar to Cuba, treatment is carried out based on waste classification
                                IN: Infectious waste, on average 40% of the waste; OT: the remaining waste is send to the boiler
                                of the crematory or to the digester tank of the cemetery.
                    3.          Calculated based on the number of hospitals.
                    4.          Low temperature incineration.

                    Source:    PAHO. Desechos peligrosos y salud en América Latina y el Caribe. 1994. Serie Ambiental
                               N° 14.
        b)        Other special waste

                  In almost all cities of the Region, special wastes, such as chemicals and outdated
        drugs, expired food, tires, waste from small centers such as battery recyclers, sludge, bulky
        wastes and debris are handled, authorized or clandestinely, together with municipal solid
        wastes and are disposed of in controlled sanitary landfills or open dumps. A proportion of this
        special waste, which is difficult to estimate, is handled by the generators and dumped
        anywhere. Although follow up could be done to apply sanctions to waste generators, only in
        few cases authorities have proceeded this way, contributing to the multiplication of garbage
        dumps. In Mexico, for example, it is estimated that only 12% of what is generated is handled
        adequately and that debris represents 12,500 t/day; 5,300 tons are generated by the Federal
        District. In Belo Horizonte, a program is recycling 10% of debris.

                The privatization of cleaning services has been beneficial for special waste
        management since marketing is done through direct business among generators and the private
        contractor company. Brazil, Colombia and Mexico have begun to use the so called Waste
        Bags to exchange waste generated by certain industries that could be used by others as input.

3.2.6 Hazardous waste

        No more than 10 years ago, hazardous waste was not a big issue in the Region. However,
events such as "The chocolatazo" in Mexico, where 20 children and one adult were seriously injured,
are occurring and similar cases have been recorded in Brazil, Peru and other countries. The problem is
becoming more serious because in addition to the waste generated in developing countries by their
own industry and national services, developed countries try to introduce additional waste in those areas
where there is no control or where regulation is less stringent.

         Although municipal operators are not responsible for the management of hazardous wastes, it
is important to control its final disposal, since currently they are disposed of in factory yards,
abandoned lots, open dumps or controlled landfills, and the damages caused to the environment and
health are unknown. Some countries, such as Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Venezuela
have a legal framework for control, but lack physical infrastructure and human resources to enforce
compliance at the national level. In the rest of the Region, regulations are being prepared and some of
them have only a decree that bans its importation. Municipal operators must have mechanisms to avoid
this waste in their facilities.

         Hazardous wastes described in this document are limited to hazardous solid or semisolid
wastes of urban areas that, authorized or clandestinely, are handled together with municipal solid waste
posing contamination threats and accident risks to formal and informal workers of the sector and to the
public in general.

       In 1993, PAHO carried out a survey in 16 countries of the Region on industrial and hazardous
waste management. With the information obtained, the report "Desechos peligrosos y
salud en América Latina y el Caribe" was published as volume 14 of the Environmental Series. The
information provided by the countries in some cases corresponded to the whole industrial production
of the country (Argentina, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru and Uruguay), others only to an area (Colombia,
Cuba, Chile, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Venezuela), or to several areas (Bolivia, Brazil and Mexico).
In the latter cases, calculations were done to derive total values for the country.

        According to PAHO report of 1994, of the total hazardous wastes generated in the Region,
90% are liquid, 5.7 % semisolid, and 4.3 % solid. These percentages are due to the fact that effluents
include both hazardous liquids and washing waters contaminated with hazardous substances that in
other world surveys are not included as hazardous wastes. Anyway, hazardous solid and semisolid
wastes constitute a high quantity of residues that pose a risk to human health and the environment.
Although there are no data on this regard, it is appropriate to assume that part of these hazardous
wastes is handled daily in the cities and a significant part is handled together with municipal solid

         A summary of hazardous waste quantity (sludge and solids) is presented in Figure 1. In
general, it is observed that most industrialized countries appear in the upper part of the figure, while
the least industrialized countries appear in the lower part. An exception is Colombia, that would be
expected to appear in the upper part of the list. An explanation could be that data for this country only
covered the area of Bogota, that perhaps is not sufficiently representative of the country.
                                                      Figure 1
                            Estimated generation of hazardous waste (sludge and solids)
                                      per capita (tons/year) in some countries

In Annex 3.2.6 a table summarizing the contributions of each industrial sector to several waste categories in the
surveyed countries is presented. Figure 2 synthesizes information from this table for the different hazardous waste

Only industries contributing with 5% or more to the total load in each category are shown.
The remaining contributions have been included under the category "other industries". Each waste category shows a
dominating industry; for example, in the hazardous sludge category predominates the basic chemical industry; under
hazardous liquids prevails the textile industry; and under hazardous solids, the metal industry stands out.
         The information provided by the countries that participated in the survey, corresponding to 15
industrial categories, is presented in Annex 3.2.7 and includes the following disposal practices:

    1. Open disposal
    2. Open/landfill disposal
    3. Sanitary landfill disposal
    4. Storage
    5. Sanitary/secure landfill disposal
    6. Recycling
    7. Others
    8. No data available.

         Disposal practices have been listed in order of acceptance; the last two only represent
complementary information. It is worth mentioning that incineration is not indicated, although some
countries (Brazil and Mexico) are using it and have central hazardous waste treatment facilities. In
Brazil, although legislation demands the generator to store waste safely in their own facilities until they
are treated or disposed of in units authorized by environmental control agencies, it is known that this
does not occur because those units do not exist or the cost for using them is high. Thus, most hazardous
waste end up being removed by individuals that, at ridiculous prices, take them inadequately to places
without control or dispose them together with municipal solid wastes. Information in Annex 3.2.7 has
been summarized in Figure 2 where countries have been arranged in a descending percentage from
"open disposal."

        With regard to the above list of disposal methods, only disposal in sanitary or secure landfill
and recycling are considered adequate. According to data from Figure 2, it is concluded that usually
inadequate methods for eliminating hazardous wastes are used.
                                    Figure 2
                       Hazardous waste disposal practices
              in some countries of Latin America and the Caribbean

Source: PAHO. Desechos peligrosos en América Latina y el Caribe. 1994. Serie Ambiental N° 14

In Annex 3.2.8 a summary of waste management practices in selected countries of the Region in shown.
The collection of hazardous wastes from large industries is usually responsibility of the generating companies
or private utilities that sometimes use specially designed equipment. Other times collection is done with
standard equipment that may cause accidents and spills. Industrial hazardous wastes, similarly to hospital
        wastes, are also collected separately but final disposal is frequently done in clandestine open dumps. In
        Mexico, although there are integrated management systems that include secure landfills, only 12% of
        the waste receive adequate treatment.

                Currently, nine industrial waste treatment plants apply incineration in the province of Buenos
        Aires. These plants do not cover the treatment of 50,000 to 100,000 tons of hazardous wastes generated
        annually in the province of Buenos Aires.

                 In Trinidad and Tobago, a "special disposal" of hazardous waste is done and the charge for
        this service is US$ 750 per 20 cubic yards (14.6 m3). In Mexico, from the 140 companies authorized to
        manage industrial hazardous waste by activity, 40 deal with recovery for reuse, recycling, storage,
        collection, and transportation; 60 deal with physical, chemical, and biological treatment; 21 to
        confinement and final disposal; 3 to solvent mixture for alternate fuels; and 16 to different activities.

                 With regard to the participation of the private sector in hazardous waste management, it
        happens in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, and Venezuela. In the latter one, for example,
        there are three registered companies. In Sáo Paulo, Brazil, from six private incinerator plants for
        hazardous wastes, one is closed and the others operate much below their installed capacity. In addition,
        there are two public landfills for hazardous wastes and others are waiting for authorization to burn
        industrial wastes.

3.3            Economic-financial aspects

         From 1990-1995, most of the economies of Latin America and the Caribbean had a moderate
expansion with inflation reduction and foreign capital inflow. To achieve this, it was necessary to implement
radical adjustments, such as opening to global trade, government expenditure restriction and privatization
programs. This latter measure, including public services, increased the process of contracts and concessions of
urban cleaning services to the private sector that had already been initiated in the previous decade. On the other
hand, economic adjustments gave rise to unemployment and the consequent increase of informal activities,
such as street vending and waste segregation, with clear impacts on urban cleaning.

         Except for some countries of the Caribbean, the governments of the Region have not identified the
profits of adequate MSW and HW management for the national economy yet. Up to now, it is not possible to
quantify economically the major benefits of an efficient urban cleaning service. Since it is not possible to
quantify the profits related to health, environmental protection, life quality improvement and poverty reduction,
the evaluation of economic benefits are reduced to calculate the value of recovered and recycled materials, sale
of compost and methane gas, energy generation by incineration, increase or reduction of land value recovered
by sanitary landfills, and other secondary benefits. Due to lack of statistical information, countries do not have
economic analyses on municipal solid waste, less even on hazardous waste. However, it is encouraging that
BANOBRAS of Mexico is including environmental costs into the project costs and, moreover, it has included
the social evaluation concept in its feasibility studies.
         Urban solid waste management is not treated as a specific sector in the countries of Latin America
and the Caribbean, therefore, there is no financial system to support the sector, considered as a set of policies,
standards, agencies, actions, resources and objectives. Major financial resources come from municipalities,
agencies responsible for urban solid waste management, and limited national funds (federal or state) through
established bureaucratic channels, but when they reach the stage of application, financial management
effectiveness is lost.

        3.3.1 Financial resources at the national level

                  Except for some countries of the Caribbean, in most countries of the Region urban cleaning
        management has been run by the municipality. However, the municipality has not given it a specific
        treatment nor priority, therefore, urban cleaning is vulnerable and do not fulfill its objectives.
        Consequently, there are small or nonexistent budgets for such activities; there are no records or
        statistics that reflect the quality of the performance and costs; financial efficiency is unknown; there is
        no economic-financing policies, nor pricing or service marketing concepts; there are no users in the
        operation and management of the service and there is lack of control.

                Municipal resources assigned to urban cleaning services come from transfers from national
        revenues (federal and state), municipal taxes (industrial, commercial and property taxes), and other
        revenues such as public service tariffs.

                National and municipal resources are allocated to finance investments, pay current
        expenditures and pay private sector contractors for providing urban cleaning services. In general, they
        are limited and only cover operational costs; thus, little remains for investment in facilities and

                 Occasionally, national governments give counterparts grants for projects supported by
        external agencies or endorse loans obtained directly by municipalities.

                 In turn, municipalities apply to short term credits for equipment usually with a bank interest
        very different to the drinking water and sewerage sector or request donations from foreign
        governments and non governmental organizations. They also receive technical assistance from
        international and bilateral organizations and NGOs.

                 The critical aspect identified is the small financial contribution of the national governments to
3.3.2 External financial resources

       a)      International and bilateral organizations

                The international finance organizations that have been providing support to basic
       sanitation, environmental and urban development projects, including waste management, are
       the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD, and the International
       Development Bank, IDB. Up to now, banking credits granted to the sector are still limited.
       Usually, donations are used to support research activities, technical assistance, studies, master
       plans, pre-investment projects, and equipment supply. Among the main bilateral sources are
       the German Agency for Technical Cooperation, GTZ; the Japan International Cooperation
       Agency, JICA; the Agency for International Development of the United States, AID; the
       Spanish Agency of International Cooperation, AECI; and the governments of Canada, Italy,
       and Belgium. In some cases, these agencies channel their cooperation resources through IBRD
       or IDB that act as a trust fund.

                The World Bank has financed solid waste projects in the Caribbean for US$ 11.5
       millions distributed as follows: Dominica US$ 1.2; St. Kitts and Nevis US$ 2.1; St. Lucia US$
       4.6; and St. Vincent and Grenadines US$ 3.6. The projects should be executed in 1995-2000
       and the loan period is 15 years. In addition, between 1988 and 1996, IBRD in LAC countries
       has financed 24 social and environmental projects with solid waste management components
       including municipal development projects (10), specific municipal solid waste projects (3),
       and other projects (11). These 24 projects had a total value of US$ 5,400 millions with IBRD
       loans for US$ 2,200 million, from which, US$ 430 million with an average of 19.5 millions
       (9%) per project corresponded to solid waste management. They have also supported projects
       with MSW components on policies (11), institutional development (12), private sector
       participation (6), and sanitary landfills (8). From 1997 to 2001 important projects have been
       financed in Argentina and Sao Paulo, Brazil (Annex 3.3.4).

                 External resources are frequently distributed in the countries through national bodies
       acting as financial agents, for example, in Mexico, the Banco Nacional de Obras y Servicios
       Públicos, BANOBRAS; the Fondo de Infraestructura, FINFRA; and the Nacional Financiera,
       NAFIN, channel external resources to states and municipalities to finance urban solid waste

               For several decades, all countries of the Region have received technical assistance
       from PAHO/WHO in solid waste management. Occasionally, the Economic Commission for
       Latin America and the Caribbean, ECLAC; the United Nations Development Program,
       UNDP; and the Organization of American States, OAS, also provide technical assistance to
       the countries.

                The difficulty of a large number of medium and small cities to access international
       credits has been identified as a critical aspect.
                As well, without a formally constituted solid waste sector and a national leader
        agency it is difficult to channel donations and bilateral and international technical assistance to
        medium and small cities.

