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									CHAPTER   three

3.1 INSTITUTIONAL FRAME-                                       lation activities and sanitary control. They have the
                                                               authority over issues pertaining to public and occu-
    WORK OF MUNICIPAL SOLID                                    pational health, hygiene and sanitary surveillance
    WASTE MANAGEMENT                                           related to solid waste collection, transportation and
    SERVICES                                                   final disposal.

                                                             • Other ministries that act in areas related to solid
                                                               waste management, such as planning, housing, terri-
3.1.1 Institutional structure of                               torial ordinance, territorial development, of the inte-
                                                               rior ministries, among others, have planning, super-
      municipal solid waste
                                                               vision and regulation authorities on solid waste
      management                                               management pertaining to their corresponding areas
                                                               of authority.
In the majority of the LAC countries, at a national level,
a wide group of ministries and public entities have          Usually these national government organizations are
some type of competition, either direct or indirect, in      assigned the responsibilities of establishing sectoral
solid waste management. Practically all the countries        policies, propose laws and norms, guard their compli-
in the Region, at a national level, include the following    ance and promote in some measure sectoral develop-
entities:                                                    ment. Except in some countries where the law grants
                                                             to a central national organization the responsibility of
• The environmental and natural resources ministries                                                                      23
                                                             the solid waste sector, these activities are not usually
  or secretariats as guiding and main institutions
                                                             coordinated and tend to lack unity, because these enti-
  accountable for planning the environmental area
                                                             ties act as independent organisms. Brazil presents a
  and the establishment and development of a global
                                                             specific case in which the Health, Environmental min-
  policy for natural resource management. The formu-
                                                             istries and of the Cities are also providers of resources
  lation of proposals for environmental laws and envi-
                                                             for investment in the municipal solid waste manage-
  ronmental quality standards for the treatment, dis-
                                                             ment systems.
  posal and environmental solid waste management,
  as well as the design and location of sanitary land-       At a local level, in all the Latin American countries, the
  fills corresponds to them.                                 municipality has the responsibility of providing sanita-
                                                             tion services to the community, who is responsible for
• The health ministries, as guiding institutions of the
                                                             financing, administering and operating the solid waste
  health sector, have the regulatory authority that
                                                             management services. The municipalities as entities
  includes the sanitary aspects related to solid waste
                                                             accountable for the operation of urban sanitation serv-
  management, in which they intervene through regu-

     ices, also have the specific function of regulating                        including solid wastes. Such is the case of the
     through ordinances and control of activities related to                    Nicaragua Municipalities Association (AMUNIC for
     environmental sanitation, provide public sanitation                        its Spanish acronym), the Honduras Municipalities
     service and promote environmental education pro-                           Association (AMHON for its Spanish acronym), and
     grams. The municipalities are autonomous with the                          the Paraguay Organization for Inter-municipal
     capability of contracting and granting solid waste man-                    Cooperation (OPACI for its Spanish acronym),
     agement services within their scope of territorial                         among others.
     action. In several countries in the Region, the munici-
     palities also have the legal authority of partnering with               • NGOs that have acquired leadership in environmen-
     other nearby municipalities or territorially identified to                tal matters and in solid waste management, specifi-
     basically respond to the final disposal of waste.                         cally with micro-companies and cooperative sup-
                                                                               port programs for solid waste management, environ-
     In the English10 Caribbean countries, including                           mental education programs and experience in com-
     Suriname, the solid waste management services are                         prehensive waste management, environmental laws
     taken on by the national government in a direct man-                      and citizens’ participation. National as well as inter-
     ner, through one or more ministries, usually the health                   national NGOs participate in the solid waste sector.
     ministry or solid waste autonomous authorities, who
     besides administering and financing the services, have                  • International, multilateral and bilateral organiza-
     the responsibility of planning, regulating and control-                   tions that participate at several levels in financing
     ling them, being able to contract or grant the services in                investment projects as well as in technical, educa-
     a total or partial manner.                                                tional, public policy establishment solutions and
                                                                               direct support to the municipalities in the solid
     In Latin America, other institutions that intervene in                    waste subject matter. The BID, World Bank,
     solid waste management join these government organ-                       PAHO/WHO, USAID, UNICEF, ECLAC, JICA, KfW,
     izations, among which are:                                                GTZ, AECI, the Latin American Federation of Cities,
                                                                               Municipalities and Associations (FLACMA for its
     • Municipal Development or Promotion Institutes,                          Spanish acronym), United Cities and Local
       which are state public entities responsible for                         Governments (UCLG), among others, are entities that
       strengthening local government management and                           have active participation in the sector.
       provide technical, administrative, financing and
       planning assistance to municipalities, including the                  • Private sector as goods and services provider. In
       solid waste area. Some examples in the Region are                       the LAC region, and more with more emphasis in
       the Salvadoran Institute for Municipal Development                      the Caribbean, there is a growing trend in the par-
       (ISDEM for its Spanish acronym), the Argentina                          ticipation of private cleaning companies and of
       Federal Institute for Municipal Affairs, the                            individuals that act as contractors or concession-
       Municipal Nicaraguan Promotion Institute (INIFOM                        aires of the operations of cleaning services, or as
       for its Spanish acronym), the Paraguay Municipal                        consultants.
       Development Institute, among others.
                                                                             • Formal organizations such as human resource edu-
     • Mayors’ Associations, that have assumed an impor-                       cation and training universities and institutes, that
       tant role in political management and in technical-                     are involved in research projects and courses guided
       financial support management to strengthen munic-                       towards national and local capacity building for
       ipalities.                                                              solid waste management. Also included are sanita-
                                                                               tion and environmental engineers’ associations,
     • Municipalities’ Associations, that are trade associa-                   cleaning companies, recycling companies, solid
       tions that promote the autonomy and interests of                        waste micro-companies, among others. In Latin
       municipalities supporting municipal strengthening                       America, the Inter American Sanitation and
       and the efficient lending of municipal services,                        Environmental Engineering Association (AIDIS for

     10 Anguila, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and
        Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago.
                                                C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

  its Spanish acronym) with its national and sub-               of the obligations that each one has to assume, many
  regional chapters, through its Solid Waste Technical          times generates partial overlapping of authorities, such
  Division (DIRSA for its Spanish acronym), has an              is the case with some regulatory authorities within the
  outstanding participation in topics related to solid          environmental and health ministries. Similarly, a
  waste. Likewise, the Caribbean Environmental                  duplicity and overlapping of activities is produced
  Health Institute (CEHI) carries out a wide range of           with the surveillance and control functions in the san-
  activities in that respect in the Caribbean sub-region.       itation scope with relation to the environment.
                                                                Consequently, these functions are not carried out com-
• Informal organizations, that include cooperatives,            pletely and they are often omitted, with the responsi-
  trade associations and associations of informal seg-          bility not clearly defined. Add to this the lack of effi-
  regators, recyclers and collectors, have been acquir-         cient coordination mechanisms among the different
  ing more importance due to their collaboration in             organizations and institutions that have authority in
  waste reduction alternatives, therefore, they should          the matter of solid waste, that translate into institution-
  be considered as an integral part in the strategies for       al confrontations due to the concurrence of attributions
  municipal solid waste management.                             on one same topic of the sector.

Table 8 summarizes the entities linked to the sector            Due to the fact that practically in all the countries of
with their corresponding functions. Table 1-A, in the           the Region, the solid waste area is considered, at the
Annex, includes the main government institutions in             most, as a sub-sector or as a water and wastewater com-
LAC countries, linked to the solid waste sector.                ponent (Bolivia, Colombia), the acknowledgment at a
                                                                national level is still limited, which conditions the
In the majority of the Latin American countries, the            political capacity and authority to guide and control
institutional frame of the solid waste sector is subject        the action in this field. The absence of an institutional
to great limitations that are attributed to the lack of def-    agency that can assume with ownership and continuity
inition of a clear command structure with clearly estab-        the leadership of the coordination that is necessary at a
lished functions and attributions. The lack of a clear          national as well as municipal level, makes the actions
delimitation on the scope of authority of each entity or        in the sector lack priority and the coherence required.


                                       Table 8. Organizational and functional structure in relation
                                  to urban solid waste management in Latin America and the Caribbean
                    Institution                                                      Responsibility and functions

     Central government                          • Drafting of laws, norms and regulations
                                                 • Budget allocation

        Ministry of the Environment              •   Drafting of policies, strategies and plans, and national programs for environmental control
                                                 •   Environmental regulation, regulatory and auditing body
                                                 •   National programs coordinator
                                                 •   Environmental permits regulator

        Ministry of Health                       • Drafting of policies, strategies and plans, and national programs for sanitary control
                                                 • Sanitary regulation, regulatory, fiscal and auditing body
                                                 • Drafting of guidelines to foresee occupational risks and prevent public health effects in the differ-
                                                   ent solid waste management stages
                                                 • Permit regulator for the authorization of waste final disposal sites
                                                 • Coordinator of national environmental sanitation programs

       Other ministries                        • Environmental conservation and protection in its corresponding scopes (tourism, industry, fishery,
                                                 energy and mining, transportation, housing, others)
                                               • Infrastructure promotion
                                               • Urban and social development promotion
                                               • Regulation of the management of solid waste generated in their corresponding intervention scopes
                                               • Rate regulation
                                               • International treaties
     State, departmental or provincial govern- • In the federal states the state governments have almost all the functions of national governments as
     ments                                       long as they comply with the Constitution and national laws that establish minimum norms that
                                                 the States have to comply with regards to the environment, and they can only accept them or be
                                                 more stringent
     Local government                          • Solid waste management: sweeping, collection, transfer, final disposal
       Municipalities                          • Drafting of long term operational and financial plans
                                               • Formulation of local regulations: ordinances
                                               • Sanctions for non compliance and inadequate solid waste management
                                               • Rates and tariffs’ formulation and implementation
       Municipal Development Institutes        • Municipalities technical and administrative advisory

       International Cooperation Organizations   • Provide external funds for sanitation and environmental projects
                                                 • National and local technical advising
                                                 • External and/or national funds management for environmental and sanitation projects

       NGOs                                      • Environmental education
                                                 • Implement projects at a community level
                                                 • Environmental awareness in public opinion


     3.1.2 Organization of the sector                                            mental planning framework as a contributing function
                                                                                 at a central level with regards to environmental policies
           and delivery of services                                              and strategies and with operative plans and programs at
                                                                                 a municipal level. This is the case of the prefect sta-
     Sectoral planning at a country and local                                    tions in Bolivia, of the State Development Planning
     level                                                                       Committees (COPLADES for its Spanish acronym), and
                                                                                 of some environmental organizations situated in the
     In the countries of the Region, at a national level, when
                                                                                 organic structure of provincial governments in
     there is a strategic planning of the municipal solid
                                                                                 Argentina. At a local level, the municipality is respon-
     waste and hazardous waste sector, usually falls on the
                                                                                 sible for project planning and its corresponding imple-
     health and environmental ministries. In the federate
                                                                                 mentation. However, in the majority of the countries in
     countries, the planning of solid waste management is
                                                                                 the Region, short, medium and long term planning in
     just beginning and it is carried out within the depart-
                                                                                 the solid waste area is non existing in a specific form,
                                              C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

in great part due to the lack of knowledge of the needs       tion between institutions that are involved in the area
for human, technical, physical and financial resources,       of solid waste management and the municipalities. In
thus making it impossible to develop a plan with medi-        a similar manner in Chile, this function is carried out
um and long term horizons in an orderly and concen-           by the Environmental National Commission (CONA-
trated manner.                                                MA for its Spanish acronym).