                On the other hand, only in few cases external financing is allocated specifically to
        solid waste projects since it still continues to be a component of other programs or projects,
        which does not occur with drinking water supply and sewerage services.

        b)       Financial cooperation and IDB loans

                 With the agreement of the Eighth Increase of Resources, the IDB reinforced its
        commitment to give special attention to the needs of low income groups promoting substantial
        poverty reduction and social equity. In this regard, the Bank supports social investment funds,
        the expansion and reform of educational and health systems in poor areas, and the
        establishment of credits for microbusinesses. Thus, it has granted social investment loans to
        Colombia, Bolivia, Honduras and Peru. The IDB has proposed for 1996-1998, 30 loans,
        donations and other cooperation forms for the solid waste area as a component of urban
        development, basic sanitation, or environmental projects in Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados,
        Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana,
        Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay. The loans amount to US$
        3,313 millions for 3 years, corresponding 15% (US$ 493 million) to the solid waste
        component. This last amount represents more than 2% of the average annual budget of the
        IDB (Annexes 3.3.1).

                 With regard to microbusinesses, the IDB strategy promotes the adoption of a
        favorable regulatory framework, the creation of sustainable institutions capable of providing
        services required by the microbusinesses, better access to financial and nonfinancial services
        to low-income microbusinesses, and the maintenance of a flow of resources to invest in
        microbusinesses development. The Bank has foreseen more than US$ 500 million for the
        financing of microbusiness programs during the next five years. In 1995, the Bank approved a
        global credit program for microbusinesses for a total of US$ 25 million for Peru, as well as 32
        small projects for a total of US$ 15 millions. The global program in Peru, with more than 150
        urban cleaning microbusinesses, offers them access to credits and in addition it has a technical
        cooperation component financed with local funds and resources of the Swiss Development

3.3.3 Investments in the sector

         Up to now, investments made by national, regional and municipal administrations in the solid
waste sector have not been significant since the importance of urban cleaning is not duly recognized. It
is usually a minor component of basic sanitation projects or is the least significant urban development
the "Second solid waste project" also of Mexico for US$ 120 millions, 50% co-financed by the IBRD.
In the previous section, the investment program of the IDB in solid waste projects in LAC was

         In some countries, financial resources for investments come partially or totally from national
development banks or governmental financial entities to support public services. For example, in
Brazil, some of the sources are the Banco Nacional de Desarrollo Económico y Social, BNDES, that
has a social fund for investment in collection and transfer equipment, the Financiera de Estudios y
Proyectos, FINEP; and the Banco de Brazil that has a Fondo de Incentivos para Investigaciones
Técnico-Cientifcas, FIPEC. Also, Mexico has BANOBRAS, NAFIN, and the Fondo de
Infraestructura, FINFRA.

         With regard to hazardous wastes, lack of financing is even more critical. One of the few
projects is the "Environmental Program for the Northern Border" in Mexico, within the framework of
the North American Free Trade Agreement for US$ 762 millions, 48 % co-financed by the IBRD. This
project deals with water supply, sanitation, transportation, paving of popular urban areas, urban
pollution in the border and also improvement of hazardous and municipal waste management.

        Other data show that in Colombia, public investment in urban cleaning did not reach 0,01 % of
the GDP in 1994. In Guatemala, public investment in solid wastes during the last years represent a
percentage lower than 2.0% of the overall public investment and lower than 0,05% of the GDP. In
Uruguay, the percentage of investment in solid wastes was 0.7 % with regard to public investment in
1994 and less than 0,06% of the GDP.

         With such investments, it is not possible to renew the collection and final disposal equipment,
not even try to expand facilities and equipment to meet the new demands required by urban population
growth. Thus, if no resources for investment are available, the alternative is privatization of the

3.3.4 Costs of the service

          Table 3.2.7 shows a column reflecting the relation of revenues and expenses of the sanitation
services that provided this information (which is not totally reliable); it is observed that only 45 % of
the cities have adequate revenues from service fees; 25 % have regular revenues, and 30% are
subsidized. It is convenient to note that the financial state does not necessarily correlate with the type
of institution, whether municipal or private (in Table 3.2.7 the relation revenues/cost higher than 67 %
is considered "good", 33 % or less, "bad"). Thus, data contained in local expert reports for this
diagnosis (1996) indicate that urban cleaning services are not self-financing in most municipalities of
Venezuela, Mexico, Peru, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, Trinidad and Tobago, and Brazil.
        On the other hand, limited financial resources have prompted some of the following measures:

     • To extend the service life of the vehicles at the expense of greater maintenance.
     • To use vehicles for two shifts even if their service life is reduced.
     • To seek alternative collection methods that require less initial capital.
     • To contract out private companies that contribute with capital investments.

         The budgetary control of municipal services is carried out by the general accounting of the
municipality and those responsible for urban cleaning do not have easy access to it and do not
understand the concept of efficiency control through costs. Municipal utilities keep an exclusive
accounting for cleaning services but this task is often done as an accounting requirement without
considering its potential as an indicator to assess efficiency. Another common problem is that
municipal accounting only considers current expenditures and the cleaning service does not have
access to investment and amortization costs. Usually, municipalities handle an overall budget with
allotments classified according to the revenue nature (tax revenues, non-tax-related revenues, capital
revenues) or expenses (operation, investment, and debt program). Accordingly, it is not possible to
know directly the revenues and expenditures classified by type of service nor the costs of urban
cleaning services. On the other hand, cost indicators are widely used by private companies since they
are basic management elements.

        Table 3.3.1 shows the average service costs in some cities of the Region, ranging between
US$ 29 and US$ 111 per ton. The annual cost per capita ranges between US$ 13 and US$ 146 with
higher costs in small cities of Uruguay. In Trinidad and Tobago, the cleaning service reached an
annual cost of US$ 10.9 millions, 1.3 million was covered with the income of three landfills and the
remaining from national government transfers. Estimates in Brazil indicate that the budget allocated to
municipal solid waste management reaches an annual average of US$ 19 per capita.

         In Guatemala City, where 90% of household collection is done by individuals and private
groups, the municipality is responsible for the remaining 10%, and the collection from the market and
street sweeping, with an annual budget no more than 5 % of the total municipal budget; thus, the cost
per capita/year is less than US$ 1,00. Usually, in cities where the municipality is responsible for the
cleaning service, the budget of the cleaning department represents 20 to 50% of the municipal budget.

         On the other hand, it is estimated that capital costs in LAC do not reach 10% of the total cost
of urban cleaning services. In the city of Montevideo, the cost of salaries is 73 % of the total cost; fuels
2 % ; operation, maintenance and management expenses represent 20 % ; and capital costs only 5 % .
Other cities of the Region should have a similar distribution of expenses, especially when sweeping is
                               Typical costs of MSW management services are the following:

                                           Collection                            43 - 45 %           (US$ 15-40 per t)
                                           Transfer                               0 - 15 %           (US$ 0-10 per t)
                                           Final disposal                          0 - 10%           (US$ 0-10 per t)

                                           Total (without sweeping)                100%              (US$ 35-70 per t)

                                                                       Table 3.3.1

                                                            Service costs in some cities

                              Cost in US$/t                                                                 Cost               Observations
City (year)                                                                                  Total       capita/year              (includes
                                Sweeping       Collection   Transfer      Final disposal     (US$)         (US$)         capital and sweeping cost)
Quito (94)                         -               -            -                -            24              8                      No
Bogotá (94)                       yes              -            -              2.7            35              -           yes, including sweeping
Lima (94)                         yes             16           6               2.5            36              -             yes, only operation
B. Aires (94)                     yes             24          17               3.8            51              -           yes, including sweeping
Cali (94)                         yes              -           no             10.0            29              -           yes, including sweeping
Tegucigalpa (95)                   -               -            -                -             7              2              no, only sweeping
Sao Paulo (94)                     -              26           6                 8           56-83           20             includes everything
Porto Alegre (94)                  -              20            -               10             -              -                       -
Belo Horizonte (94)                -               -            -                -             -             13             includes everything
Salvador, Brasil (94)              -               -            -                -             -             19             includes everything
Rio de Janeiro (94)               35              25           5                40            70             21             includes everything
Panama (95)                       yes              -            -                5            43             16             includes everything
Guayaquil                         11                                             3
Montevideo (95)                                                                  8            76             23              includes everything
Maldonado, URU (95)                                                             17           111            146              includes everything
Canelones, URU (95)                                                                           29            115              includes everything
Guatemala (94)                                                                                27              1        only some areas and sweepi
Medellin, COL (95)                                                                                           43              includes everything
Santa Marta (95)                                                                                             35              includes everything
Barranquilla (95)                                                                             105            62              includes everything
Monterrey (95)                                                                               30-60

         (') Including   collection and sweeping costs.

         Source: Several PAHO reports.

                            Without accounting information on public cleaning costs, it is not possible to determine the
                   efficiency or financial performance; thus, this lack of information constitutes a critical restriction.
3.3.5 Rates and tariffs
         To manage solid wastes, municipalities have resources from national government
transfers, municipal revenues (taxes on property, conunercial, and industrial taxes) and other
revenues such as rates and tariffs derived from public sweeping, collection and final disposal of
municipal solid wastes. It would have been expected that this income could cover current costs and
capital costs, but this is not the case since the relation revenues-expenses for public cleaning is
under deficit in most municipalities. In some cities, no rates or tariffs are collected due to political
reasons, in others, this income is very low because fee collection is difficult, there is lack of
community education, or the quality of the service is poor.
         In Colombia, for example, income from national government transfers represents between
40% and 98% of the municipal current income. Tax revenues (taxes on property, industrial, and
commercial taxes) represent 4% to 19%. The rates for services and other non-tax revenues
represent I % to 2% (PAHO. Serie Análisis Sectoriales N° 8, 1996).

          Public cleaning rates, which are taxes imposed by the municipality, are the most common
way of collecting income in most countries of LAC. Usually, these rates are based on the value of
the property and electricity or drinking water consumption. In some cities, this tax is set according
to a technical criterion, but in others it is totally arbitrary.
          In Rio de Janeiro, until 1980 the COMLURB collected a tariff for refuse collection
directly to the users, but in September 1980 the Supreme Federal Tribunal decided that this
service, due to its relation with public health, was an essential public service that could not be
financed through tariff collection, but through rates and taxes. This decision is kept until now.
          The application of a real and socially fair rate that effectively covers the costs of the
services and that in addition reconciles the principle of "who can afford more, pays more", implies
political decisions that the municipal authorities are not always willing to assume. The obtention of
an income lower than the one required determines that municipalities subsidize the sanitation
service to the detriment of other priority programs or sanitation services.
          Regarding the financing situation of hazardous and industrial waste management, balance
and self-sustainability have to be sought within the waste generating industry, an aspect that is still
not fulfilled or practiced in LAC.
          The study and implementation of urban cleaning tariffs has not yet been extended
throughout the Region. Colombia is the country with more experience in urban cleaning tariffs.
From 1968 up to its closure in 1992, the Junta Nacional de Tarifas (National Board of Tariffs)
regulated the establishment of tariffs. Based on the new Law of Public Services of 1994, tariff
regulation was assigned to the Drinking Water and Basic Sanitation Regulation Commission
(including urban cleaning) and the control and surveillance remained in charge of the
Superintendence of Public Household Services. The tariff regimen aims at economic efficiency,
neutrality, solidarity and redistribution, finance sufficiency, simplicity, and transparency. The
tariff structure in Colombia is uniform throughout the country; the services are classified in
residential (private or familial) and non-residential (other type of activities); non-residential users are
classified in small and large refuse generators; small generators are those generating up to one cubic
meter per month and pay a fixed monthly amount; the residential rate is paid monthly according to the
socioeconomic status of the household. High income users and the municipality itself grant solidarity
subsidies to low-income users, which is clearly specified in the invoice. This tariff regimen is
beginning to be implemented in Colombia, but with difficulty due to political and social pressures.

          In Chile, the financing and tariff policy of the sector is regulated by recent laws; basically, the
tariff is established dividing the real cost of the service by the total number of users, including an
additional cost to the users that consume more than 200 liters per day. However, due to lack of
mechanisms to collect the tariff effectively, municipalities that jointly allot. US$ 75 millions per year
to urban cleaning services only collect 30% of that amount. Peru has also begun to regulate public
service tariffs through the Superintendencia Nacional de Servicios de Saneamiento, SUNASS, but
urban cleaning has not yet been included.

          The establishment and implementation of a tariff regimen for urban cleaning services is a
critical aspect to achieve self-financing of the sector in the countries of the Region.

        Currently, the rates collected in LAC for urban cleaning range between 0 and US$ 5.0 per
user/month, while in the United States the rates range between US$ 20 to US$ 30 per user/month.
There are exceptions, among them Lima, where US$ 24 and US$ 16 is being charged to high and
medium income users, respectively, while low income users pay around US$ 3.0 per user.