                                                              In the LAC countries, the lack of a guidance, many
                                                              times not necessarily formal, but operational to assist
Guiding Sector                                                and strengthen the sector, has made it difficult to
                                                              enforce policies, besides stimulating overlapping,
In the majority of the LAC countries, it is impossible to
                                                              duplication and super positioning of functions and
clearly define between a sole coordinating guiding
entity at a national level that defines policies, formu-
lates plans, programs and projects and specific strate-
gies for the solid waste sector. Usually, the few guiding
functions of the solid waste sector that are met are iso-     Regulation and control of solid waste
lated in national institutions, usually with shared           management services
responsibility between the Ministry of Health or the
Secretariat of the Environment, Ministry of Public            In the countries of the Region, the health and environ-
Works, among others, that have the guidance in matters        mental ministries or secretariats, are usually national
that are specific in their respective scopes. And even        bodies with regulatory authority that in some way
when the guidance is well defined, the organizations          exercise a regulatory function, especially with regards
dedicate almost all their efforts to hazardous and            to hazardous industrial and hospital waste norms and
industrial wastes and almost none to the municipal            the location of final disposal sites for the operation of
solid waste guidance.                                         landfills that require the approval dictated by law and
                                                              the environmental license. The health ministries in all
In Colombia, the guiding function expands into sever-         the LAC countries, are responsible for dictating the
al organizations according to their authority, thus           guidelines to foresee occupational risks and prevent
including the Ministry of the Environment, Housing            affecting public health, along the stages included in
and Territorial Ordinance, the National Department of         waste management. The regulatory authorities linked
Planning, the Water and Wastewater Regulation                 to the prevention of environmental impact in relation
Commission and the Superintendence of Residential             to final waste disposal are concentrated in the environ-
Public Services. In Peru, the General Office of               mental ministries. The municipalities are in charge, in
Environmental Health (DIGESA for its Spanish                  some instances, for the issuance of standards for resi-
acronym) is the technical regulatory organization at a        dential, non-hazardous industrial and non-hazardous
national level in charge of regulating, supervising, con-     hospital wastes.
trolling, evaluating and coordinating with regional gov-                                                                       27

ernments and the environmental protection aspects,            The regulation in the matter of rates is usually exer-
basic sanitation (includes solid waste), food hygiene,        cised by the municipalities themselves and the corre-
zoonosis and occupational health; while the National          sponding control is carried out in a few cases by differ-
Environmental Board (CONAM for its Spanish                    ent organizations that represent the central executive
acronym) is the guiding organization of the National          power. For example, in Costa Rica, the Comptroller’s
Environmental Policy that contains the statutes for           Office in the Republic through the Operative and
solid waste management.                                       Evaluative Compliance-Monitoring Division of the
                                                              Municipal Services Area is in charge of reviewing
In countries where apparently there is no specific guid-      municipal budgets for their approval and the reclassi-
ing entity, the function is carried out in part by a com-     fying of rates charged to the user for different solid
mission or a board, such is the case of the Solid Waste       waste management services. In this aspect, a regulat-
National Board in Guatemala CONADESCO (for its                ing body does not exist for the solid waste sector, such
Spanish acronym) that acts as a coordinating organiza-        is the case of other services like potable water, electric-

     ity, telephone service, etc. The only exception is the             In the English Caribbean countries, the Ministry of
     case of Colombia where the same organization that reg-             Public Health has the responsibility of regulating, mon-
     ulates potable water services has specific norms that              itoring and compliance with the law.
     regulate tariffs according to the quality of the collection
     services like the frequency of collection, the distance to
     the landfill and its quality.
                                                                        3.1.3 Operation of services
     The solid waste management services quality control is
                                                                        Traditionally, the municipalities have been in charge of
     carried out usually through the ministries of health and
                                                                        providing solid waste management services in Latin
     the environment. For example, Honduras has initia-
                                                                        America. The municipal responsibility is to organize
     tives such as the Environmental Regulatory Agency,
                                                                        and manage the public sanitation system, including
     established by the Office of the Attorney General, to
                                                                        providing the infrastructure for the collection, trans-
     carry out control actions for the operation of dumps.
                                                                        portation, treatment and disposal of wastes services.
     As was previously mentioned, in Colombia, the
                                                                        This responsibility can be exercised in a direct manner,
     Potable Water and Basic Sanitation Commission is
                                                                        by providing the service, through an administrative
     responsible for the solid waste sector due to the fact
                                                                        unit or section, as well as through municipal organiza-
     that it is in charge of the regulation of natural monop-
                                                                        tions, companies or foundations, through delegations,
     olies and economic capability, rate regulation, regula-
                                                                        contracts or concessions granted in public bidding.
     tion of the quality of the service and the regulation of
     business management; as a supplement, the
                                                                        Even though there are different forms of operating the
     Superintendence of Residential Public Services super-
                                                                        services, management authorities related to the imme-
     vises and controls public service companies. In
                                                                        diate administration and financing and the long term
     Uruguay, the departmental governments exercise the
                                                                        technical and financial planning of public sanitation
     sector’s regulation, whose area of responsibility corre-
                                                                        service are always the responsibility of the municipal-
     sponds to the Ministry of Housing, Territorial
                                                                        ities. In all the Spanish speaking LAC countries the
     Ordinance and the Environment (MVOTMA for its
                                                                        municipalities have ownership of the service, assum-
     Spanish acronym).
                                                                        ing total responsibility in the administration and man-
                                                                        agement of solid waste management services in their
     However, in practice the majority of the Latin
                                                                        area of territorial influence.
     American countries do not have an effective control of
     the quality of these services nor clear norms that estab-
                                                                        The municipalities, with the support of their corre-
     lish the responsibility of the regulation’s control and
                                                                        sponding legislation, have the authority to create their
     the scope that it can have in the municipal solid waste
                                                                        own administrative and operation structure.
     management area. Such is the case of Bolivia which
     does not have a regulation system yet for the solid                The autonomy of the municipalities is defined in gen-
     waste sub-sector, even though there is an initiative to            eral by the Municipalities National Law, or States in
     draft a bill for a Solid Waste Law and its regulation,             some cases, that establish the limits within which they
     that can take a long time for its approval and imple-              leave the municipalities at liberty to:
     mentation. However, Bolivia has made progress in the
     drafting and approval of the Solid Waste Technical                 • Create, modify, and cancel public rates and contri-
     Norms (1996, Basic Sanitation National Office) to                    butions to carry out certain works.
     determine 17 garbage parameters as per capita genera-
     tion, volumetric weight, percentage characterization of            • Decree their income and expense budget.
     the garbage content, ashes, humidity, among others.
                                                                        • Freely manage in the matters of their proficiency.
     In federal countries such as Argentina, Brazil and
     Mexico, the states have the task of drafting state poli-           • Name the different positions that the Municipal
     cies, establish directives, strategies, incentives, financ-          Administration agencies require for their operation.
     ing programs and transfer budgetary resources to the
                                                                        • Issue ordinances, regulations and agreements to reg-
     municipalities, provide licenses and supervise the
                                                                          ulate and administer the municipality.
     activities related to solid waste management.
                                              C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

• Elaborate their tax rates.                                  training for personnel. These associations can last and
                                                              not be vulnerable to frequent administrative and polit-
• Authorize the municipal budget, municipal manage-           ical changes in the Region’s countries. Inter-municipal
  ment, administrative contracts, urban and rural             cooperation takes advantage of the economies of scale
  development plans, cooperation agreements.                  and tends to be used for transfer and final disposal
Except in the larger cities, in the majority of the medi-
um size cities and especially the smaller ones there          A respectable number of Latin American countries is
are limitations regarding the installed capacity and          integrating into solid waste management the figure of
the general mechanisms to respond to sanitation serv-         community or municipal consortium or association of
ices that the municipalities have (or do not have). It        municipalities according to the country, such as
is common to observe that the majority of the munic-          Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico,
ipalities of medium and small size cities lack techni-        Venezuela, among others. In the case of Mexico, the
cal support to respond to the sanitation service man-         forming of inter-municipal organizations in adjacent
agement, what shows the little capacity in place for          municipalities in the south of the state of Tamaulipas
the administration, operation and maintenance of san-         (Tampico, Ciudad Madero and Altamira) represent a
itation systems. Usually, municipalities do not have          viable alternative for the administration of a regional
qualified technical and administrative personnel, at          landfill and transfer stations. Likewise, in the adja-
management and directive levels, to address the tasks         cent area of Monterrey, a decentralized organization
imposed by the urban sanitation service. The lack of          from the State of Nuevo Leon called Solid Waste
the ideal managerial personnel limits the self-manage-        Processing Metropolitan System (SIMEPRODE for its
ment capacity of municipalities to solve issues related       Spanish acronym) was created. It covers final dispos-
to the autonomous service, even those with greater            al, leaving the collection and transfer to the municipal
management capability and with trained human                  administration. However, the newest initiative is the
resources.                                                    creation of a Municipal Association in the Northern
                                                              Zone of the State of Guerrero, which integrates eight
In the English Caribbean countries and Suriname, the          municipalities from this state with the objective of
national government has the responsibility to provide         developing an infrastructure for solid waste manage-
solid waste management services, through one or sev-          ment which can be improved completely to reduce
eral governmental entities, either an Authority or a          investment and operation costs, capitalizing the econ-
Solid Waste Management Unit, with a wide tendency             omy of scale to the maximum. In this initiative, the
of contracting the majority of the services related to        Association will act as an organism responsible for
the solid waste management system. Usually, in these          the operation of the common infrastructure. Other
countries the street sweeping and the cleaning of rain-       examples in the Region are the Ecology Coordination
storm drains are the responsibility of the Public             Metropolitan Area State Society (CEAMSE for its
Health Ministry.                                              Spanish acronym) in Buenos Aires, the Urban                      29
                                                              Sanitation Municipal Company (COMLURB for its
                                                              Spanish acronym) in Rio de Janeiro and Lima with its
Inter-municipal cooperation                                   41 affiliated districts.

A mechanism that has been acquiring more and more
dissemination in the Region is the association between
municipalities with the objective of optimizing techni-       3.1.4 Management modalities
cal, administrative and financial resources, and at the
same time decrease the environmental and health               The municipalities in the Region have been experi-
impact. These associations have the advantage of facil-       menting for some years, new ways for public-private
itating the financing of urban sanitation services,           cooperation in solid waste management, taking advan-
reducing operation costs, sharing an adequate site for        tage of the private sector’s experiences in business
final disposal and have better access to techniques and       management and at the same time, the responsibility

     the public sector has of protecting common interests               The advantages of this alternative include tax exemp-
     and the health of the population.                                  tion of non-profit public operations that can result in
                                                                        cost reduction or additional service, added to the cen-
     The most common management modalities for collec-                  tralization of purchase of products for the service.
     tion, sweeping and solid waste disposal services in                Furthermore, in establishing work policies, such as the
     Latin America are the following:                                   size of personnel and daily tasks, the municipality can
                                                                        face pressure from unions or workers’ trade unions,
     • Direct municipal management.                                     which affect their management flexibility and freedom
                                                                        for action. In the financial area, sanitation services are
     • Indirect management by different entities such as
                                                                        affected by the low priority given to municipal budgets
       municipal autonomous institutes, companies, foun-
                                                                        for this purpose, thus affecting the innovation and effi-
       dations, civil associations, municipal centralized
                                                                        ciency of the services.
       organizations, among others, through delegations or

     • Concession of the service granted by public bid.                 Municipal management by municipal
                                                                        autonomous companies
     • Mixed management.
                                                                        In several countries in Latin America, the municipalities
     Table 9 shows the different management modalities
                                                                        have opted for the establishment of autonomous munic-
     used for the different solid waste management stages in
                                                                        ipal sanitation companies, or in their absence, include
     the Region. As it can be seen, there is a trend towards
                                                                        the urban sanitation service in potable water and sewage
     using the private sector for these tasks, with the excep-
                                                                        companies to obtain a more efficient service. Usually,
     tion of sweeping, which is predominantly public
                                                                        this type of services supplements other modalities used.
     municipal, even though there is a growing trend in
                                                                        Countries such as Ecuador have the Metropolitan
     Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Cayman Islands, Chile,
                                                                        Sanitation Company (EMASEO for its Spanish acronym)
     Dominican Republic and Peru towards service con-
                                                                        that serves Quito, the Basin Sanitation Municipal
     tracts. The private participation modality, which pre-
                                                                        Company (EMAC for its Spanish acronym) and the
     vails in the municipalities, is contracting companies
                                                                        Babahoyo Environmental Sanitation Municipal
     for waste collection and transportation. With regards
                                                                        Company (EMSABA for its Spanish acronym). In Peru,
     to final disposal, contracting is increasing even though
                                                                        the sanitation services are carried out by municipal or
     in many cases direct management persists, and in oth-
                                                                        municipally owned companies for Public Sanitation
     ers, the private sector charges the municipality for
                                                                        such as the Municipal Company of Callao Public
     equipment rental and even for the land where the final
                                                                        Sanitation. El Salvador has since 1998 an inter-munici-
     disposal site is located and for its administration.
                                                                        pal company for solid waste management. In Argentina,
                                                                        the Ecological Coordination for the Metropolitan Area
                                                                        State Society (CEAMSE for its Spanish acronym) is in
     Direct Municipal Management                                        charge of the transfer and final disposal of solid waste
                                                                        from the Federal Capital and adjacent municipalities up
     Direct municipal management involves the use of                    to the area of La Plata in the province of Buenos Aires.
     municipal personnel and equipment and it is still the              In Panama, the Municipal Sanitation Company, S.A.
     most common practice used in the majority of Latin                 (SEMA for its Spanish acronym) provides service to the
     American countries, especially in medium and small                 district of David and administers private utilities for this
     population centers, being this almost exclusively                  type of services. In Bolivia, the cities of Santa Cruz de
     direct municipal operation.        The Solid Waste                 la Sierra, La Paz, Cochabamba, Oruro, Sucre, Tarija,
     Evaluation showed that approximately between 25%-                  Potosi and Trinidad have decentralized and autonomous
     30% of large cities in Latin America use the direct                municipal companies.
     municipal modality, specifically for sweeping, collec-
     tion and final disposal.                                           This modality is widely used in countries in the
                                                                        Region, specifically in large cities. At the same time,
                                                            C H A P T E R    3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

                          Table 9. Level of public – private participation in urban sanitation services
                                              in Latin America and the Caribbean

                                                                  Size of Population Center
           Type of Service                      Large (%)                 Medium (%)                      Small (%)    LAC Region (%)
Direct municipal                                      30                          51                          60               36
Municipal company                                     22                          10                           4               18
Management contract                                    4                           9                           5                5
Not specified                                         44                          30                          32               41
Direct municipal                                      22                          39                          59               29
Service contract                                      31                          28                          12               29
Management contract                                    2                           3                           1                2
Cooperatives                                          <1                          <1                          <1               <1
Central government                                    <1                           2                          <1                1
Not specified                                         44                          27                          27               39
Direct municipal                                       5                          23                          13                9
Service contract                                      70                          21                           3               56
Management contract                                    1                           6                           -                2
Cooperatives                                           -                           -                           -                -
Central government                                     6                           8                           -                6
Not specified                                         17                          42                          85               26
Direct municipal                                       6                          31                          54               12
Service contract                                       5                          13                           3                6
Management contract                                    -                           -                          <1               <1
Cooperatives                                          39                           2                          <1               32
Central government                                    <1                           2                          <1               <1
Not specified                                         50                          51                          42               50
Final disposal
Direct municipal                                      24                          42                          49               29
Service contract                                      45                          23                           9               37
Management contract                                    8                          12                           5                8
Cooperatives                                           -                           -                          <1               <1
Central government                                     2                           2                           1                2
Not specified                                         22                          22                          35               23
Other services
Direct municipal                                      16                          23                          27               19
Service contract                                      42                          20                           3               35
Management contract                                    -                           -                          <1               <1
Cooperatives                                           -                           -                          <1               <1
Central government                                    <1                           1                           3               <1
Not specified                                         41                          55                          67               46             31
- Does not exist.
Note: The results are based on information provided by around 60% of the countries’ population centers.
Source: Solid Waste Evaluation.

the autonomous companies can operate the services                             ernments are integrating the private sector more and
directly or can contract them to third parties, but                           more, either as a municipal contractor or as a private
keeping for themselves the tasks of compliance-moni-                          supplier through a concession, in order to find solu-
toring, control and physical and financial planning.                          tions to their technical and financial limitations. The
                                                                              private participation has brought a new approach to
                                                                              providing solid waste management services by creating
                                                                              a way through contracts to improve the quality and
Private sector participation
                                                                              coverage of said services and ease the fiscal load of the
                                                                              municipalities. The participation of the private sector
Facing their responsibilities and frequently finding
                                                                              through concessions has the advantage of improving
themselves with limited resources, the municipal gov-