3.3.6 Marketing

         Billing and tariff collection for urban cleaning services has many forms. When the tariff
collection is included in the property tax, the system is not efficient because the municipality requires
an up-to-date property census, properties not undervalued, timely billing and no delay in payment. All
these conditions are not fulfilled and there are users who never pay, because, in addition, coercive
collection is very slow. Under this system, the income collected rarely covers service costs, especially
in the poor sectors of the city, therefore, the service is subsidized by the municipality. This system is
used in a large number of countries of the Region. The situation improves a little when the urban
cleaning rate is included within the property tax and in a labeled form.

          Another form of tariff collection is to include cleaning services into other public service
billing, such as drinking water or electricity; the amount is set as a percentage of the primary service,
which implies a social difference in the rate (it is assumed that drinking water or electricity have
already taken it into account). For several years, Bogotá and other Colombian cities, as well as
Panamá, charge urban cleaning rates jointly with drinking water. The Empresas Varias de Medellin, in
charge of urban cleaning, collect a global tariff for drinking water, sewerage, and telephone services.
         Charges for urban cleaning together with the electricity bill was initiated in Lima in 1982 with
very positive results, unfortunately, the decree authorizing this joint collection has been repealed. This
experience is being applied in other cities of Peru, Quito, Guayaquil and Caracas, and is being
proposed in several cities of Bolivia and Costa Rica. The entity that makes the invoices charges a
commission to the urban cleaning utility for this task. The studies carried out on this form of charging
found it adequate because solid waste generation can be reasonably correlated with electricity and
drinking water consumption and, in addition, tariff collection is highly efficient. The problem appears
when legal devices impede the cut of the water or electricity services when the cleaning service is not
paid. In Lima, from January 1994, tariff collection through the Empresa de Energia Eléctrica was
prohibited and municipalities charge directly the public cleaning and sanitary landfill service. What is
occurring is that delatory debtors increased from 40 to 80% from the total contributors.

         Direct charge to the user is not common in the Region, except for some cities such as
Guatemala City and Quetzaltenango (Guatemala), where private collectors charge directly to users. In
industrialized countries, such as the United States, direct collection is common and payment is usually
done by mail.

         Tariff charging is a critical aspect in the privatization of urban cleaning services in LAC since
for private companies direct collection of cleaning fees is very risky.

3.3.7 Financing of the private sector

         Investments of private companies involved in municipal solid and hazardous waste
management are financed by private entities, which implies on one hand, expeditious transactions, but
on the other, more expensive financial resources that at the end affect the costs of the service provided.

         Current costs and mortgages are financed with municipal payments for the provision of the
contracted services. Even for collection services given in concession, private utilities prefer the
municipality to handle the commercial system. Treatment plants and sanitary landfills operated by the
private sector charge directly to users, although it should be recognized that the main user is the
municipality. Direct charge to large municipal and industrial solid waste generators is also practiced
when prices are agreed among parties.

         A critical aspect is that the private sector contractor or concessionary of MSW and HW
services does not apply to credits from international agencies that could reduce capital costs and
therefore, charges to the users, despite the facilities given by international banks.

         In 1995, the IDB approved the first operations carried out for the private sector, although these
did not include solid waste management operations. With these operations, the activities of the IDB
Group were expanded, including the Corporación Interamericana de Inversiones (Inter American
Investment Corporation), CII, and the Fondo Multilateral de Inversiones (Multilateral Investment
Fund), FOMIN. Private investment in public infrastructure has been quite moderated
        and concentrated in a few sectors (that does not include solid waste) and countries with the best credit
        classification. To meet the financing needs of the private sector, in 1988 the member countries of the
        IDB created the CII and the FOMIN in 1992. In 1994, the IDB facilitated direct loans to the private
        sector to finance basic infrastructure. This program can cover up to 25 % of the total cost of the project
        or the equivalent to US$ 75 millions, from both figures, the lower. Up to 5 % of the total of the credit
        portfolio can be assigned to this type of activities. In addition, the IDB has launched a co-financing
        program with commercial banks and investment institutions to 1)romote the participation of private

3.4     Health aspects

         Although the importance of municipal solid waste effects on public health and the environment, as
well as on individual health has been widely recognized, it has not been object of studies or research to take
effective actions to improve the quality of MSW management in Latin America and the Caribbean. The factors
contributing to a greater or lesser extent to this situation are: professionals and researchers pay little attention to
common solid waste; public authorities neglect health issues related specifically with the solid waste sector;
and professionals who operate solid waste services take into account engineering aspects basically and lack
training on environmental and health issues.

         Another aspect that interferes in the health and environment sector is the import of technology from
developed countries without adapting it to local conditions; for example, when compactors designed for MSW
with a low content of wet organic matter are used in the Region, liquids flow along the routes producing bad
odors and attracting flies; or recycling and composting plants are not highly efficiency or cannot start-up due to
similar reasons.

        Better knowledge of the impact of some materials on the environment and health and the creation of
new products, turn municipal wastes into a threat to the environment and the population exposed, particularly
to the workers involved in its management.

       On the other hand, as it has been indicated, in Latin America and the Caribbean some hazardous solid
and semi-solid wastes are being handled together with urban solid wastes, which implies serious effects on
human health and the environment. Human exposure to hazardous wastes can take place in three scenarios:

                     a)          at the generation point (occupational exposure or accidents);
                     b)          during transportation (accidents); and
                     c)          in sites where wastes are stored for treatment.

*        The chapter is based on the following documents:
         Ferreira, Jodo Alberto, Dos Anjos, Luiz Antonio, Aspectos de saüde de residuos sólidos municipals. Rio de Janeiro, 1996.
         Díaz-Barriga, Fernando. Efectos en la salud asociados con la exposición a residuos peligrosos. San Luis Potosí, 1996
          In LAC, where there are no adequate and sufficient installations to manage this type of waste, human
exposure can occur in any place, even in urban areas since hazardous wastes are burned in nonstandard
ovens or disposed of in uncontrolled landfills, municipal dumps, ravines, abandoned lots, industrial areas,
rivers, lakes, and beaches.

        The main sources of hazardous or potentially hazardous wastes identified in urban areas of LAC are:

                     metallurgical industry: foundries and electrolytical processes;
                     petrochemical industry;
                     microindustry: tanneries, brickmaking, battery recycling, small foundries, etc.;
                     solid waste warehouses (industry yards) or nearby abandoned lots;
                     uncontrolled disposal sites: solid waste dumps, confinements for industrial waste and
                     sanitary landfills;

                - others: ravines, rivers, lake banks, beaches, etc.

        3.4.1 Exposed populations

                 It is difficult to define what are the populations exposed to the direct or indirect effects of
        inadequate municipal solid waste management because information and monitoring systems on health
        and the environment do not consider the collective aspect of the populations and there are no sufficient
        and reliable epidemiological data available. Despite this, some populations or risk groups can be
        identified as susceptible to be affected by environmental problems reducing their life quality and
        producing health problems.

                 Exposed populations are those without regular household collection, since wastes are thrown
        anywhere, giving rise to vectors, smokes, bad odors and animals fed with wastes. Generally, in LAC,
        the most exposed are poor people from urban marginal areas. Another group exposed to MSW is the
        one living near waste treatment and final disposal sites.

                 Scavengers and their families, specially those who transfer their precarious dwellings around
        MSW dumps, are another highly exposed group because they live among vectors and domestic
        animals, are affected by the waste and do not have any basic sanitation service. In turn, these people
        act as "vectors" for the transmission of diseases caused by wastes.

                 The impact of MSW on the environment may be extended to the population in general through
        surface and groundwater contamination and the consumption of meat from waste fed animals that can
        transmit diseases to humans. Finally, formal or informal workers involved in the management,
        transportation and final disposal of MSW are another exposed population.

                 With regard to hazardous waste, the entire urban population should be considered as
        susceptible to exposure. Children and women in particular are high-risk groups. Among children,
        nursing infants (those fed with breast milk only), infants (less than 24 months), and children from 2 to
        12 years are included. Usually, elements such as lead are absorbed more easily by children than by
         When dealing with exposed populations, the topic on environmental equity cannot be put
aside. This concept implies that poverty and marginalization are factors that favor the exposure to
chemical substances and possibly, increase its effect. Another factor related to poverty that should be
taken into account for risk evaluation is the prevalence of infections. In marginal areas, it is common to
find higher indexes of gastrointestinal and respiratory infections. Thus, it is evident that risk groups
should not only be considered with regard to categories such as sex or age, but also with regard to
poverty, prevalence of infections and nutritional status.

3.4.2 Effects on human health

          MSW components can vary according to the lifestyle of the population of each location. As a
result, diseases due to physical, chemical and biological agents contained in MSW are the main effect
of a deficient waste management in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

        The typical agents related to MSW that affect the health of workers and exposed population

        •    Odor: it may cause nuisances, headaches and nausea.
        •    Noise: it may cause partial or permanent loss of hearing, headaches, stress and arterial
        •    Dust: nuisances, loss of vision, and respiratory and lung problems.
        •    Aesthetics: the unpleasant vision of waste may cause inconveniences and nausea.
        •    Vibration: it may cause back and body pains, and stress.
        •    Sharps that may cause wounds and cuts.

        In MSW, a great variety of chemical residues, especially batteries; oils and grease; pesticides
and herbicides; solvents, paints, and dyes; cleaning products; cosmetics; drugs; and aerosols can be

        In developed countries there is a concern for these MSW components; thus, regulations and
procedures have been established for its management. Few countries of LAC have a legislation in this
regard and those which have it do not enforce it.
                                            Table 3.4.1

                  Vector-borne diseases related to municipal solid waste

Vectors               Transmission route                                  Main diseases
Rats                  Through bites, urine and feces                      Bubonic plague
                      Through fleas living in the rat body                Murine typhus
Flies                 Mechanically (through wings, legs and               Typhoid fever
                      body)                                               Salmonellosis
                      Through feces and saliva                            Cholera
Mosquitos             Through bites from female mosquitos                 Malaria
                                                                          Yellow fever
Cockroachs            Mechanically (through wings, legs and               Typhoid fever
                      body) and through feces                             Cholera
Pigs                  Through contaminated meat                           Cysticercosis
Birds                 Through feces                                       Toxoplasmosis

          Source: Manual de saneamento a proteCáo ambiental para os municipios.
                  Departmnento de Engenharia Sanitária a Ambiental, DESAIUFMG.
                  FundaCáo Estadual do Meio Ambiente. FEMAIMMG, 1995.

        The presence of biological agents in MSW can be important for the direct and indirect
transmission of diseases in Latin America and the Caribbean. Table 3.4.1 shows the vectors and
diseases related to them. Pathogenic microorganisms are also present in toilet paper, gauze,
adhesive tape, disposable diapers, or underwear contained in wastes of small clinics, pharmacies
and laboratories, and in most cases, in hospital wastes mixed with household wastes. It is
important to emphasize that, in general, pathogens are not very resistant to unfavorable
        There are very few data on morbidity that associate epidemiological studies of diseases with
MSW. Some etiologic agents that can be mentioned are those responsible for intestinal infections
(Ascaris lumbricoides; Entamoeba coli), hepatitis virus (mainly type B) for its capacity to resist in
adverse conditions; and the virus that causes AIDS (more for the social commotion raised than by
waste associated risks). In addition, some microorganisms responsible for dermatitis should also be

         In Latin America and the Caribbean, the population and public authorities are increasingly
concerned about health center wastes. However, considering that hospital wastes represent less than 1
% of the total waste, it is quite exaggerated to try to solve its management urgently through
differentiated collection, incineration and other sophisticated treatment methods without finding a
solution for the remaining MSW (for instance, final disposal).

        With regard to hazardous waste, in order to establish a cause and effect relation between
contamination and health, it is necessary to define the exposure route. According to the Agency for
Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) of the Department of Health of the United States, the
exposure routes consist of five elements:

    •   Contaminated sources or hazardous waste sites. In LAC they are mainly dumps and
        uncontrolled landfills.

    •   Environmental medium for pollutant transportation: air, water, soil, dust and food.

    •   Points of exposure or places where man is in contact with the pollutant. For example, dumps
        where scavengers recover waste or collector trucks where workers do not have personal
        protection equipment.

    •   Vias of exposure. For air, it is through inhalation. For water, soil, dust and food the route is
        oral. Also through the skin some organic and metallic pollutants can enter to the human body.
        The exposure to radioactivity is total.

    •   Receptor population: Affected human groups. The exposure time and quantity of hazardous
        wastes are the main factors that affect human health.

        The preliminary studies of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, indicate that the proportion of risky sites
with organic pollutants was higher than sites with inorganic pollutants. In the United States, a similar
result was obtained when pollutants from risky sites included in the list of national priorities were
analyzed. Volatile organic compounds were in 66 % of the sites, inorganic in 65 % , and organic
halogenated compounds (pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls) in 34 % of the sites. Annex 3.4.1
shows the substances that most frequently appear in the priority risky sites of the United States. In
Annex 3.4.2., substances according to occurrence in different envirorunental media are listed.

         A preliminary list of priority pollutants for Latin America and the Caribbean should also
include toxic substances widely used in different parts of the world, such as polychlorinated
biphenyls, phthalates, and vinyl chloride. With regard to biological pollutants, which contain
pathogens, these are included within the special wastes previously discussed. Table 3.4.2 summarizes
data on some pollutants.

          The list of Table 3.4.2 includes toxic substances. Considering its effects, almost all organs and
systems of the human body could be potentially affected by this hazardous waste. However, for the
ATSDR, the following are the seven major health condition associated with polluting substances in
risky sites (in alphabetical order):

1.       immunological anomalies;
2.       cancer;
3.       damage in the reproductive system and birth defects;
4.       respiratory and lung diseases;
5.       liver physiological problems;
6.       neurological physiological problems; and
7.       renal physiological problems.

        This list can also be organized according to the concern of the community. The three health
conditions that generate more concern among populations affected by hazardous wastes are: cancer (53
% ), neurotoxic effects (19 % ), and birth defects (11 % ).

          With regard to other effects, although there is a large number of substances associated with
risky sites, some effects, such as immunological, reproductive and even neurological ones, may not
have been registered in the epidemiological studies carried out among communities living near to these
sites, just because scientific literature is limited for a large number of these pollutants.

3.4.3 Accidents and occupational risks

          The health of municipal solid waste workers is related not only to occupational risks, but also
to their living conditions.

                 Some of the most frequent accidents in LAC among MSW workers are:

     •   Cuts with glasses: it is the most common accident among workers dealing with recovery and
         recycling, and informal scavengers. Its main cause is the lack of information and education of
         the population in general who is not interested in isolating or separating broken glass wastes.
         The use of gloves reduces the incidence of cuts but does not impede these accidents.
•   Cuts and perforations with other sharp objects such as syringe needles, nails, thorns, etc. are
    also frequent.

•   Slips and falls: mainly during street cleaning and from collection trucks since workers are in
    the rear side of the vehicle without protection. Another factor is related to the high rate of
    alcoholism among urban cleaning workers.

•   Traffic accidents: collection, transfer stations, street sweeping and final disposal workers are
    exposed. In addition, scavengers from dumps and uncontrolled landfills are in equal or higher

•   Others: some fatal accidents or mutilations by crushing or pressure of compaction equipment
    and other machines; animal bites (dogs, rats) and poisonous insects bites.

                                      Table 3.4.2

    Some priority pollutants for Latin America and the Caribbean associated
                                 with dangerous sites

            Pesticides    Endosulfan                     Dissolvent      Benzene
                          Lindane                                        Toluene
                          DDT                                            Glycol ethers
                          Parathion                                      Trychloroethylene
                          Methyl parathion                               Tetrachloroethylene
                          Methamidophos                                  Carbon disulfide
                          Permetrine                                     Hexane
                          Paraquat                                       Formaldehyde
                          2,4 D, metal organics                          Carbon tetrachloride
                          Pentachlorphenol                               Xilene
            Metals        Lead                           Others          PCB*
                          Arsenic                                        Phtalates
                          Mercury                                        Vinyl chloride
                          Cadmium                                        Biological pollutants

               * Polychlorinated biphenyls

             Urban cleaning workers are also exposed to fights and violence, cold, heat, smokes, carbon
      monoxide, adoption of strained positions, heavy load lifting, and pathogenic microorganisms present in
      municipal wastes. Mycoses are common among workers who manage
MSW and appear frequently (but not exclusively) in hands and feet, since gloves and footwear are
favorable conditions for microorganism development.

         Relatively high indexes of coronary afflictions and arterial hypertension have also been
detected, mainly among household collection workers. Cimino and Mamtani (1987) found 6.5% of
arterial hypertension and 2.2% of coronary afflictions; Anjos (1995) found 46% with some degree of
arterial hypertension, from which 20 % had moderate or severe symptoms. In Denmark, in a waste
separation plant, 53 % of the workers developed lung afflictions during the first eight months of
production (Malmros et al, 1992).

         Finally, stress due to long periods of transportation and the problems of survival struggle and
nutrition derived from their low wages and physical strain should be mentioned. Stress can cause work
accidents, occupational diseases and immunity reduction.

        Environmental emergency scenarios are completely different from contamination scenarios in
dangerous sites. In environmental emergencies, there is usually exposure to a single substance and not
to complex mixtures as it is the case of waste contaminated sites. The exposure is acute and
non-chronic and environmental concentrations can be very high. An ATSDR report on 1,249 cases
found that 72 % of them occurred in fixed sources and the 28 % remaining occurred due to
transportation accidents. In 80% of these cases only one substance was involved.

        In the "Análisis sectorial de residuos sdlidos en Colombia" (PAHO, 1996), Table 3.4.3 shows
data provided by the private health institute "La Bergerie" of Bogota with 10 of the most frequent
diagnoses among the 2,341 recyclers that were assisted in this health facility during 1993.
                                          Table 3.4.3
     Frequent diagnosis among recyclers of Bogotá, Colombia, 1993

Diagnosis                                                    N°                   %
ARI (acute respiratory infection)                            321               18
Moderate ARI, serious or astluna                             287               16
Diarrhea and intestinal parasites                            199               11
Gyneco-obstetrician problems                                 190               10
Pre-birth disorders                                          187               10
Wounds and traumatisms                                       148               8
Skin diseases                                                142               8
Others                                                       140               8
Osteomuscular disorders                                      110               6
Ophthalmological disorders                                    83               5
Total                                                       1, 807            100

  Source: PAHO. Análisis sectorial de residuos sólidos en Colombia. PAHO, 1996.


               Accidents among scavengers - Lima, Peru, 1995
              Acct idents                 Landfill        Street
              Wounds                            68 %                46 %
              Slips and falls                   11 %       25
              Traffic accidents                  2%        12
              Risky sites                       11 %            3%
              Others                             8%            14 %
              Total                             100%       100%

                      Source: ILPES. Rescatando vida. Lima, 1995.
                           Diseases among scavengers - Lima, Perú, 1995

                Disease                                            Landfill   Street
                Kidney infection                                    17 %           49
                Stomach diseases                                    29 %           14
                Sight impairment and respiratory diseases           22 %             9
                Skin disorders                                      20 %             6
                Others                                              12 %           22
                Total                                              100 %      I 100

                     Source: ILPES. Rescatando vida. Lima, 1995.

              Tables 3.4.3, and show the close relation of the work environment with the
     sanitary conditions of scavengers of Bogota and Lima. These conditions are similar in cities of Latin
     America and the Caribbean.

             Mexico has a long account of environmental accidents. The Centro Nacional de Prevenci6n de
     Desastres (CENAPRED) of Mexico has done a national inventory of chemical accidents from 1990 to
     1993 including 370 incidents; 70% occurred within facilities managing or storing hazardous chemical

3.5 Environmental aspects

      Municipal and hazardous solid wastes cause important environmental problems, especially in urban
and industrialized areas of Latin America and the Caribbean. The impact of solid waste generation and
management also threatens environmental sustainability. Consumption and contamination were symbols of
industrialization and since the 1970s, changes in the environment have begun to generate concern for its
future preservation.

     The United Nations Conference for Environment and Development in 1992 not only recognized the
concern for the environment, but proposed a new development model through the rational use of natural
resources. It recognized also that the main challenges are poverty reduction and environmental
conservation. Years have passed and Latin America and the Caribbean face the need to develop and
preserve the environment, and still sustainable development has not gained momentum.
3.5.1 Solid waste management and the environment

      In Latin America and the Caribbean, the negative environmental impact caused by inadequate
management of municipal, special and hazardous solid waste is presented in the following order of

    1. In final disposal sites (open and clandestine dumps in ravines and road margins; dumping in
       rivers and lakes, swamps, lagoons and the sea; controlled and sanitary landfills).
    2. In storage sites, including industry yards, vacant lots and defective containers.
    3. In transfer stations and in treatment and recovery plants.
    4. In the collection and transportation processes.

      Since the countries do not have reliable nor sufficient information on solid waste
management, the magnitude of the problem cannot be quantified.

3.5.2 Environmental impact associated with solid wastes

        The problems of inadequate solid waste management in LAC are affecting not only human
health, but the air, soil, and surface and ground waters. In addition, inadequate management is
deteriorating esthetically urban centers and natural landscapes of many cities of the Region. This is
aggravated when final disposal of municipal, special, and hazardous solid wastes is done

        a)      Surface water resources

                 One of the most serious environmental effects of inadequate solid waste management
        is the contamination of drinking water supply sources. On the one hand, the organic matter
        contained in wastes reduces dissolved oxygen and increases nutrients, N and P, promoting
        algae growth and eutrophication processes. On the other hand, MSW are frequently mixed
        with industrial hazardous wastes, originating chemical contamination. As a consequence,
        resources for human consumption or recreation are lost, aquatic fauna is destroyed, and
        landscapes are deteriorated. If resources are to be recovered, high investments are necessary.

               In Colombia, 3 % of MSW from Cali and most of the municipalities of the
        department of Cauca are dumped into the river Cauca; 100% of municipalities along the river
        Magdalena dispose their refuse in its banks; and the river Tunjuelito in Bogota is
        contaminated by non-treated leachate from the sanitary landfill "Doña Juana".

                 In Uruguay, where 14% of surface water resources are for human consumption and
        surface waters meet the total drinking water demand of Montevideo and 80% of the country,
        the dump of MSW and HW in hydrographic areas has serious consequences. In Montevideo,
        leaching without treatment is discharged in a tributary of the Carrasco stream, which refrains
        the use of this resource for human consumption.
          Studies carried out in Mexico indicate that biochemical oxygen demand from refuse
is eight times greater than from wastewater.

        In general, in all countries of the Region, surface water is contaminated by

municipal solid waste dumping.

b)      Groundwater resources

        Confined or free aquifers can be contaminated inadvertently by the inadequate final
disposal of solid wastes, thus, in most situations the problem is underestimated, even when
contamination by nitrites and other chemical substances in groundwater for human
consumption is dangerous for health.

        In Uruguay, for example, where 58,000 dwellings are supplied with artesian wells,
inadequate solid waste disposal has a special negative environmental impact. In Bogotá,
leachate from the Cortijo and Gibraltar dumps contaminated groundwater with lead,
chromium and mercury.

c)      Marine coasts

        The disposal of solid wastes in seashores has deteriorated coasts and beaches, natural
landscapes, and marine fauna, affecting tourism. This type of problems has been presented in
the Caribbean, Peru, Brazil, Colombia and other countries.

d)      Air

         In open dumps, air pollution is manifested by the presence of bad odors, smoke,
gases, and suspended particles, due to induced or spontaneous burning and wind. Multifamily
building incinerators were prohibited in cities, such as Mexico and Buenos Aires because they
increased air pollution. Burning in garbage dumps and incinerators without contamination
control systems pose a greater risk due to the presence of plastics, organochlorine compounds
and other hazardous chemicals. All countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have this
pollution problem.

         Other negative impacts are bad odors due to improper management of containers,
deficient solid waste storage, careless collection and transportation, inefficient management of
transfer stations, treatment plants, and recovery for recycling. This problem is generalized in
all countries of LAC.

e)      Impact on landscape

         The inadequate management and deficient disposal of solid wastes affect landscape
significantly. In addition, it is necessary to mention that once a well builtsanitary landfill is
finished, it can have a positive impact on the environment by recovering land and improving
                The growing urban development of LAC has generated a continuous deterioratic of
        the landscape, which receives waste from all human activities; therefore, was inadequate
        management not only affects the health and the environment, but also reduce life quality in
        terms of space and horizon. It is common to see that due to lack of lar planning, a municipal
        dump is located in the sununit of a mountain defining the limits I the city, as has happened in
        Pasto, Colombia.

                 Deficient solid waste collection and lack of awareness worsens this situation sinc
        wastes are disposed of in streets, parks, green areas, river banks, beaches, and othc public
        spaces, limiting recreational areas and affecting landscape and even tourisn essential for the
        economy of several countries and cities.

        f)          Impact on land

                Urban growth influences the loss of productive lands and land pollution b municipal,
        special and hazardous solid wastes. Many municipalities of the Region us land
        inappropriately dumping wastes on natural depressions. The burial of industri, wastes still
        has not been identified as a significant problem, probably due to lack c control and
        regulation on this matter.

                In general, in all countries of the Region solid wastes are disposed of in ope dumps.

3.5.3 Environmental management of solid wastes

        Some countries of LAC, such as Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Argentina ar beginning
to evaluate the mechanisms and actions to protect and control the environment, as we as the measures
taken to prevent pollution, which determines jointly with others sectors, th maintenance of
environmental quality.