     the quality and coverage of the service with an accept-            This modality is the most common and least expensive
     able economic and financial profitability, therefore eas-          for the participation of the private sector in providing
     ing the load of the municipalities for the service with-           the services, with a great option of solid waste manage-
     out the appropriate budgetary conditions. On the other             ment activities that can be covered. It allows the par-
     hand, there is the problem of the population that can-             ticipation of the formal as well as informal sector.
     not pay the rates. In these cases a subsidy should exist,          However, it is necessary to strengthen this type of man-
     as much as possible direct to the poor user, like they             agement, through standardized indicators and parame-
     have in Chile, for example.                                        ters that facilitate the supervision of the services and
                                                                        the application of eco-efficient criteria.
     Private participation has been acquiring more and
     more importance in the Region, especially in providing             In Panama the participation of the private sector stands
     street sweeping and garbage collection services, and at            out in the solid waste collection services, reaching
     a lesser scale in waste disposal. The cleaning of public           about 40% in the District of Panama, 48% in Colon,
     streets is usually carried out by municipal personnel              73% in La Chorrera and 100% in Arraijan.
     and private participation is low. Usually, the duration
     of the contracts fluctuates between five to seven years            In Guatemala, in medium and small size municipali-
     for collection and 20 years for final disposal consider-           ties, private participation in household collection is
     ing the useful life of the investments.                            intense and predominantly informal, especially in
                                                                        areas where the service is not provided regularly.
     The Solid Waste Evaluation manifested that in large                Likewise, in Brazil there is the modality of the commu-
     cities, close to 50% of the operation of the services,             nity worker who is contracted by neighborhood associ-
     specifically transfer, final disposal and other services,          ations to provide cleaning services to low-income
     is carried out through a private contract with the                 localities (slums) and said associations receive from
     municipality, this modality has clearly increased in the           the municipalities an amount for counter-providing the
     last decade. In medium size population centers this                service.
     participation reaches approximately 25%. In small
     cities, private contracting is growing, at around 5%,              In countries such as El Salvador, Peru and Mexico, pri-
     mainly in Chile and Brazil. Guatemala on the other                 vate participation covers solid waste recovery, segrega-
     hand presents a special case because the service is pro-           tion and recycling activities, through formal compa-
     vided through independent private contractors directly             nies, as a legal corporation. In El Salvador, companies
     contracted by the users.                                           such as the SEPACEZA, LIZA, La Central, ILOPANIA,
                                                                        El Panda, La Constancia and INDRESA operate in San
     The competition among several companies under a                    Salvador, Santa Ana, San Miguel and Old Cuscatlán.
     public bidding system to carry out the sanitation serv-
     ices takes place with the criteria of obtaining greater            The contracting of the services with the private sector
     cost-effectiveness from the services. This way, the                has not always been successful due to the interference
     municipality can retain control of the collection poli-            of the municipal governments in the bids, awards and
     cies and obtain the efficiencies of a competitive sys-             cancellation of contracts, carried out many times in a
     tem, motivated by profit. This modality needs the                  non-transparent manner. Therefore, there is a need for
     active regulation of the municipality, who should                  a strict regulation in this regard.
     clearly establish the conditions to maintain and
     improve efficiency and prevent excessive costs for san-
     itation services; situation that is not met in the majori-
                                                                        Service concession
     ty of the cases due to the weakness of the municipal
     entities who are the counterpart of the private compa-             The concession of the services involves administering,
     nies. Under this modality the contractor owns the                  providing and invoicing for the service and in some
     equipment, but must meet the performance criteria                  cases new investments, which are the responsibility of
     established in the contract. Specifically, the private             the concessionaire. Usually, private companies that
     sector has a broad participation in providing the haz-             have the concession for solid waste management serv-
     ardous waste service.
                                               C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

ices propose rates in accordance to the cost for ade-          tends to be used indiscriminately in the Region when
quate operation and maintenance. Companies usually             referring to the contracting of services. To strengthen
are in charge of estimating and collecting for the serv-       this option, that undoubtedly offers certain advan-
ice, with the approval of the municipality. The conces-        tages to be considered when providing urban sanita-
sions to the private sector should always be regulated         tion services, it is necessary to develop the following
and supervised by the municipality. Therefore, the             aspects:
service concession needs a clear, defined and perma-
nent legal and regulatory frame to insure the success of       • Link agreements with universities, organizations
this model. The concession contract should be very               and professional associations.
precise in order for it to be in agreement with the regu-
latory frame, which defines the goals and rate struc-          • Diagnosis and documentation of local problems.
ture. The concession is usually carried out through a
                                                               • Adequate regulations for providing public services.
bid process.
                                                               • Medium term municipal programs, to develop an
The participation of the private sector in managing the
                                                                 environmental infrastructure and provide public
services through concession contracts, even though it
                                                                 services, with verifiable goals.
is just starting in the Region, is acquiring more and
more importance. Several countries in the Region have          • Inventory of financial packages and supports.
integrated this modality to the different phases of the
service, either through an individual company or               • Analytical evaluation of available technologies.
through the formation of a consortium or a transitory
union of private companies that maintain their own             • Realistic plans for repayment with local support,
individuality.                                                   foreseen in budget systems.

When the concession involves the purchasing or con-            • Creation of utilities with permanence and stability.
struction of facilities that require high investments, as
is the case of landfills, it is common that private com-       • Transparent bidding, concession, contracting and
panies have foreign investments. Countries such as               operation plans, with long term technical, economic
Panama (San Miguelito, Colon districts) and Uruguay              and social vision.
(Montevideo, Canelones and Maldonado departments)
                                                               • Scrutiny and public participation plans with per-
have granted the concession for collection and sanita-
                                                                 formance indicators.
tion to private companies. Chile has awarded the con-
cession of sweeping, collection and disposal service in
                                                               • Public sector professionalization.
several cities, among them Santiago, Valparaiso,
Conception, Osormo and Port Montt. There is conces-            • Plans for communication and relationship with the
sion in Peru in the transfer stations and landfills to the       community.                                                     33
RELIMA Company and the concession to micro compa-
nies in the Ancon District. Venezuela has granted the
concession of La Bonanza landfill to a private compa-
ny for a 20-year period. In Brazil, the Salvador, Bahia        Outsourcing
landfill was built and is operated by a private compa-
ny for a 25-year concession contract. Belo Horizonte           The outsourcing of services usually implies that the
and Rio de Janeiro are in a similar process. Other             municipality issues invoices, the concessionaire col-
examples of landfills built with investments from pri-         lects and of what is collected a percentage previously
vate companies are the Florianopolis landfills (Santa          established in the contract goes to the municipality, as
Catarina), Nova Iguacu (Rio de Janeiro), Caieiras (Sao         counter providing the concession. This modality is
Paulo) among others.                                           broadly used in Brazil to contract for short periods of
                                                               time part of the sanitation services.
The concession of solid waste management services in
LAC is still very limited and the term concession

     Mixed management                                                   (kilometer swept, ton collected and transported, area
                                                                        cleaned, weight and recycled wastes, etc.) or a global
     This modality involves associations between the                    payment for the service. In some cases, the municipal-
     municipality and the private sector to form a mixed                ity pays micro companies monthly fixed costs, such is
     company. Mixed economy companies, environmental                    the case of Babahoyo in Ecuador, that pays US$80-
     sanitation municipal autarchies (water, sewage and                 US$90 a month per worker for sweeping, collection
     solid waste) and inter-municipal autarchies are starting           and transportation services, independently of volumes
     to emerge in Brazil.       The sanitation municipal                collected or surface covered. In practice, under this
     autarchies modality exists, with very positive results,            plan, micro companies resemble the treatment given to
     in some municipalities since a decade ago. In                      permanent municipal employees, without any labor
     Honduras, in the city of Puerto Cortez solid waste man-            guarantee from them. Nevertheless these companies
     agement will be transferred to a sanitation mixed com-             have serious difficulties for their survival due to its
     pany called Aguas de Puerto Cortez.                                weak economic self-sustainability and scarce business
                                                                        management capability.

                                                                        In Bolivia, the participation of micro companies in
     Small companies, micro companies and                               providing sanitation services dates back to the 1980s
     cooperatives in solid waste management                             and is concentrated in the cities of Cochabamba,
                                                                        Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Trinidad, La Paz and Sucre.
     In several countries in LAC, the participation of small            Specifically, micro companies in these two prior cities
     companies and private micro companies in solid waste               have accomplished greater development and stability
     collection has been increasing more and more, mainly               based on their high efficiency indexes in providing
     because this means a more economic alternative for the             services, standing out in recycling carried out in
     municipalities and/or sanitation municipal companies.              Sucre, which has reached significant income for the
     The advantages of these companies resides in the                   micro company made up of three persons for recy-
     intensive use of labor force, the use of very low cost             cling concepts.
     technologies that use animal, human or mechanic (tri-
     cycles) traction and the promotion of greater communi-             The participation of small sanitation companies is fre-
     ty participation to facilitate the material collection and         quently carried out with the active support of differ-
     separation operation at the generation source.                     ent NGOs. In Latin America, the Social Economic
                                                                        Promotion Institute (IPES) in Peru, the Project and
     The contribution of the small and micro companies is               Economic and Health Executing Center Association
     important in environmental management and employ-                  ACEPESA for its Spanish acronym) in Costa Rica and
     ment generation. The services provided by the micro                the Holland NGO WASTE, have provided great sup-
     companies and small companies include sweeping and                 port to urban sanitation small and micro companies.
     cleaning of streets and commercial avenues; the collec-            A study carried out by these NGOs in seven Latin
     tion and transportation of solid waste, mainly in                  American countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa
     unplanned and areas of difficult access; final disposal            Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Peru, concluded
     of waste; maintenance of parks and gardens, segrega-               that the contribution to the generation of employment
     tion and recycling. In executing these prior activities            of the 89 micro companies, small companies and
     the micro company tends to operate independently                   cooperatives involved in solid waste management in
     from the municipalities.                                           these countries, is significant with the creation of
                                                                        3,000 work positions in waste collection and trans-
     The micro company and the small company usually
                                                                        portation activities and employing more than 200,000
     complement each other with operational personnel
                                                                        people in recovery and recycling activities (Arroyo J.
     from municipalities or with conventional contractors.
                                                                        et al,1997). More recently PAHO carried out an eval-
     Many times, the municipality facilitates to micro com-
                                                                        uation of solid waste management sustainability in
     panies transfer sites, physical work areas and trans-
                                                                        Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru
     portation of waste. The municipality’s contracts with
                                                                        (CEPIS/PAHO, 2004). This study examines the possi-
     micro companies are usually service contracts and the
                                                                        bilities of growth and development of micro compa-
     payment can be based on the amount of work provided
                                             C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

nies within the municipal scope, emphasizing the             improvement processes. These cooperatives have
importance of its relationship with the municipality         partnered with larger companies for contracts to col-
and the community.                                           lect waste, sweep and clean public areas (Arroyo J. et
                                                             al., 1997, CEPIS/PAHO 2004).
Strategic alliance initiatives have been carried out
between the communities and, specially between pri-          An interesting experience that the Dominican
vate collectors and the municipalities, related to solid     Republic is carrying out with the support of the
waste segregation activities, when they have been            European Union since May 2001 is the Urban Solid
considered profitable. New decentralization laws and         Waste Collection Pilot Project in Santo Domingo’s
amendments to the municipal code have opened new             Peripheral Neighborhoods (PPRSU for its Spanish
spaces for this type of alliances. This is the case of       acronym). Urban Sanitation Community Companies
Brazil with the National Waste and Community                 are being created through this project, whose main
Forum, in which 19 public and private entities partic-       objective is to transform communities into the main
ipate with direct and indirect performance in solid          role players to solve basic sanitation problems that
waste management with very successful results.               affect them.