       Next, a quick analysis of environmental management in LAC is presented with regard t solid
waste management:

        a)          Institutionalization

                 In this decade most countries have created national entities in charge c establishing
        policies, and regulating, controlling and promoting actions related to th environment. In those
        organizations, solid waste aspects are only discussed as a secondar issue or are not discussed
        at all. Municipalities have not prioritized environmental aspect for example, when selecting
        final disposal site alternatives.
b)      Environmental legislation

         Some countries, such as Mexico and Brazil are establishing legal instruments (laws,
regulations and standards) and administrative procedures (manifestos, licenses, allowances
and registries), to define conditions and restrictions applied to municipal, special and
hazardous solid waste management and its impact on the environment. Other countries try to
meet the commitments agreed internationally and are formulating the corresponding legal

         But the current situation in the Region still has many restrictions; environmental
recovery costs have not been estimated, the community does not participate actively in the
establishment or implementation of environmental policies, few countries carry out
environmental impact assessments in sanitary landfill projects, and there are few
environmental protection programs for coastal areas.

c)      Regulation compliance

         The monitoring, surveillance, control and compliance of environmental regulations
and standards for the proper management of municipal, special and hazardous solid waste is
deficient. The limited resources determine that the actions of agencies responsible for
surveillance and control are still incipient. On the other hand, not all infractions are
sanctioned. The responsible authorities are not very competitive, since they cannot establish
an efficient control over ill final disposal, treatment, storage and collection techniques, both
due to regulation deficiencies and multiple financial problems of the municipalities.

d)       Generation reduction

        The policies of some countries to reduce municipal, special and hazardous solid
wastes still have not given results. The countries of LAC, unlike developed countries,
generate less quantities of solid waste (0.5 to 1.2 kg/capita/day) due to low per capita income
and consequent low consumerism. For those same reasons, the consumer of LAC receives less
packaging and containers than those from developed countries.

        The policy promoted by some industrialized countries of the Region to reduce
hazardous wastes at the source through cleaner production processes is still incipient, but is
supported by environmentalist groups and the media. Among the few industrial projects to
adopt cleaner production are the PRONACOP program, financed by the IBRD in Brazil.

        In most countries, national programs to reduce waste generation, adoption of cleaner
production, or rehabilitation of contaminated sites have not been identified. Usually, the
environmental cost of inadequate solid waste management is unknown.
e)      Recovery and recycling

        To reach sustainable development and reduce the quantity of waste generated,
recovery, reuse and recycling must be increased. In this regard, the countries of the Region
have achieved some progress.

         The major advances are seen in the social field; scavengers have improved their
living conditions and are organized in pre-cooperatives as in Colombia, or in other forms of
associations as in Mexico and other countries. Technical assistance and to a lesser extent,
financial support of NGOs and municipalities have been effective. Although the quantities
recovered still do not surpass 3 % and 8 % in weight of the total waste generated (between
10% and 30% of the material that is possible to recover), the income of scavengers has
increased due to a more efficient and fair marketing of recovered material.

         Other achievements have been the installation of recovery plants, the impetus of the
private recycling industry, the creation of Waste Bags for waste trade and the awareness and
cooperation (still slow) of the community for in-house waste separation. As an example of
Waste Bags, those of Mexico and Brazil can be mentioned, and in Brazil, the CETESB,
FEEMA and ABIQUIM programs.

f)      Ongoing projects

         Most countries of the Region have carried out or are implementing projects to
prevent, mitigate, correct or compensate the possible negative impact or maximize the
positive impact of solid waste management.

         Some projects, as indicated in Annex 3.3.4, have been successful, but unfortunately
others have only been experiences of academic or technical value, that have not been
maintained or replicated since they did not adopt planning, legal, institutional, administrative
or financing self-sustainability mechanisms.

          Composting has also been deficient since projects and investments were not based on
feasibility studies, therefore, many plants were closed and equipment was never installed.

        Attempts to industrialize refuse have failed due to lack of knowledge and sound
advisory of municipal authorities, leading to financial failures.

      In Table 3.5.1, environmental management is shown with regard to solid waste
management in four countries of the Region.

        In summary, to prevent, mitigate or correct the possible negative impact to the
environment in the countries of the Region, municipal, special and hazardous solid waste
management has to be improved, particularly final disposal and treatment.
                     Table 3.5.1
Environmental management of solid wastes in some countries
3.6 Social and community aspects

     Social and cultural aspects include human behaviour, relations among service providers and
beneficiaries, and attitudes of the community and sector entities.

      In this regard, in Latin America and the Caribbean the following social and community characteristics
that influence solid waste management have been identified:

  • Large migratory movements from rural areas which increases urban solid waste generation.

  • Regional and ethnic diversity in the countries, which determines different characteristics of the refuse
    and different local solutions.

  • High percentage of illiteracy in urban-marginal populations.

  • Unemployment and poverty leading to waste segregation and recovery activities as the only alternative
    for survival.

  • Mass media communication to achieve more easily community participation in waste management.

  • Difference of cultural patterns according to socioeconomic levels.

     3.6.1. Community and sanitation services

              Many urban-marginal areas, where most part of low-income population is settled, lack
     collection service or receive it occasionally. Some legally recognized marginal areas do not receive the
     service although people pay their taxes. In Colombia, a survey carried out in 10 main cities found that
     34% of the population living in low socioeconomic areas did not have collection services. This
     happens almost in all large cities of the Region.

             Even when the service exists, its low frequency does not satisfy the users as it was expressed
     in the Colombian survey by 35 % of the users.

              The deficient operation of sanitary landfill projects that end up as open dumps has discredited
     the landfill before the public opinion and has originated rejection from the community when a final
     disposal site is being selected. For example, in the last six years, in Costa Rica, the communities
     located near the places proposed for a regional landfill have expressed strongly with unusual energy
     their opposition.

3.6.2 Community participation

         In general, in LAC, community participation in solid waste management is still weak since
this concept has not been internalized by the population or institutions. Since waste management is
considered a responsibility of the municipality, the population does not participate in decision-making
process to find out solutions. In most cases, participation is limited to delivering wastes to the
collection system and paying the corresponding tariff, if any.

        In urban marginal areas, the population demands drinking water, sewerage, electricity, paving
and even telephone services, but there is little demand for urban cleaning service. This is because they
think that the municipality is responsible for it and because they do not give importance to public
management of refuse. With regard to service payment, the community attitude is negative and the
majority consider that it is a municipal obligation. However, the work carried out by the NGO
"Alternativa" in marginal areas of Lima, Peru, to promote in the community the "payment culture" of
cleaning tariffs, should be mentioned as a good experience.

       The community still is not aware of the advantages of recovery and even less of MSW
household separation to facilitate recovery.

        Despite the tradition of community organization, with respect to solid waste only some
countries such as Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, and Peru are succeeding in organizing its
communities at the level of scavengers; collection and sweeping microbusinesses; and local cleaning

3.6.3 Mass communication and community education

        Most countries do not have policies nor strategies to implement mass communication
programs and activities in this area are isolated and occasional. Generally, NGOs are the entities that
are working in this regard.

        Through mass media, dissemination campaigns promoted by private enterprises are carried
out sporadically to increase population awareness. In some cases, newspapers publish articles on the
impact generated by refuse and television channels show videos and messages to keep the city clean
and even promote activities to collect raw material for recycling.

         Recycling campaigns are a good opportunity for the population, merchants, clerks and
industrials to establish responsible relations with others, redefining their position in the recycling
chain and their interests. What varies is the introduction of different economic, social and
environmental motivations.

        Colombia, with wider experience in recycling campaigns, has classified them in four
categories: environmental education, financing of community works, of raw material collection by the
industry, and campaigns to support changes in the waste management system. National industral
campaigns to collect glass, metal, paper, cardboard and plastics have succeeded in
     Bogota, Manizales, Medellin and Cali. The paper and glass collection campaigns were also successful
     in some cities of Guatemala, as well as programs in Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba, Brazil.

             A progress in several countries of the Region has been the introduction of environmental
     education in formal school programs and education material of high quality has been produced. It
     should be considered that community education on proper solid waste management is a long-term
     process that should be initiated in the infancy.

     3.6.4 Scavengers

             As long as there is unemployment and poverty, there will be scavengers in Latin America and
     the Caribbean.

              To mitigate this social problem, NGOs, communities, religious groups, and municipal
     authorities are working to improve the living conditions of scavengers. The main strategy is to
     organize them in cooperatives and associations so that they can be in a better position to discuss the
     marketing of recovered materials with recyclers. Positive results have been achieved in Colombia and
     Mexico. In Medellin, "Recuperar" had 900 associates in 1995 and the Asociación de Recicladores,
     ANR, of Colombia has almost 80 member groups (10% of the scavengers of the country). In addition
     there are other 100 groups of recyclers organized at the national level. In Mexico it is estimated that
     there are 13,100 well-organized scavengers, on which 80,000 family members depend economically.

4. Critical aspects identified and conclusions

     A quick analysis of this diagnosis, that should be updated periodically, makes possible to draw some
conclusions and to identify critical aspects in the different municipal solid waste management areas in the
Region. These critical aspects will shape some future actions, such as the study and analysis of successful
experiences in the municipal solid waste management of the Region to promote and replicate them
according to the local situation of every city and country. It will also be necessary to find out solutions of
identified critical aspects, specially minimization and major negative impact to human health, environment,
and poor urban and marginal populations.
4.1 Institutional and legal area

    4.1.1 The sector and the institutional structure

           i)       In the countries of the Region, solid waste is not recognized as a system or sector,
           therefore, up to now its management has not received duly attention or priority.

                    On the other hand, in several countries, the solid waste sector, both from the point of
           view of its associations and regulations, is affected by evident duplications, lack of
           coordination, dispersion and ambiguity. In order to be updated, environmental programs are
           created, commissions are established, and initiatives are multiplied without invalidating or
           rectifying the existing deficiencies, hindering a healthy management and coordination in the

                   In addition, the lack of a regulatory agency dealing with solid waste aspects,
           including the role of the local government, affects resource availability, information
           processes, and service coverage.

                  Traditionally, the solid waste problem was considered exclusively a municipal issue.
           Today, the solutions of this complex problem require multidisciplinary and multisectoral
           agreements, especially when hazardous wastes are included. The problem goes beyond
           municipal jurisdiction and any scheme should consider municipality strengthening.

                   In the Caribbean, the institutional structure works better due to the size of the
           countries and the presence of a single governmental institution that directs the sector and is in
           charge of the operation and regulation of solid waste management.

           ii) There is limited institutional capacity in most executing and regulatory organizations to
           assume their functions and responsibilities. The State has been inefficient and expensive as
           operator (except for some countries of the Caribbean) and has not fulfilled its regulatory and
           inspection roles.

                    Local governments have not proved to be efficient operators either, however, they
            represent an ideal area for citizen participation, essential in the current decentralization where
            people have become aware that problem solving should come from the effort, initiative and
            organization of the population instead of from the State intervention.

                  The major problem faced by urban cleaning services of LAC is its deficient
            management, since technical and technological aspects are well known.

                   Municipal urban cleaning services have several organizational restrictions because
            municipality management is centralized and solid waste management is not a priority,
      although in many municipalities almost half of the municipal budget is allocated to urban

               The model adopted since the last decade by large municipalities has been the creation
      of public urban cleaning utilities with certain administrative and financing autonomy, but the
      often have operational problems. Hence, in this decade the contracting and concession of the
      service operation to the private sector has increased with positive results.

                 In medium and small cities, direct municipal management of the services prevails and
      it is in these cities where critical management, operation, administration and financing are
      identified. Several questions arise: how do these cities including more than half of the urban
      population of the Region will finance its investments to improve MSW management? How
      can these smaller cities access to national and international credit?

      iii) Lack of operational, financing and environmental planning with regard to solid waste
      management, both at the national and executing levels. Solid waste management demands
      long-term solutions, i.e., capacity to plan, but municipalities do not have this capacity.

      iv) Absence of national information and monitoring systems in specific areas of the sector,
      which limits the possibility of planning and has a negative impact on decisionmaking,
      adequate managetnent, formulation of plans and programs, activity prioritization, resource
      allocation and monitoring, surveillance, and control.

               In all countries there is not enough information on solid waste. Thus, initiatives and
       decisions of the different institutions involved in the sector are not supported by objective
       knowledge of the situation, but in extrapolation of the limited available information or in
       estimates without sufficient technical basis.

4.1.2 Legislation

       i) Lack of consistency among the different legal provisions related to municipal, special and
       hazardous solid waste; public health risks, environmental risks; and on the growing
       participation of the private sector in the provision of services.

               Other critical aspects are incomplete legislation; ambiguity in the scope of the
       administrative entities involved; incompatibility of the legal and regulatory issues with the
       economic, social and cultural situations; and abuse of complementary and administrative

       ii) In most countries, the legal fratnework of the sector does not consider the international
       commitments assumed by the Government and, if considered, they are not followed up.
      iii)    The lack of surveillance to verify the compliance of legal instruments and
      standards is an important restriction for the effective management of solid wastes.

              On the other hand, legislation is unknown due to insufficient and inadequate
      dissemination of the existing laws. Some countries have advanced legislation, but laws are not
      enforced and trespassers benefit from impunity.

      iv)    In federal countries a regulatory formula has not been created yet to oblige
      municipalities to meet certain federal environmental and financial standards.

4.1.3 Policies and plans

      i) Most countries do not have policies directly oriented to the solid waste problem and the
      recent national policies on decentralization and privatization have influenced those waste
      management systems that did not have adequate regulation.

               Policies to reduce solid waste generation have not been established formally in LAC,
       only the official rhetoric persists and the promotion of environmentalist groups; results have
       not been observed yet.

              There has been sustained progress on policies for solid waste recovery, reuse and
      recycling, although most policies have arisen spontaneously from poor communities that seek
      economic income.

               Some countries have established explicitly policies based on the "polluter pays"
      principle, but lack of resources hinders its application.

      ii)   Very few countries have formulated plans, programs and projects for short and
      medium terms. No country has formulated them for long term.

               Some master plans of metropolitan areas and large cities have been prepared, but few
      have been implemented. This lack of plans, programs, and pre-investment projects is a critical
      aspect for the development of the sector.

              Due to lack of economic and financing self-sustainability, few are the pilot projects,
      but most have only academic and technical value. However, microbusinesses are in constant
      progress in LAC.

4.1.4 Human resources

      i) In Latin America and the Caribbean, more than one million of formal and informal workers
      are linked directly or indirectly to municipal solid waste management. Even so, trained and
      skilled human resources are needed at all levels.
                       In general, personnel income is low, just for survival. Social and health benefits for
               formal personnel are minimum and temporary workers do not receive them.

                      It is difficult to keep technical and professional personnel for long time since usually
               wages and incentives are very low.

                        Political interference is frequent in municipal urban cleaning services, which
                influence the contracting of laborers and executives without qualification.

                ü) Lack of training of urban cleaning personnel is critical in medium and small cities. Serious
                labor and social conflicts haven arisen due to service privatization and the consequent
                personnel dismissal. Few studies confirm the higher efficiency of privatized urban cleaning
                facilities compared to municipal services. On the other hand, wages and benefits of the private
                sector are lower than the public sector.

       4.1.5 Privatization

                The current trend is oriented toward the private sector participation in solid waste
       management. Public opinion assumes that the private sector is more efficient than the public sector and
       considers that it can also improve service quality and costs. The contracting and concessions to the
       private sector are an option for municipalities that lack resources for investments.

                However, the following critical points are discussed and it is recognized that no model can be
       applied to the entire LAC Region:

           •    Transparency in the contractual clauses of the private sector and correct supervision and
                inspection for the fulfillment of the contract.
           •    Monitoring of private enterprises by authorities to control compliance with regulations, criteria
                and standards related to health and the environment.
           •    Feasibility of the service provided to marginal areas by formal private enterprises,
                microbusinesses, or community associations.
           •    Lack of interest of private enterprises in medium and especially small cities.
           •    Alternatives to solve the social problems of workers dismissed under the privatization process
                in a region with high rates of unemployment.

4.2     Technical and operational area

       The reviewing of documents while preparing this diagnosis revealed some critical aspects and technical
problems. It can be concluded, however, that its solution is not always technical but institutional, legal,
normative, financing, administrative and communitarian. Critical aspects related to technical management of
MSW and HW in the Region are indicated below, according to management operational sequence.
1.   Although solid waste sources are easily identifiable, special and hazardous waste do not receive
     especial management, except in some cases, but are mixed with municipal solid wastes, generating
     a negative impact on the environment and health of workers, scavengers and public in general.

2.   Temporary waste storage is inadequate in cities of LAC (except for high income residential areas)
     due to lack of standardization and maintenance of the containers, hindering its management.
     Workers have to make more physical efforts when 200 liters-cylinders are used. In many cities,
     use of containers on public routes is deficient and they end up as dirty dumps with odors and
     vector proliferation.

3.   Although the physical characteristics of the cities are different, manual sweeping is similar.
     Mechanical sweeping is more efficient and less expensive, however, it is a hard decision for
     municipal authorities to replace mechanical sweeping for manual, since manual operation gives
     jobs to a high number of women, who are not qualified for other tasks, especially in high
     unemployment periods as this one. On the other hand, sweeping quality has been improved and
     costs have been reduced with privatization.

4.   Although collection techniques with imported equipment are similar, there is a wide difference
     among cities concerning labor and equipment performance, due not only to workers efficiency, but
     to the physical characteristics of each city, route optimization, collection system, community
     participation, and size of the cities. In general, cities have paid special attention to collection and
     the active participation of the private sector has allowed a coverage higher than 90% in many large
     cities of the Region. But a critical aspect identified is the low coverage in medium and small cities
     and the limited or no attention to urban marginal settlements in metropolitan areas and large cities
     of the Region. The lack of interest of private enterprises to intervene in these scenarios enables the
     participation of microbusinesses.

5.   Most cities with more than one million population have transfer stations with similar design and
     small variants. The possible problems of these facilities are their location and defective operation
     that can impact negatively on the environment and life quality of the surrounding populations.

6.   Incineration has been limited to small incinerators for special wastes, mainly in hospitals and
     industries. As a result, critical aspects are not identified, although future use is limited to the
     countries of the Caribbean and some cities with specific problems. On the other hand, composting
     has presented critical aspects. The lack of feasibility studies, including marketing and selling, was
     the main cause of several failures. In Brazil, 31 recycling and composting plants were reported in
     operation, but it is not known how many have been closed. It is estimated that in the last twenty
     years at least 15 large plants in Latin America and the Caribbean were closed due to the refusal of
     the municipality to continue subsidizing high operational costs, especially when less expensive
     final disposal alternatives were available, although environmentally they did not have the
     bioconversion benefit. Except for the case of cities near to agroindustrial centers, it is unlikely that
     the private sector be interested in investing and operating composting plants, unless for small
     industrial projects targeted at a reduced local market of household gardens.
       The same can be said about the lack of interest of the private sector to invest and operate incineration
       plants with energy recovery.

7.     One of the main critical aspects identified in the Region is the low coverage and precarious care
       for final disposal of MSW and its negative impact on health and the environment. The high interest
       shown by the governments, the conununity, and the media for hospital solid waste management
       (approximately 600 t day in all the Region) is unbalanced compared to the very little interest in
       solving the final disposal of 330,000 daily t of municipal wastes.

8.     The so-called sanitary landfill, which usually is just a controlled landfill, is the most practiced final
       disposal method in Latin America and the Caribbean. The information indicates that 30% of MSW
       are disposed of in sanitary landfills, but these not confirmed data seem overvalued. Most landfills
       qualified as sanitary do not meet the technical specifications required to be considered as such. In
       addition, controlled landfills with 35 % coverage has been mentioned, however, there is not
       technical consensus to specify what is a controlled landfill, since this denomination has a very
       broad range, from a sanitary landfill to a simple inspected dump, except for Brazil which has
       standards for controlled landfills. Clearly, the quality of few sanitary landfills has improved in
       recent years, although none of them treats leaching nor uses synthetic membranes yet.

        In medium and small cities and even in some large cities, final disposal of MSW in open dumps and
       water bodies is frequent and represents the major public health and environmental problem of the
       Region. The formal private sector intervention in the construction of sanitary landfills, successful in
       large cities, does not occur in small cities. The construction of manual landfills is feasible as
       demonstration projects in very small urban centers. Possibly, microbusinesses are the viable

9.     Maintenance of equipment and facilities continues to be a critical aspect in the municipal services
       of the Region. It has partially been solved through the contract of the maintenance service to
       private companies. Obviously, there is no problem when urban cleaning services are privatized,
       since maintenance is responsibility of the concessionaire or private contractor.

 10.   The recovery of recyclable and reusable materials is practiced widely in Latin America and the
       Caribbean. Formal recovery through separation and collection from large generators of recyclable
       waste is profitable, environmentally positive and recommendable. The other way of recovery
       through street segregation, during collection or in final disposal sites is not recommendable, but it
       is accepted as an option when unemployment and poverty are rampant.

        There is no reliable information on the quantity of waste recovered. Through source recovery from
       large generators, up to 30% of the waste is recovered. It is estimated that scavengers recover 2 % to 8
       % of the generated refuse or 10 % to 30 % of the recyclable components contained in MSW. In
       summary, some cities have progressed because the recovered quantity has been increased, scavengers
       are being organized, recovered material is more equitably marketed, and the number of recycling
       industries has increased. Despite this, the social problem of scavengers prevails and they still cannot
       apply to financial credit.
11.   Hazardous wastes from health services in regional terms represent less than 1 % of the total MSW
      generated per day, i.e., 300,000 tons. Most of this hospital waste is handled and disposed of
      together with MSW. It is unlikely that governmental authorities and municipalities can monitor and
      control the management of hospital solid wastes when these are also governmental institutions.

12.   Hazardous solid and semisolid wastes are toxic for human health and the environment. Although
      there are no data available, it can be assumed that part of hazardous wastes are handled together
      with municipal solid wastes in an authorized or clandestine way. In this regard, the major causes
      of this problem are the absence of monitoring and control due to lack of human, physical and
      financial resources; no sanctions to trespassers; political favors and privileges; and corruption of
      governmental officials.

4.3   Economic-financial area

1.    Except for some Caribbean countries, the governments of the Region have not identified the
      economic benefits of proper MSW and HW management and an efficient urban cleaning service.
      Since it is not possible to quantify the profits of health, environmental protection, life quality
      improvement, tourism increase and poverty reduction, the evaluations on economic benefits simply
      assess the recovered and recycled material, the sale of compost, gas methane or energy from
      incineration, the increase in the value of land recovered by sanitary landfills, and other marginal
      profits that do not represent all the economic benefits of proper solid waste management.

2.    Solid waste management is not considered a specific sector in Latin America and Caribbean
      countries and rarely there is a financial system to support the sector, considered a set of policies,
      standards, actions, resources and objectives. Most of the financial resources come from
      municipalities and from financial funds (federal or state) through the established bureaucratic
      channels, but when they reach the application level, the financial effectiveness to benefit the sector
      is lost.

3.    Concerning the budget, the critical aspect identified is the reduced financial contribution from the
      government and municipalities to improve MSW and HW management in the countries of the
      Region, especially for medium and small cities.

4.    With regard to external financing, the interest of international and bilateral organizations in solid
      waste management is recent (no more than 10 years), and few are the cases where this external
      financing has been exclusive for solid waste projects, since it is usually a component of urban
      development, basic sanitation, or environmental pollution control projects, unlike drinking water
      supply and sewerage projects which have their own identity. Another problem of medium and
      small city municipalities is the application to credit from international and bilateral financial
      organizations. To respond to the private sector financing, the IDB has opened a new window in
      1994, moreover, it is offering additional advantages to microbusinesses of the Region.

5.    Without information on solid waste management costs, it is not possible to determine efficiency or
      financial performance indicators, therefore, this lack of information constitutes a critical
6.      To comply with their urban cleaning responsibility, municipalities receive national government
        transfers, municipal income (land, commercial and industrial taxes), and tariffs for the urban
        cleaning service. The latter are minimum; some cities do not charge them for political reasons and
        others because they are difficult to collect, there is no community education, or the service is so
        poor that users refuse to pay for it. Tariff implementation for urban cleaning services is crucial to
        achieve self-financing in the countries of the Region.

7.      The collection of tariffs for urban cleaning services is not efficient when it is included in the tax
        billing because the slowness in payment is very high. Under this widely used system, the income
        rarely covers the costs of the service, therefore, the service is subsidized by the municipality.
        Tariff collection, billed together with other public services, such as drinking water and electric
        energy is usually efficient and achieves self-financing. The problem appears when legal devices are
        created that impede this type of marketing and refrains the cut of water or electricity when the
        urban cleaning service is not paid.

        In LAC, marketing is a critical aspect in the privatization of urban cleaning services since for private
        enterprises, concessionaires or contractors, the direct collection of cleaning tariffs to the users is risky;
        thus, the municipality always collects the tariff and pays the concessionaire or private contractor.

4.4     Health area

         Human health problems due to physical, chemical and biological agents contained in MSW are the
main effect of poor waste management in Latin America and the Caribbean. Exposed populations are formal
and informal workers involved in solid waste management, transportation, and final disposal; the population
without regular household collection; the population living near MSW treatment and disposal sites; scavengers
and their families; and the population in general through water contamination, consumption of meat from waste
fed animals, and exposure to hazardous waste. The main factors that contribute to a greater or lesser extent to
this situation are little attention and monitoring of the waste sector authorities and the deficient quality of
services provided by urban cleaning utilities.

4.5     Environmental area

         In Latin America and the Caribbean the negative environmental impact caused by inadequate
management of municipal, special and hazardous solid wastes has the following order of risk: final disposal
sites; temporary storage sites; transfer stations, treatment and recovery plants; and collection and transportation
process. The negative environmental impact associated with inadequate solid waste management in LAC is
related to water resources, air and soil contamination, and impact on landscape. Environmental protection and
control, as well as pollution prevention have institutional, legal, financial and especially surveillance limitations
with regard to regulation compliance. On the other hand, policies to reduce municipal, special, and hazardous
waste generation still have not given results; minimization of hazardous waste at the source through cleaner
productive processes is still incipient. To achieve sustainable development, recovery, reuse, and recycling must
be increased (some progress has been achieved in this
area). But, the most important to prevent, mitigate or correct possible negative impacts on the environment, is
to improve MSW management and particularly final disposal.

4.6     Social and community sector

        Community participation in solid waste management is poor. The community considers that this is a
responsibility of the municipality, therefore, the population is not involved in the decision-making process to
solve waste management problems. With regard to service payment, the attitude of the community is negative,
since many consider that the municipality should provide it free of cost.

        Through environmental education, sweeping costs can be reduced, a better waste separation can be
achieved, thus, it is economically feasible to invest in education.