The solid waste management cooperatives, even                Table 10 shows some variations of the basic modali-
though they are not widely promoted in the Region,           ties of providing solid waste management services
provide services to an important number of the popu-         and several combinations of public and private sys-
lation, mainly the poor. In Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, the     tems that are present in LAC cities.
Recycling Cooperative (COOPCICLA for its Spanish
acronym), recycles at the waste source, through selec-       No matter what operation modality is used, the
tive collection, sponsored by the Metropolitan Project       municipality by Law is responsible for the sanitation
for the Metropolitan Region of Salvador. The project         service. The decentralization processes for environ-
includes the construction of the selection and storage       mental management initiated in the majority of the
deposit, acquisition of collection equipment and             countries in the Region spotlights the emergence of a
training for recyclers (Carvalho Braga, 1999). Further-      municipal role which is more important with time. It
more, Brazil has successful experience of uniting the        is expected that with the transfer of capabilities in the
public power with segregating cooperatives (“sam-            matter of environmental management to the munici-
plers” “catadores”) that have been kept in existence         palities, that solid waste management can be
with success for several years, among them are the           approached from a more comprehensive perspective,
Porto Alegre (Rio Grande do Sul), Santo Andre (Sao           insuring an efficient and quality service, as well as
Paulo) and Curitiba (Parana) cooperatives. Some              find ways for relevant measures to mitigate the
municipalities in Cordoba, Argentina, work jointly           impacts that its management generates on the envi-
with recycling cooperatives, from the city’s treatment       ronment.
plant, who sell the materials recovered. Colombia has                                                                         35
wide experience in solid waste management coopera-
tives, through the National Recyclers Association, a
national organization that clusters 78 local coopera-
                                                             3.1.5 Sector policies, plans and
tives and pre-cooperatives, which includes “Rescue”                programs
in Bogota mainly dedicated to the selective collection
at the source of recyclable materials from offices,          Policies
industry, hotel and other commercial entities, and
“Prosper” in Manizales that besides recycling has            The majority of LAC countries do not have national
public sanitation activities. Independently, the             policies on comprehensive solid waste management,
“Recovery” cooperative in Medellin has gained space          with the exception of Chile, Colombia and El Salvador
in waste management in that city at a municipal level        which have a national policy specific for
as well as in the private sector. The Recovery cooper-       Comprehensive Solid Waste Management, with the
ative is ISO 9001/2000 certified to provide services,        support of the corresponding national plans for its
which guarantees users quality and continuous                implementation. Countries such as Guatemala and

     Brazil have initiated some attempts to define a nation-                         environmental impacts and risks caused by inadequate
     al policy on solid waste management that is congruent                           management.       In Argentina, the Clean Cordoba
     with the other social policies. In Brazil, some states                          Program includes a province regionalization policy
     have solid waste state policies that have had the sup-                          and the formation of municipal consortiums for waste
     port of the Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of                         transportation, treatment and final disposal through
     the Cities.                                                                     recycling plants, composting and/or landfills. In
                                                                                     Ecuador, a set of policies has been defined that cover
     Only a few countries in the LAC Region have environ-                            social, environmental, health, economic, legal aspects
     mental policies, and within them the topic of solid                             and in the matter of solid waste management related
     waste is included in some way. The environmental                                services that have been published and disseminated in
     policy in Peru puts emphasis on waste production                                the Ecuadorian Government newspaper.
     minimization, waste reuse and on the minimization of

                                                  Table 10. Institutional model and related concepts
                                                    of providing solid waste management services

                                                Owner of goods                                                                                   Indepen-
         Institutional model and                                                                              Collection/       Commer-         dence from
         type of organization of       Vehicles and       Civil con-                   Responsibility of         set of        cial risk for      political
               the operator             equipment         struction      Monopoly       clients/control        revenues       businessmen      interference
     1.Direct administration by       Government       Government        Complete     Government            Government        Not applicable Dependent
     the municipality or through      property         property
     a section or department
     2.Independent authority          Government       Government        Complete     Government/Gover Government             Not applicable Dependent
     from the city, municipal         property         property                       nment and board
     company, institute/autarchy

     3.Contractor operator for the    Private prop-    Private proper- Temporary1     Private and govern- Government          Low              Independent
     municipality, private compa-     erty             ty/govern-                     mental /
     ny                                                ment1                          Government
     4.Private concessionaire,        Private prop-    Private proper- Yes or no3     Private suppliers / Private             Moderate         Independent
     private company                  erty             ty                             Government

     5.Communal cooperative,          Private prop-    Private proper- Yes4           Private suppliers /   Private           High             Menos depen-
     NGO                              erty             ty/ govern-                    market                                                   dente
     6. Independent private sup-      Private          Private         No5            Private suppliers /   Private suppli-   High             Independent
     plier, independent company                                                       market                ers

36   7.Combined models (1) or         Private prop-    Private proper- Yes or no6     Government            Government        Not applicable Dependent
     (2) combined with                erty/govern-     ty/government
     (3);(4);(5)                      ment
     1   Only during the time the contract is in force.
     2   The private operator (contractor), NGO or OC, can use, under lease or any other arrangement, municipal shops, offices, yards, etc.
     3   Usually yes, but it depends on the authority’s decision.
     4   It is not due to a political decision but to the lack of a competitor.
     5   The competition can be imperfect due to contiguity factors.
     6   There might be certain political interference due to the fact that these organizations are subsidized by the municipal government.

     Source: PAHO. Urban solid waste management privatization models in Latin America. Washington, D.C., 1997
                                                          C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

                           Inset 1. Trinidad and Tobago National Environmental Policy
 EEven though a solid waste policy does not exist, the Trinidad and Tobago National Environmental Policy established
 in June 1998 contemplates solid waste management based on the reduction, reuse and recycling principles, common-
 ly known as “The Three R’s”.
 The policy establishes that the Government should:
 • Encourage waste production prevention or reduction and the potential damage related to it, through the develop-
   ment of clean production technologies and adequate techniques for its final disposal.
 • Encourage the recovery of wastes, including recycling, reuse or rehabilitation, and the use of waste as a source of
 • Make sure that the wastes are recovered or disposed of without any danger to human lives, preventing the use of
   methods or processes that can damage the environment.
 • Prohibit dumping or uncontrolled final disposal of wastes.
 • Establish an integrated and adequate network of facilities for waste disposal.
 Source: Trinidad and Tobago Analytical Report, Solid Waste Evaluation.

Even when the countries have a series of policies                         and Saint Kitts and Nevis, are in the process or prepar-
related to the solid waste sector, formulated by some                     ing solid waste management national plans or urban
public sector agencies, they are not completely imple-                    development master plans that include this compo-
mented due to the lack of the corresponding institu-                      nent. To date (2004), Peru has a Comprehensive Solid
tional support, of sufficient consensus with other role                   Waste Management National Plan, that the
players related to the issue and the complexity of the                    Environmental National Board (CONAM for its
policies themselves that do not often bind to the                         Spanish acronym) has undertaken, with technical
national reality. Furthermore, policies are not usual-                    cooperation from PAHO. Furthermore, several local
ly enforced since they are not sufficiently discussed                     governments from Peru have prepared, and others are
nor disseminated, especially in the area of the munic-                    in the process of developing their Comprehensive
ipalities as responsible entities of the service.                         Solid Waste Environmental Management Plans
                                                                          (PIGARS for its Spanish acronym), which are under the
                                                                          mandate of the Solid Waste General Law.

Sectoral plans and programs                                               Practically none of the countries in the Region have a
                                                                          solid waste management service evaluation system,
Just a few of the LAC countries have comprehensive
                                                                          that allows them to determine the gaps between results
plans or programs to respond to the sector’s demands.
                                                                          and initiatives. Colombia uses the Management and
As a consequence, necessary strategies or components
                                                                          Results Plans (PGR for its Spanish acronym) as an                37
that would allow for the guidance, regulation and insti-
                                                                          administrative tool to strengthen the development and
tutional development of the municipalities as sanita-
                                                                          sustainability of solid waste management. The PGR’s
tion service providers, as well as the due training of
                                                                          are used as a planning strategy for public service com-
human resources and the capitalization of financial
                                                                          panies, among them, urban sanitation, with a specific
resources, are not proposed.
                                                                          implementation horizon and goals that evaluate the
                                                                          management and results of entities that provide the
The Solid Waste Evaluation showed that only a small
group of LAC countries have national solid waste man-
agement plans. Among them Barbados (1995), Belize
                                                                          Since 1995, Barbados has a comprehensive solid waste
(1992), British Virgin Islands (1996), Cayman Islands
                                                                          management program for the whole island with a 20-
(2001), Cuba (2001), Grenada (2003), Jamaica (2002),
                                                                          year horizon. The program includes physical infra-
Saint Lucia (2003) and Trinidad and Tobago (1979).
                                                                          structure components that include waste disposal and
Countries such as Bahamas, Bolivia, Dominica,
                                                                          road infrastructure and non-physical components that
Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Paraguay, Peru

     include capacity building, public education, legisla-                      program gave place to the National Waste and
     tion, policy development and economic measures for                         Community Forum, coordinated nationwide by 56
     cost recovery.                                                             organizations and institutions, among which are the
                                                                                ministries of Cities, Environment and Health, the Caixa
     A few countries in the Region have developed master                        Economica Federal (development and services bank),
     plans for solid waste management in cities, especially                     municipalities, the Segregators National Movement
     in large metropolises. Among them is Mexico who                            (“samplers”), among others. The Forum has enabled a
     developed the Solid Waste Management Master for the                        coordination process among these entities offering a
     Metropolitan Area of the Valley of Mexico, which has                       space to exhibit different types of activities related to
     not been implemented due to differences between the                        solid waste management going from local participative
     government entities that share this territorial space,                     planning to the programming of investments related to
     and Cuba with the Solid Waste Management Guiding                           the sector. In addition, state waste and community
     Plan for the city of La Havana. Likewise, Uruguay is in                    forums have been formed in Bahia, Pernambuco, Ceara,
     the process of elaborating the Solid Waste Guiding Plan                    Sergipe and Maranhao with the support of the
     for the Metropolitan Area, as part of the Montevideo                       Brazilian Association of Sanitation and Environmental
     Sanitation Program and its Metropolitan Area, which is                     Engineering (ABES for its Spanish acronym), the State
     a project financed through a loan from the Inter-                          Sanitation     and      Environmental       Secretariats,
     American Development Bank (IDB). The IDB, the                              Environmental Control Organizations, Engineering,
     World Bank and some bilateral organizations such as                        Architecture and Agricultural Regional Boards (CREA
     JICA and GTZ have been financing, these guiding plans                      for its Spanish acronym), the Labor Attorney General,
     for about 10 years.                                                        among others.