         Most countries have not established policies or strategies for mass communication programs and
activities in this area are isolated and occasional. Only in some countries environmental education has been
included in formal school programs, which is a second measure since this is a long-term process that should be
initiated in the infancy.

         Education and knowledge on solid waste collection and final disposal, minimization at the source and
recovery and reuse of solid waste among authorities, producers, and especially the community, is an important
part of the principles of the Agenda 21. Although it is a long-term process, it is the correct way to achieve
sustainable urban cleaning services as it has been confirmed by the achievements obtained in industrialized

        Finally, as long as there is unemployment and poverty, there will be solid waste scavengers. It will be
necessary to mitigate this social problem and support the organization and development of managerial,
operational and financing capacities of cooperatives, associations and microbusinesses of scavengers.

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PAHO. Análisis sectorial de residuos sólidos en Guatemala. Washington, DC, PAHO, 1996. Serie Análisis
Sectorial, NE 6.

PAHO. Análisis sectorial de residuos sólidos en México. Washington, DC, PAHO, 1996. Serie Análisis
Sectorial, NE 10.

PAHO. Análisis sectorial de residuos sólidos en Uruguay. Washington, DC, PAHO, 1996. Serie Análisis
Sectorial, NE 7.

PAHO. Las condiciones de la salud en las Américas, 1994. Washington, DC, PAHO, 1994.
PAHO. Desechos peligrosos y salud en América Latina y el Caribe. Washington DC, PAHO, 1994. Serie
Ambiental NE 14.
PAHO. Estadística de la salud de las Américas. Washington, DC, PAHO, 1995. Publicación Científica NE 556.

PAHO. Lineamientos metodológicos para la realización de análisis sectoriales en residuos sólidos. 1996.
Informe Técnico NE 4.

PAHO. Management of hospital solid wastes and control of the effects on health and the environment in
Central America and Panama. Washington, DC, PAHO, WHO, CEE, 1991.

PAHO. El manejo de residuos sólidos municipales en América Latina y el Caribe. Washington, DC, PAHO,
1995. Serie Ambiental NE 15.

PAHO. Report on the First Caribbean Solid Waste Management Meeting. Washington, DC, PAHO, 1991.

PAHO. Segunda Reunión de¡ Cono Sur sobre Residuos Sólidos. Washington, DC, PAHO, 1995.

PAHO. Tercera Reunión Centro-Americana sobre Aseo Urbano. Washington, DC, PAHO, 1992.

Romero González, Alberto. Actualización sobre el manejo de residuos sólidos municipales y peligrosos en
Venezuela. 1996.

Savino, Atilio. Informe sobre la situación del manejo de residuos sólidos municipales y peligrosos en
Argentina. 1996.

Teixeira, Paulo Fernando. Elementos para la realización del diagnóstico de residuos sólidos de América Latina
y el Caribe, Washington, DC, PAHO, 1996.

UNEP. International source book on environmentally sound technology for municipal solid waste
management" (Document in process). UNEP/International Environmental Technology Center, 1996.

UNEP. Industry and environment. Paris, 1994.

United Nations. Compendium of human settlements statistics, 1995. New York, United Nations, 1995.

United Nations. World urbanization prospects: the 1994 revision. New York, United Nations, 1994.

Wharwood, Gina. Status report on municipal and hazardous waste in Trinidad and Tobago. 1996.

WHO. Managing medical wastes in developing countries. Geneva, WHO, 1994.

World Bank. Informe sobre el desarrollo mundial, 1994 - infraestructura y desarrollo. Washington, DC, IBRD,
World Bank. Solid waste management projects. Washington, DC, IBRD, 1995.

Zepeda, Francisco. Municipios saludables; la perspectiva ambiental. Washington, DC, PAHO, 1996.

                                                    Annex 2.1.1

               Total population iii Latin America and the Caribbean (in thousands)

              Country                                            1980             1990              1995
              Antigua and Barbuda                                  61               64                68
              Argentina                                           114            32,547           34,587
              Bahamas                                             210              256               276
              Barbados                                            249              257               262
              Belize                                              146              189               215
              Bolivia                                            5,355            6,573             7,414
              Brazil                                           121,286          148,477           161,790
I             Chile                                             11,147           13,100           14,210
              Colombia                                          26,525           32,300           35,101
              Costa Rica                                         2,284            3,035             3,424
              Cuba                                               9,710           10,598            11,041
              Dominica                                             74               71                71
              Dominican Republic                                 5,679            7,110             7,823
              Ecuador                                            7,961           10,264            11,460
              El Salvador                                        4,525            5,172             5,768
              Granada                                              89               91                92
              Guadeloupe                                          327              391               428
              Guatemala                                          6,917            9,197            10,621
              Guyana                                              759              793               835
              Haiti                                              5,353            6,486             7,180
              Honduras                                           3,569            4,879             5,654
              Jamaica                                            2,133            2,366             2,447
              Mexico                                              174              190               199
              Netherlands Antilles                              67,570           83,226           91,145
              Nicaragua                                          2,802            3,676             4,433
              Panama                                             1,950            2,398             2,631
              Paraguay                                           3,136            4,317             4,960
              Peru                                              17,324           21,569           23,532
              Saint Kitts and Nevis                                47               42                41
              Saint Lucia                                         115              133               142
              Saint Vincent and the Grenadines                     98              107               112
              Suriname                                            355              400               423
              Trinidad y Tobago                                  1,082            1,236             1,306
              Uruguay                                            2,914            3,094             3,186
              Venezuela                                         15,091           19,502           21,844
              Total                                            355,148          434,105           474,721

                       Source: ECLAC. Anuario estadfstico de Arndrica Latina y el Caribe. 1995.
                                Annex 2.1.2
   Urban population of Latin America and the Caribbean (in thousands)

Country                                                                    1990                1995      2000
Latin America and the Caribbean                                          314,161              357,689   401,361
The Caribbean                                                             20.082              22,347    24,637
American Virgin Islands                                                     45                  48        51
Antigua and Barbuda                                                         23                  24        25
Bahamas                                                                    214                 239       262
Barbados                                                                   115                 124       135
British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands                                                             26                   31        36
Cuba                                                                      7,801                8.389     8,896
Dominican Republic                                                        4,293                5,051     5,789
Guadeloupe                                                                 385                  425       461
Haiti                                                                     1,855                2,206     2.775
Jamaica                                                                   1,217                1,314     1,430
Martinique                                                                 326                  353       377
Montserrat                                                                  1                    1         2
Netherlands Antilles                                                       130                  138       147
Puerto Rico                                                               2,518                2,698     2.888
Saint Kitts and Nevis                                                       17                  18        19
Saint Lucia                                                                 61                  69        77
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines                                            44                  52        61
Trinidad and Tobago                                                        854                  938      1,026
Turks & Caicos Islands                                                      5                    6         8
American Virgin Islands                                                     45                  48        51
Central America                                                           74,173              86,011    98,150
Belize                                                                      90                  101       115
Costa Rica                                                                1,429                1,702     2,001
El Salvador                                                               2,269                2,599     3.006
Guatemala                                                                 3,628                4.404     5.394
Honduras                                                                  1 x)85               2,482     3,070
Mexico                                                                    61,335              70,535    79,580
Nicaragua                                                                 2,197                2,787     3,405
Panama                                                                    1,240                1,401     1,579
South America                                                            219,906              249,331   278,574
Argentina                                                                 28.158              30,463    32,762
Bolivia                                                                   3,665                4,505     5,432
Brazil                                                                   110.789              126.599   141,979
Chile                                                                     10.954              11 ,966   12,962
Colombia                                                                  22,604              25,526    28,447
Ecuador                                                                   5.625                6.698     7,833
Malvines Islands                                                            2                    2         2
French Guyana                                                               87                  112       140
Guyana                                                                     268                  302       349
Paraguay                                                                  2.109                2,613     3,168
Peru                                                                      15,068              17,175    19,437
Suriname                                                                   190                  213       242
Uruguay                                                                   2,751                2,877     2,994
Venezuela                                                                 17,636              20,281    22,828

                 Source: United Nations. World urbrutizations prospects: the 1994 revision.
                      Annex 2.1.3
Latin American cities among the 100 largest in the world
                                      Annex 2.1.4

                Group of countries of Latin America and the Caribbean
                   according to urban population percentage (1995)

    Percentage of urban        Countries
Between 90% and 100%           Guadeloupe, Martinique, Cayman Islands, Uruguay,
Between 80% and 90%            Argentina, Bahamas, Chile
Between 70% and 80%            Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, French Guyana, Mexico,
                               Peru, Trinidad and Tobago
Between 60% and 70%            Dominican Republic, Netherlands Antilles,
                               Nicaragua, Bolivia
Between 50% and 60%            Jamaica, Panama, Ecuador, Suriname, Paraguay
Between 40% and 50%            Barbados, San Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint
                               Vincent and Grenadines, Turks and Caicos Islands,
                               Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Between 30% and 40%
                               I Guyana, Antigua y Barbuda, Haiti

   Source: United Nations. World urbanizations prospects: the 1994 revision.
                                            Annex 2.3.1
                     Group of countries according to GDP/capita 1994
                                      (in US$ - 1980)

GDP (US$/capita)                  Countries
Less than 500                     Haiti, Nicaragua
Between 500 and 999               Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Peru
Between 1,000 and 1499            Ecuador, Paraguay, Dominican Republic
Between 1,500 and 1,999           Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Panama
Between 2,000 and 2,999           Mexico, Uruguay
Between 3,000 and 4,000           Barbados, Chile, Trinidad y Tobago, Venezuela
Between 4,000 and 10,000          Argentina, Bahamas

     Source: ECLAC. Anuario estadistico tie América Latiua y el (:aribe. 1995.

                                            Annex 2.3.2
                       Manufacturing industry growth úi Latin America
                                     and the Caribbean

                              Period                            Growth
                                                          (annual average rate)
                            1970-1975                              5.6
                            1975-1980                             -3.7
                            1980-1985                             -0.6
                            1985-1990                              1.4
                              1991                                 2.9
                              1992                                 1.2
                              1993                                 3.8
                                                  I 4.9

               Source: ECLAC. Aruiario estadistico de América latúta y el Caribe. 1995.
Annex 3.1.1.
                                                Annex 3.2.1
              Hospital solid waste generation in some countries of Europe and Latin America

Country                           Year of      Solid waste generation (kg/bed/day)
                                  survey       min.                      Average              Max.
The Netherlands                    1982        1.3                         3.1                6.5
Spain                              1983        1.2                         2.7                4.4
United Kingdom                     1983        0.3                         1.9                3.3
United States                      1983        4.1                         4.6                5.2
Argentina                          1982        0.8                          -                 4.2
Argentina                          1988        1.9                          -                 3.7
Brazil                             1978        1.2                         2.6                3.8
Chile                              1973        1.0                          -                 1.2
Paraguay                          1988/9       3.0                         3.8                4.5
Peru                               1987        1.6                         2.9                6.0
Venezuela                          1976        2.6                         3.1                3.7

    Source: PAHO; WHO. CEE. Management of hospital .solid wastes and control of the effects on health and the
            environment in Central America and Panama. 1991.
                          Annex 3.2.2
Hospital solid waste generation in Central American and Panama
                                      Annex 3.2.3
                              MSW generation in some countries

    Countries                                           Generation (kg/capita/day)
    Canada                                                         1.9
    United States                                                  1.5
    The Netherlands                                                1.3
    Switzerland                                                    1.2
    Japan                                                          1.0
    Europe (others)                                                0.9
    India                                                          0.4
    Ecuador(93)                                                   0.73
í   Bolivia (94)                                                  0.56
    Colombia (95)                                                 0.74
    Costa Rica (96)                                               0.66
    Guatemala (92)                                                0.50
    Uruguay (96)                               - 0.75

          Source: PAHO. El manejo de residuos sólidos municipales en Ainérica Latina y el Caribe.
                  1995. Serie Ambiental 15. PAHO. Estudios sectoriales de residuos sólidos de
                  Colombia, Guatemala, México y Uruguay. 1995-1996. Fundación Natura. Manejo de
                  desechos sólidos en el Ecuador. 1993. PAHO; IDB. Informes de expertos locales para
                  el presente diagnóstico. 1996.
                                                    Annex 3.2.4

                                 Estimation industrial waste production per year
                                        in the countries surveyed (1993)

Country               N.H.                  H.               N.H.         H. liquids            N.H.      H. solids
                  Sludges,~'~          sludges(1)           liquids       (x 106 t)            Solids     (x 106 t)
                    (X 106 t)           (x 106 t)          (X 106 t)                          (x 106 t)
Argentina              0.27                6.05              21.39         172.59               0.86       2.35
Bolivia               0.007                0.24              0.618         13.19                0.02       0.17
Brazil                 0.82               35.55              65.98          215                 6.68       14.74
Colombia              0.075                0.82               4.00         40.16                0.30       1.31
Cuba                   0.00                0.53              0.009         24.96                0.02       0.57
Chile                 0.054                1.01               4.03         94.20                0.30       1.68
Ecuador               0.016                0.43               1.32         29.41                0.07       0.37
Guatemala             0.006                0.08               0.40          5.89                0.02       0.08
Jamaica               0.002                0.03               0.20          1.15                0.01       0.03
Mexico                0.321               10.62              18.12         429.73               5.32       25.03
Nicaragua             0.003                0.19               0.28         11.36                0.02       0.05
Paraguay              0.031                0.18               2.46          4.48                0.04       0.17
Peru                  0.052                2.00               4.14         95.22                0.27       1.17
Trinidad and          0.001                0.22               0.07          3.58                0.02       0.01
Uruguay        0,07                      0,65       6.00               26,97           0,06                 0,26
Venezuela                                5,55                                                               0,13
               I 0,008                              1 1.73             I 88,98         I 0,30