     PAHO has the “Methodology Guide to Prepare                                 Some countries, in the environmental area have incor-
     Municipal Solid Waste Management Master Plans in                           porated plans that include solid waste management.
     Medium Size Cities”11, to be used as a planning tool                       This is the case of Nicaragua, which through its 2001-
     with the purpose of facilitating municipal administra-                     2005 Environmental Policy and Environmental Plan,
     tion and public services management in this area, in                       includes some actions in the solid waste area with the
     cities with a population of 50,000 to 500,000.                             formulation and implementation of an economic and
     Likewise, the World Bank has a similar guide for larger                    technology incentives policy guided towards the pro-
     cities.                                                                    motion of recycling, as well as the production and sale
                                                                                of organic fertilizer.
     There are other plans guided towards specific aspects
     within solid waste management, such is the case of                         However, it is more common that specific plans and
     Argentina that has a National Waste Appraisal Plan,                        strategies do not exist for the development of solid
     that operates under the principles of Chapter 21 of                        waste management services at a country level. At a
     Agenda 21 with the objective of proposing norms and                        local level, especially the municipalities of large popu-
     promote actions tending to accomplish a comprehen-                         lation centers carry out service improvement programs
     sive waste management plan in medium and small                             by their own initiative.
     communities with a population of 100,000 and 10,000,
     respectively. Furthermore, at a province level, there
     are comprehensive solid waste management plans in
     Cordoba, Santa Fe, La Pampa and Entre Rios.                                Sectoral information

     Brazil has implemented national programs that have                         The Solid Waste Evaluation confirmed the information
     served as a planning and implementation agency of the                      gaps that exist in the solid waste area in the countries of
     solid waste participative management, such is the case                     the Region12. Practically all of them, institutions and
     of the National Waste and Community Program. This                          organizations that are involved in this area manage

     11 PAHO. Methodology Guide for Preparing Municipal Solid Waste Management Guiding Plans in Medium Size Cities,Washington, D.C., 2002.
        This publication is available in Spanish, English and Portuguese.
     12 The sectoral information gaps present in each country can be seen in the Solid Waste Evaluation web page, which includes charts and the
        corresponding values that indicate the status of information by the size of the population and by population centers, where it is evident that
        many times the country’s averages have been obtained with a minimum amount of information.
                                                      C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

insufficient information. These gaps are seen not only                 There are some initiatives in the countries for the
at a local level, where they are more evident, but also in             exchange of sectoral information, as is the case of the
institutions at a national level in charge of defining                 Pan American Waste Environmental Management
policies and assigning resources. In the majority of                   Network (REPAMAR for its Spanish acronym), of which
LAC countries, the information available on the sector                 the following countries are members: Argentina, Brazil,
is scarce, many times it is not shared between institu-                Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and
tions, it is dispersed, it is not updated or it is incom-              Paraguay. REPAMAR was created with PAHO’s cooper-
plete, which is reflected in the lack of reliable data                 ation and support, through CEPIS and the German
regarding the coverage, yields, infrastructure and                     Cooperation Agency GTZ. This support concluded at
equipment, projects and investments bank and financ-                   the end of 2001 and currently the same countries have
ing sources.                                                           assumed the financing of the Network. These networks
                                                                       have the potential of developing information for the
Practically none of the LAC countries have information                 sector and its objective is to strengthen multi sectoral
systems that maintain updated records of the main indi-                coordination among institutions related to waste man-
cators of different nature that are related to solid waste             agement. One of the main contributions of the net-
management. Besides, environmental sanitation moni-                    works consists in promoting the establishment of inter
toring and surveillance programs are still very limited                sectoral programs for waste minimization and compre-
in the Region. A great lack of information related to the              hensive management to strengthen municipal manage-
magnitude of environmental and sanitation damages                      ment capabilities in that aspect.
caused by inadequate waste management in their differ-
ent phases can be observed.                                            Likewise, CEPIS develops documentary technical infor-
                                                                       mation for the solid and hazardous waste management
Some countries have initiated environmental informa-                   area and provides support to countries so that they can
tion systems that include general solid waste standard-                develop their own programs, as part of the technical
ized information. For example, for the current                         cooperation offered to generate management tools in
Evaluation, Brazil used data from the National Basic                   the countries. The solid waste management CEPIS
Sanitation Survey (PSNB/2000) carried out by the                       information systems include the Pan American Infor-
Geography and Statistics Brazilian Institute (IBGE for                 mation Network on Environmental Health (REPIDIS-
its Spanish acronym), that are available in their                      CA)13, which is formed by National Coordinating
National Environmental Information System (SNIA for                    Centers and Cooperating Centers in LAC countries and
its Spanish acronym), old National Sanitation                          offers updated documentary information at world level
Information System (SNIS for its Spanish acronym).                     on a broad range of environmental health topics; the
                                                                       Urban Solid Waste Monitoring System (SIMRU for its
The general lack of information related to solid waste                 Spanish acronym), that constituted a database record-
management in the municipalities, especially the lack                  ing system with the purpose of gathering and updating
of managerial information, is evident in the accounting                information on urban solid waste management at a                    39
costs of each one of the service components (sweeping                  regional level; and the Cost Estimate Program for
and public sanitation, collection, transportation and                  Services Provided (COSEPRE for its Spanish acronym),
final disposal) as can be seen in the current Evaluation.              that are used as a management tool for entities respon-
The limited information available is usually the prod-                 sible for public sanitation services through the creation
uct of estimates, or specific studies, that mention the                of economic-financial scenarios and cost analysis of
situation of the moment they are carried out, without                  services they provide. Technical Disclosure Sheets
taking into consideration the evolution of services with               (HDT for its Spanish acronym) are published periodi-
regards to demands, supply capability, performance                     cally by CEPIS, presenting recent topics or publications
and cost recovery.                                                     on technological advances, prepared under the

13 REPIDISCA is part of the CEPIS, Health and the Environment Virtual Library (BVSA for its Spanish acronym), accessible to the public
   through their web page. REPIDISCA publishes specialized indexes (REPINDEX) on municipal solid waste, hazardous waste, hospital waste,
   among others.

     REPIDISCA coordination and edition. In the same                    tion through the re-circulation of “young” leachates,
     direction, CEPIS is the communication vehicle of the               activated with methaorganic bacteria.
     RESOL web page, originally developed by RESOL
     Engenharia Ltda. and currently in charge of Web-Resol,             There are some new initiatives in the Region, such is
     a non profit NGO dedicated to promoting information                the case of the University of the Republic of Uruguay,
     related to the environment, basic sanitation, especially           which through the National Office of Sciences,
     solid waste management. Another tool that is in the                Technology and Innovation (DINACYT for its Spanish
     process of being prepared is the OPTIRUTAS program,                acronym), which is part of the Ministry of Education
     software with the objective of optimizing solid waste              and Culture, is in charge of the Technological
     collection routes.                                                 Development Program (PDT for its Spanish acronym),
                                                                        which defined as research area for the year 2002 the
                                                                        “Use and conservation of natural resources and waste
                                                                        management”. The subject matter for projects in the
     Technological development, research                                area of urban solid waste covers aspects of technologi-
     and training of human resources                                    cal alternatives for treatment and final disposal, also
                                                                        including the social and territorial approach.
     Technological and research development in relation to
     solid waste is reduced in the majority of LAC coun-                The training of human resources in the solid waste
     tries. The contribution in research and technological              area is usually carried out in some universities in the
     development from institutes and universities for the               Region as part of the courses related to sanitation engi-
     solid waste area is scarce. In some LAC countries the              neering and environmental sciences. This is comple-
     technological field experiences for solid waste treat-             mented with a great variety of courses, workshops and
     ment has been incorporated. For example, Cuba,                     seminars focused on solid waste management. It
     Guatemala, Colombia and Ecuador have experience in                 should be signaled out that The International Course
     worm composting and composting for organic matter                  on Household Solid Waste Local Management and
     degradation, considering that the high content of                  Environmental Impact, remote education modality,
     organic mater (over 60%) of the municipal solid waste              developed by PAHO and ECLAC, whose objectives are
     is appropriate for these techniques. In Bolivia some               to train public and private officials at a central, region-
     municipal companies, with the support from the                     al and local level on comprehensive management of
     Bolivian Association of Municipal Sanitation Entities              household solid waste and strengthen institutional
     (ASEAM for its Spanish acronym) have carried out                   and human capabilities based on the unification of the
     solid waste characterization studies, and have carried             language, concepts, methods, norms and procedures
     out jointly with universities studies on the generation            should be signaled out. The ECLAC/ILPES, PAHO and
     and possibilities of using gases generated by landfills.           the higher education institutions responsible in each
     Research has been carried out in Nicaragua to obtain               country are in charge of the course certification. This
     local system design and construction for the final dis-            course has been implemented in several universities
     posal of solid waste and by-products (leachates and                in Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile,
     gases), through modeling, as well as studies to deter-             Colombia, Cuba and Mexico) and is in the process of
     mine the optimum kinetic for solid waste aerobic                   being implemented in the West Indies University for
     degradation, either through natural environmental                  the Caribbean. CEPIS is currently working jointly with
     conditions and/or inoculation of effective microorgan-             the Web-Resol NGO, in preparing a virtual course on
     isms for the production of compost.                                the Comprehensive Management of Waste from Health
                                                                        Care Centers, which is an on line training tool direct-
     Currently in Brazil as well as in Mexico (Interdiscipli-           ed to personnel from said facilities (doctors, para-
     nary Center for Regional Integral Development, CIIDIR-             medics, nurses, aides) and to several groups of persons
     OAXACA), the concept of Accelerated Biolandfill has                involved in waste management. Also in Brazil, the
     been developed, which constitutes an interesting alter-            Municipal Administration Brasilian Institute (IBAM
     native for the sustainable final disposal of solid waste.          for its Spanish acronym) has carried out some courses
     A control of the waste degradation processes is carried            in attendance and remote on the topic of solid waste.
     out through this technique to promote their accelera-              In Mexico, the Solid and Hazardous Waste Control
                                                         C H A P T E R    3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