          '~    N.H. = Non hazardous
                H. = Hazardous
                                            Annex 3.2.5

                        Projection of hazardous waste generation per year
                                    in the countries surveyed

Countries       N.H. sludges      H. solids           Total        Population       t/person
                  (x 10 t)        (x 10 t)                          (x 10 )
Argentina           6.05            2.35               8.39            32             0.26
Bolivia             0.24            0.17               0.41             7             0.06
Brazil             35.55           14.74              50.29           150             0.34
Colombia            0.82            1.31               2.12            33             0.06
Cuba                0.53            0.57               1.11            11             0.10
Chile               1.01            1.68               2.69            13             0.21
Ecuador             0.43            0.37               0.79            13             0.06
Guatemala           0.08            0.08               0.17             9             0.02
Jamaica             0.03            0.03               0.06            25            0.002
Mexico             10.62           25.03              35.65            89             0.40
Nicaragua           0.19            0.05               0.24             4             0.06
Paraguay            0.18            0.17               3.17            22             0.14
Peru                2.00            1.17               3.17            22             0.14
Trinidad and        0.22            0.01               0.23             1             0.23
Uruguay             0.65             0.26                 0.91          3                0.30
Venezuela           5.55             0.13                 5.68         22                0.26

  Source: PAHO. Desechos peligrosos y salud en América Latina y el Caribe, 1994. Serie
  Ambiental 14.
                                                Annex 3.2.6

                   Summary of hazardous waste production per industry

Industry                                    Code      % Hazardous          % Hazardous           % Hazardous
                                                        sludges              liquids                solids
Textiles                                    3211          0.52                62.86                  0.35
Carpets                                     3214          0.00                 0.00                  0.00
Tanneries                                   3231         12.90                 0.04                  1.68
Pulp/paper                                  3411          0.00                 5.46                  0.07
Printing shops                              3420          0.19                 0.32                 10.56
Basic chemicals                             3511         68.43                21.48                  0.19
Fertilizers/pesticides                      3512          0.00                 0.01                  0.05
Resins/synthetic plastics.                  3513          0.01                 0.00                  0.74
Paints/polishers                            3521          0.13                 0.25                  0.48
Drugs/medicines                             3522          0.13                 0.19                  0.11
Oil refineries                              3530          5.58                 4.47                  6.01
Oil/cardboard products                      3540          0.00                 0.00                  0.00
Iron/steel                                  3710          0.46                 0.09                  6.03
Non-ferrous metals                          3720         11.43                 3.36                  5.03
Metal products                              3819          0.23                 1.47                 68.70
                                                        100.00               100.00                100.00

   Source: PAHO. Desechos peligrosos y salud vi América Latina y el Caribe, 1994. Serie Ambiental 14.
                      Annex 3.2.7
Industrial solid waste practices in selected countries (1)
                            Annex 3.28
Summary of hazardous waste practices in selected countries of the Region
                              Annex 3.28 (cont.)
Summary of hazardous waste management practices in selected countries of the Region
                                                      Annex 3.3.1

Loans, technical cooperation, donations and other financial support for solid waste in Latin America and
the Caribbean, 1997-1998
Entity: Inter-American Development Bank
Sector                                                               Estimation of the E/O loan for cooperation (in
                                                                                      US$ millions)
                                                                       Solid waste                                    Total
Sanitation                                                                  95                                        1.920
Urban development and housing                                               76                                        1.430
Environmental protection                                                   137                                        1.180
Total                                                                     308                                         4.530
                                                    Annex 3.3.2

                    Loans for MSW management projects in LAC, 1988-1996

                                     No. of           Total cost   Loan cost       MSW             MSW
                                     project          (US$ m)      (US$ m)      manageme      management as
                                                                                  nt cost     in % of the total
                                                                                 (US$ m)
Antigua and Barbuda                         1               50.5          6.8         50.5                100.0
Argentina                                   2              840.0        330.0         23.6                  2.8
Belize                                      1               28.0         20.0          0.5                  1.8
Bolivia                                     1               21.3         15.0          2.2                 10.3
Brazil                                      8             2693.1       1098.9         97.2                  3.6
Chile                                       1               32.8         11.5            --                   -
Colombia                                    4              697.4        251.9         15.8                  2.3
Ecuador                                     1              300.0        104.0          5.0                  1.7
Mexico                                      3              617.5        285.8        223.5                 36.2
Peru                                        1               52.5         24.7          6.6                 12.6
Venezuela                                   1               85.5         40.0          4.7                  5.5
Total for LAC                              24             5418.6       2188.6        429.7                    -
Average per project                            --          225.8         91.2         19.5                  8.7

      Source: World Bank.

                                                    Annex 3.3.3

                  Projects financed by the world bank in Latin America and the

            Municipal development projects (10)
            Specialized solid waste projects (3)
            Water supply and sanitation projects (3)
            Water quality management projects (2)
            Urban environment management projects (2)
            Projects for environmental institutions development (2)
            Low income areas improvement projects (1)
            Projects for reconstruction after emergencies (1)

               Source: World Bank.
                                 Annex 3.3.4

        Ten priority pollutants according to frequency of occurrence
                in hazardous waste sites of the United States

Site                    Pollutant                 Site percentage
  1                 Trichloroethylene                                             48
  2                       Lead                                                    36
  3                Tetrachlorethylene                                             33
  4                  Trychlorethane                                               25
  5                1,2 dychlorethylene                                            24
  6                     Benzene                                                   23
  7                      Chrome                                                   21
  8                      Arsenic                                                  20
  9                     Cadmium                                                   18
            I 1,-1 dychlorethylene                                               I 18

Adapted from ATSDR. Biennial report to Congress, 1991 and 1992.

                                 Annex 3.3.5

   Three priority pollutants according to frequency of occurrence in

 Environmental sites                                 Pollutants
        Air                             benzene, toluene, trychlorethylene
        Soil                                   lead, chrome, arsenic
       Water                         tryclorethylene, lead, tetrachlorethylene

       Adapted from Fay, 1994.
                                                    Annex 3.3.6
                             Positive experiences in solid waste management in LAC

Country/location             Experience                                        Results
1. Argentina                 Housing improvement of irregular                  Improvement of sanitation infrastructure
Ciudad de Rosario            settlements of Rosario; sanitation,               of vulnerable human settlements; human
1 million, 20% poor          environment and health improvement,               resource training, participation
                             with waste recycling activities                   management model on behalf of 8,000
1. Argentina                 Improvement of environmental and                  Access to sanitation for 50,000 indigenes
North East                   household conditions of indigenous                of 18 ethnic groups; training,
indigenous                   populations                                       participation and coordinated action of
populations                                                                    national and local entities
3. Brazil                    Sanitation program for the                        Control and management of solid waste
Sao Paulo                    Guarapiranga river with IBRD                      generated by 200 illegal settlements to
                                                                               control the river supplying 3 million
4. Chile                     Metropolitan regulation plan                      Metropolitan development of Santiago
Santiago                                                                       with social integration and functionality:
                                                                               soil use, infrastructure and services,
                                                                               maximum limit of urban expansion
5. Colombia                  Recyclers: improvement of work                    25,000 families of scavengers with social
                             conditions, urban solid waste                     benefits: children education, social
                             management and life quality of women              security and increase of 30% of their
                             and children                                      benefits
6. Costa Rica                Integrated waste management for rural             Waste generation reduction; reuse,
                             communities of the tropical forest of             recycling
                             Costa Rica                                        SW qualification and quantification
                                                                               Final disposal in sanitary landfills
                                                                               Public dissemination campaigns and
                                                                               education programs on waste
7. Honduras                  Integrated project for the Barrio Nuevo           Integrated actions of garbage collection,
                             Horizonte, Tegucigalpa                            creation of green areas and collection
                                                                               microbusinesses. Establishment of 10
                                                                               manual sanitary landfills

  Source: Hdbitat. Annotated list of best practices. 1996. Global Best Practices Initiative

In this document, the following terms have the meaning assigned to its corresponding definition.

See management.

Mixture of gases, mainly methane and carbon dioxide, generated by anaerobic decomposition of organic wastes.

Wastes that burn in presence of oxygen by action of a spark or any other source of ignition.

Wastes generated in commercial establishments, such as warehouses, deposits, hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, and
market places.

Partial or total delivery of solid waste management services to individuals or private enterprises by the government
or municipality.

Variable-capacity receptacle used for solid waste storage.

Waste from construction and demolition of houses, buildings, or any other type of construction.

Open place where wastes are disposed of without any sanitary treatment. Synonym of open dump and open pit.

In the field of solid wastes, management tool aimed at reducing waste generation and ensuring that its impact on
human health and the environment be minimized.

Wastes that generate great pressures when undergoing instantaneous ignition.

Synonym of municipal solid waste and solid waste.

Solid or semisolid wastes that due to its toxic, reactive, corrosive, radioactive, inflammable, explosive, or pathogenic
characteristics, represent a substantial or potential risk to human health or the environment when managed with
municipal solid waste in an authorized or clandestine way.

Place, site, or facility where activities related to human or animal health care are carried out.

Wastes that due to its nature, composition, quantity, and volume are generated in houses or similar dwelling place.

Wastes generated in industrial activities as a result of production processes, equipment and facility maintenance, and
pollution treatment and control.

Wastes that can burn spontaneously under normal conditions.

Wastes generated in educational, governmental, military and religious establishments; offices; prisons; and air,
terrestrial, fluvial or marine terminals, among others.
Liquid that percolates through solid wastes. It is composed of rainwater, runoffs, refuse moisture and decomposition
of organic matter containing dissolved and suspended materials. Synonym of percolated liquid.

Set of operations to dispose wastes in the most adequate way according to its characteristics. Its objective is to
prevent damages or risks to human health or the environment. It includes waste storage, sweeping, collection,
transfer, transportation, treatment, final disposal, or any other necessary operation.

Solid or semisolid wastes from urban activities. They can be residential, domestic, commercial, and institutional,
from the small industry or from sweeping and cleaning streets, markets, public areas and others. Its management is
responsibility of the municipality or other governmental authority. Synonym of garbage and solid waste.

Synonym of dump or open pit.

Wastes that due to its characteristics and composition may produce infections to humans.

Synonym of leachate.

Granting of concessions to the private sector for managing municipal solid wastes.

Synonym of urban cleaning.

Wastes that emit electromagnetic radiation at higher levels than natural background radiation.

Process through which waste materials are reincorporated as raw material to the productive cycle.

Solid or semisolid residues, easy to decompose, derived from animals or vegetables and from food handling,
preparation and consumption.

Engineering technique for the adequate confinement of municipal solid wastes; it includes waste placement and
compaction, daily covering with soil or other inert material and control of gases, leachate and vector proliferation to
prevent environmental pollution and to protect population health.

Person who segregates materials from waste. The term has different denominations in the countries of the Region:
"cirujas" in Argentina; "buzos" in Bolivia; "catadores" in Brazil; "cachureros" in Chile; "basuriegos" in Colombia;
"buzos" in Cuba, Costa Rica, and Dominican Republic; "chamberos" in Ecuador; "guajeros" in Guatemala;
"pepenadores" in Mexico; "cutreros" in Peru; "hurgadores" in Uruguay.

Sanitary landfill for the adequate final disposal of industrial or hazardous wastes.

Separation and recovery of useful and recyclable materials from waste.

Liquid with high content of suspended solids derived from water or wastewater treatment plants or similar processes.

Synonym of municipal solid waste and garbage.
Solid wastes that due to its quality, quantity, volume, or weight represent a hazard, hence, they require special
management. It includes solid wastes from health centers, chemical products, outdated drugs, outdated food,
hazardous wastes, sludge, bulk or heavy wastes that with authorization or illegally are handled together with
municipal solid wastes.

Wastes that due to its physical or chemical characteristics, depending on its concentration and exposure time, may
cause injury and even death of living beings, as well as environmental pollution.

Physical, chemical or biological transformation of solid wastes to modify its characteristics or take advantage of its
potential. A new solid waste can be generated with different characteristics.

Set of activities and processes, including storage, presentation, collection, transportation, transfer, treatment,
disposal, sweeping and cleaning of public areas, recovery, reuse, and recycling of municipal solid wastes. Synonym
of public cleaning.

The urban cleaning service includes the following activities related to municipal solid waste management: storage;
presentation; collection; transport; transfer; treatment; sanitary disposal; sweeping and cleaning of public areas;
recovery and recycling.

Individual or body corporation, public or private, in charge or responsible for public cleaning services.

It includes flies, mosquitoes, rodents, and other animals that can transmit infectious diseases directly or indirectly to
humans or animals.

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