Mexican Association, A.C. (AMCRESPAC for its                              3.1.6 Legal and regulatory framework
Spanish acronym), has been offering training and
career development courses for more than 15 years on
                                                                                for solid waste management
solid waste management and hazardous waste control,
                                                                          Since the middle of the 1990s, the legislative bodies of
estimating that it has trained more than 3,000 profes-
                                                                          the countries in the Region have started to establish a
sionals during that period.
                                                                          legal framework for urban solid waste management,
                                                                          that includes an heterogeneous set of laws, decrees-
Specialized training for the operation of sanitation
                                                                          laws and regulations that regulate on one hand, the
services is still not developed in LAC countries. There
                                                                          responsibility and behavior of the agents that partici-
are still important deficiencies in the Region in rela-
                                                                          pate in the services (i.e., the private sector) and of the
tion to human resource development programs guided
                                                                          population and, on the other hand, controlling and reg-
towards municipal officials in charge of decisions, as
                                                                          ulating activities from public institutions with some
well as for those assigned to collection and final dis-
                                                                          responsibility in this matter14. Specifically, Ecuador,
posal. The training courses directed to municipal offi-
                                                                          Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, have taken impor-
cials are many times presented within the framework
                                                                          tant steps to have specific legal instruments on which
of municipal training activities, that can include a
                                                                          to base solid waste management.
solid waste component, without greater emphasis on
the operation of services nor on the sanitation impacts
                                                                          In addition, a few international agreements are inte-
and occupational risks that the inadequate manage-
                                                                          grated into the legal framework that regulates the sec-
ment of waste involves. Also, there are not too many
                                                                          tor. Among them are the Basilea Agreement on the
trained professionals in areas similar to waste manage-
                                                                          transboundary movement control of hazardous waste
ment that work in municipalities in the sanitation and
                                                                          and their disposal (1987); the International Convention
ornament areas, usually due to economic and social
                                                                          for the Prevention of Vessel Contamination (MARPOL
reasons. One of the serious administrative structural
                                                                          73/78), that covers all the technical aspects of contam-
problems that the municipalities face is the constant
                                                                          ination from vessels, including oil contamination, haz-
change of management personnel who are in charge of
                                                                          ardous substances, wastewater and waste produced by
urban sanitation services producing the “continuous
                                                                          vessels, making special emphasis on the prohibition of
breaking of the learning curve”, which has a repercus-
                                                                          dumping any type of plastic into the sea, and the
sion on important inefficiencies in this area.
                                                                          United Nations Framework on Climatic Change
                                                                          Convention (UNFCCC) that establishes greenhouse
It is evident that it is necessary to create a better plan-
                                                                          gases emission reduction commitments and pleads for
ning infrastructure in the majority of the countries, in
                                                                          the Clean Development Framework.
which the fundamental elements of this effort should
be the strengthening and modernization of informa-
                                                                          Generally, the legal framework for solid waste manage-
tion systems and the improvement of analytical capa-
                                                                          ment of LAC countries concentrates on the following
bility for people in charge of solid waste management
                                                                          legal provisions:                                                      41
to interpret and use said information as best possible.

                                   Inset 2. Comprehensive Solid Waste Management
  “Comprehensive solid waste management involves the articulated and interrelated set of regulatory, operative, finan-
  cial, planning, administrative, social, educational, monitoring, supervision and evaluation actions for waste manage-
  ment, from its generation to its final disposal, in order to accomplish environmental benefits, the financial optimiza-
  tion of their management and their social acceptance, responding to the needs and circumstances of each location
  and region”.
  Source: Mexico, General Law for the Prevention and Comprehensive Waste Management, June 2003.

14 The legal base for solid waste management, specific for each country in LAC partaking of the Solid Waste Evaluation is described in greater
   detail in the corresponding Analytical Reports that can be found on the Solid Waste Evaluation web page.

     • The Environmental Law, or the Environmental                      The majority of the countries in the Region in their
       Management Law, and its regulations, contain envi-               respective Political Constitutions acknowledge the
       ronmental policy principles against the expropria-               right of health protection and the duty that citizens
       tion that could derive from solid waste management               have of participating in its conservation. Within the
       and disposal. Some countries have specific laws for              same context, the Health Codes treats the topic of envi-
       comprehensive solid waste management, legally                    ronmental sanitation with reference to the nature of
       from the same hierarchy than the laws from environ-              solid waste and its handling, with the purpose of com-
       mental courts.                                                   plying with the regulatory sanitation standards in its
                                                                        different stages.
     • The Health Code, the Health Organic Law, or the
       Sanitation Code, contain legal provisions in every-              In countries with federal government as is the case of
       thing related to the sanitation of the atmosphere, in            Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela, the
       which the nature of solid waste is defined and estab-            provinces or states have great political independence
       lishes the responsibilities of the municipalities with           with regards to the National Government and have the
       regards to sanitary aspects during the different                 liberty of organizing and legislating over their respec-
       stages of solid waste management.                                tive municipalities. In these cases, each province or
                                                                        state defines the autonomy, obligations and responsi-
     • Environmental penal laws and their regulations con-              bilities of the municipalities through a provincial or
       tain legal provisions for the activities of individuals,         state Municipal Organic Law. In Argentina, the major-
       industries or other establishments that could con-               ity of the provincial legislation is environmental in
       taminate the environment, directly or indirectly                 character and solid waste management is included
       through emissions, dumping, radiations, injections               within that scope.
       or any type of deposits, in soil, in the atmosphere,
       surface and underground water and that endangers                 The legal system of the English Caribbean island states
       human and wild life.                                             is based on the Anglo-Saxon Common Law. Usually,
                                                                        several laws have capabilities over solid waste manage-
     • Municipal Organic Law, or the Municipal Code                     ment without the existence of an integral legislation on
       establish attributions and areas of responsibility for           the topic. For example in Barbados, the Health
       the municipalities, which are established in the                 Services Law, the Environmental Rates Law and the
       mandate of the Political Constitution of the country,            Returnable Containers Law regulate solid waste in its
       and establishes political, administrative and finan-             different aspects. In the Cayman Islands, the Public
       cial autonomy of the municipalities.                             Health Law and its corresponding regulations consti-
                                                                        tute the sole legal framework for municipal solid waste
     • Environmental and sanitary standards on solid                    management and it refers only to collection, omitting
       waste management of different nature, such as tech-              treatment and its disposal, as well as ignoring haz-
       nical standards for the management, treatment and                ardous waste management and its disposal. In
       disposal of non hazardous waste, as well as for haz-             Trinidad and Tobago, the law in this area is centered on
       ardous solid waste, control standards for the envi-              the Waste Law and the Public Health Law, and at a
       ronmental control of landfills among others.                     local level municipal corporations have a Municipal
                                                                        Corporation Law. Likewise, Jamaica has the 2001 Solid
     • Municipal ordinances that regulate the service and
                                                                        Waste Management National Law that constitutes the
       establish its collection form.
                                                                        main legislation for solid waste, with its corresponding
     • Public Administration Contracting and Bidding                    legislations that cover areas such as licenses, rates,
       Laws that provide the guidelines for the participa-              recycling and hazardous and hospital wastes; further-
       tion of the private sector.                                      more the Public Health Law and the Natural Resource
                                                                        Conservation Authority Law have authority in their
     Table 11 shows the summarized form of the legal                    jurisdictional areas. Antigua and Barbuda have the
     framework for the solid waste sector.                              1995 Solid Waste Management Law with its correspon-
                                                                        ding regulations. Countries such as Anguila, the
                                                          C H A P T E R    3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

                   Table 11. Legal framework with relation to solid waste management in Latin America

                                                  Scope of        Degree of relationship       Sanction                 Responsible
              Legal Instrument                   application           with MRS                capability                  entity
Political Constitution of the State           The whole country           Very general       Does not apply   Executive Power
Treaties, International Agreements (Basilea   The whole country              Partial              Yes         Environmental
Agreement UNFCCC)                                                                                             Ministries/Secretariats and
                                                                                                              Foreign Relations or Chancellery
Health Code                                   The whole country              Partial              Yes         Ministry of Health
Environmental Law                             The whole country              Partial              Yes         Ministry/Secretariat of the
Comprehensive Solid Waste Management          The whole country              Partial              Yes         Ministry/Secretariat of the
Law                                                                                                           Environment
Municipal Code/Law                            Municipal                      Partial              Yes         Each municipality
Solid waste management technical standards    The whole country               Total               No          Ministry of Health, Ministry of
                                                                                                              the Environment, local govern-
                                                                                                              ments, institution that issues the
                                                                                                              technical standard
Sanitation service regulatory ordinances      Municipal                      Total                Yes         Each municipality

British Virgin Islands and Saint Kitts and Nevis do not                    case of the current landfill in the city of Santiago,
currently have a legal framework for solid waste man-                      Loma de los Colorados, and of the new landfill in
agement and, therefore, lack regulations in this area.                     Rancagua which provides services to 11 communities.
Likewise, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the                            A Mexican official standard has been published
Grenadines even though they have a Solid Waste                             recently in Mexico, (October 2004), that establishes
Management Law and a Solid Waste Vessel Generated                          the requirements that should be met by the final dis-
Management Law, they have not yet been formally                            posal sites, with regards to their location, design, con-
approved by the legislative power, which has not                           struction, operation and closure.
allowed the issuance of the corresponding regula-
tions. The lack of a regulatory framework weakens                          However, the existing legislation for the solid waste
compliance with the law by not allowing the feasibil-                      sector is frequently dispersed in different legislative
ity and implementation of the mandate.                                     provisions, which makes its effectiveness difficult
                                                                           due to the lack of complementarity among the differ-
The majority of the countries has abundant environ-                        ent legal provisions and many times due to constitu-
mental legislation, although there not always is spe-                      tional contradictions in the designation of capabilities
cific legislation when referring to solid waste manage-                    among the different government institutions at a
ment.       The greatest environmental legislative                         national and local level. There are usually norms in
advances in the Region in the last decade, have cov-                       that respect included in the Health Code,
ered issues such as environmental impact evaluation,                       Environmental Protection and Improvement Law,
territorial ordinance, citizens’ participation mecha-                      Municipal Code, Municipalities Law and Regulations.
nisms, the definition of new crimes and sanctions and                      However, many times the solid waste legislation in
the domain limitations due to environmental reasons.                       the Region lacks basic criteria, presents incoherences
These topics usually include the corresponding envi-                       and regulatory gaps. Likewise, enforcement is diffi-
ronmental dimension. Such is the case in Chile,                            cult due to overlapping of attributions, the ambiguity
among other countries, that have the Environmental                         of functions and non-existent mechanisms to solve
Impact Evaluation System (SEIA for its Spanish                             conflicts.
acronym), which is included in the Environmental
Bases Law (Law 19,300) which went into force with                          For the previously stated, a specific law on the topic
the publication of the corresponding Regulation                            of solid waste is a great progress, because it gives
(Decree No. 30 dated 3 April 1997) and demands that                        identity to this sector, as well as the basic water and
all the final disposal projects should have an environ-                    sanitation sector, solid waste demand their own legal
mental impact evaluation (EIA). Such has been the                          regime to comprehensively institutionalize and struc-

     ture its management. In this aspect, inter-sectorality             service, be it public or private, with the purpose of
     should be taken into consideration to include the                  benefiting the collective interest. The majority of the
     financial, economic, social and health aspects that are            local governments regulate and supervise managing
     related to the environmental topic.                                and providing solid waste services in their jurisdic-
                                                                        tion, issue an opinion based on the projects of district
     The situation is more complex for industrial and haz-              ordinances referring to solid waste management,
     ardous waste because the authority of the municipali-              including the collection of the corresponding freewill,
     ties is not clearly established for these wastes. In spite         approve final disposal treatment and final disposal
     of the progress of the environmental legislation in the            infrastructure projects, as well as authorize their oper-
     Region, there are still great gaps with regards to the             ation and regulate and control solid waste final dis-
     responsibility of the contaminator and the payment                 posal processes.
     for contaminated site remediation or damages caused.
     In a certain way, the environmental legislation has                While it should be acknowledged that several large
     ignored its social and economic consequences, focus-               cities in the Region have had significant progress in
     ing on effects and has not responded to their origins.             recent years in solid waste management, reaching
     The large amount of open-air dumps in the Region is                standards of developed countries, the more general-
     proof of that. This is also the result of the lack of an           ized situation is far from being optimum and many
     adequate legal framework that clearly establishes the              times not even acceptable, especially in medium and
     definition and classification of waste, as well as its             small size cities. A large number of countries in the
     disposal, especially with regards to solid and liquid              Region still lack an appropriate regulatory framework
     industrial waste and hazardous waste.                              that consolidates a set of norms duly structured and
                                                                        from regulatory entities that are responsible for fol-
                                                                        lowing-up and controlling these standards, which has
                                                                        prevented in first instance the accomplishment of sig-
     Regulatory Framework and Regulatory
                                                                        nificant progress in providing solid waste manage-
     Entities                                                           ment services in LAC. In the Organization of East
                                                                        Caribbean States (OECS), only Antigua and Barbuda
     The solid waste management sector’s regulatory
                                                                        have developed a regulatory framework.
     framework is constituted by a set of specific norms
     that catalyze the rules that should be enforced by the             The majority of the Region’s regulatory systems tend
     different agents (regulator, service provider and user)            more towards direct regulation plans, also called com-
     that intervene in the urban sanitation service. Said               mand and control instruments that consider standards
     norms should bind to the legal principles that express             guided towards environmental quality control in rela-
     concrete purposes with regards to quality improve-                 tion to solid waste dumping and the accumulation in
     ment, coverage, frequency with which the service is                the environment, and whose non compliance gener-
     provided according to the basic environmental and                  ates sanctions. The experience in the Region shows
     public health guidelines. Said framework takes into                that these instruments do not always have proven to
     consideration regulating entities such as the corre-               be effective due to the lack of enforcement, either
     sponding authority of establishing the regulation and              because of lack of knowledge of those in charge of
     in charge of enforcing the regulation. The integral reg-           controlling and sanctioning or for lack of response of
     ulation of the service should determine the relation-              who incur in the crime. In the environmental area,
     ship between the local government and the service                  following-up on norms with financial instruments
     provider; between the service provider and the users;              (incentives, subsidies, etc.) is proving to be more
     between the service provider and the environment;                  effective in order to accomplish the objectives of the
     and among the different sector institutions.                       regulation.

     Considering that the urban sanitation service has local            In general, it is possible to conclude that the lack of
     capacity, the local governments have the responsibili-             specific regulations, norms of reference and ecoeffi-
     ty of insuring that the service providers give adequate            ciency standards, tied to “ad-hoc” waste management
                                              C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

financial instruments are the main gap that prevents          automatic transfer in compliance with special laws, to
the correct enforcement of environmental laws or              be used in different entries by the municipalities, with-
waste management that prevail in the sector.                  out a specific allocation for urban sanitation services.
                                                              So, the demand for resources at a local level before the
The enforcement of the regulation is one of the most          public system for the services is not managed by spe-
serious limitations for its effectiveness. Some times         cific budgetary estimates.
there are contradictions in the regulation due to legal
limitations to enforce sanctions to the violators, this       The entries of the municipal budgets for solid waste
happens in Guatemala in the case of the penal process         management are integrated by what is directly collect-
code, where the figure of “environmental crimes               ed by the municipalities for different items, supple-
judge” is introduced, when the environment has not            mented in some cases with contributions from the cen-
been acknowledged as a legal asset warded within the          tral government, as is the case of Chile, Guatemala, El
Penal Code, with which a limitation is created for its        Salvador, Uruguay and Dominican Republic, where
enforcement.                                                  financing for urban sanitation services basically comes
                                                              from the municipal budget and to a lesser degree from
In the majority of the countries in the Region, the legal     the collection of tariffs for the service carried out by the
framework does not allow for a regulatory framework           municipality.
that clearly establishes the operators’ responsibility,
public as well as private, users and those responsible        The budget allocations at a local or municipal level for
for the services. Likewise, the legal framework many          the solid waste sector are usually included within the
times does not include the necessary provisions for           broader budgetary entries, within the entry “environ-
the financial modernization of the sector. In that            mental sanitation”, whose main focus is potable water
aspect, the legal gaps prevent the implementation of          and sewage when the municipality operates this serv-
financial measures that are required to improve and           ice. The resources go into a common municipal fund,
develop the urban sanitation service. This represents         which uses them according to what the administration
an obstacle to establish a rate system applicable to the      considers to be a priority. Usually, the resources are
whole universe of users to be able to directly and pro-       used to respond to several local needs and many times
portionally collect for the amount and quality of the         the allocation of resources responds rather to political
service.                                                      commitments than to priorities. Likewise, the transfer
                                                              of funds is conditioned to the existence of profession-
The regulation of urban sanitation services should be         als trained at a municipal level who can manage the
accompanied by technological, technical, operative,           implementation and operation of financing systems,
managerial and financial strengthening measures of            which constitutes a serious constraint in the Region.
the concentration, education and citizens’ participa-
tion strategies. In countries such as Chile, Colombia,        When there is a specific resources allocation by the
Paraguay and Peru a slow reorganization of the sector         municipalities for management of solid waste, usually
is taking place through the enforcement of a process          when this is carried out, it is not recorded. This makes
in which the functions, authorities and responsibili-         it impossible to know the real expenses. Frequently, a
ties inherent to it are being clearly defined, accompa-       global budget is established for urban and household
nied by surveillance, control and sanction plans.             sanitation service, without discriminating the services
                                                              of sweeping, collection, transportation and final dis-
                                                              posal. So, there are great gaps to determine the real
                                                              estimates for solid waste management services and
3.1.7 Financial resources for the                             even more so to break down the budget in relation to
      delivery of the services                                the different management components.

Public sector budget for solid waste                          Table 12 shows the annual budget that the municipali-
                                                              ties have – or the central government in the case of
The allocation of resources from the central level to the     English Caribbean countries – for solid waste manage-
municipalities is usually carried out in the form of an       ment and an estimate of investments made in the last

     five years according to results obtained from the Solid                                    the municipalities do not have a break down of their
     Waste Evaluation. In some countries, the budget is for                                     budgets, nor do they have an analytical elaboration of
     the entries of water and sanitation in which a small                                       their costs, which makes it practically impossible to
     portion corresponds to solid waste. In addition, the                                       determine the entries for urban sanitation services. In
     majority of the Latin American countries expressed                                         this aspect, the capacity that the municipalities have is
     that the investments in the waste sector are minimum                                       limited for follow-up and evaluation of municipal
     and there are usually neither statistics nor information                                   investment programs relative to the solid waste sector.
     on solid waste management investments. Frequently,

                                                     Table 12. Solid waste management budget (SWM)
                                                    in selected Latin American and Caribbean countries

                                                  SWM Annual Budget                       % of the Municipal/Nationala                      SWM Investments in the last
                  Country                           (US$ millions)                               Budget for SWM                               5 years (US$ millions)
     Anguila                                                  0.81                                                1.3                                          1.15
     Antigua and Barbuda                                      6.10                                                2.6                                          6.70
     Argentina                                                  …                                             15-Jun                                           49.0
     Barbados                                               0.042                                                 2.2                                        48.86
     Belize                                                   2.25                                                 …                                             …
     Brazil                                                     …                                                 5.0                                       72.08b
     Chile                                                      …                                             15-Jun                                             …
     Colombia                                                   …                                                 4.1                                          2.36
     Costa Rica                                               22.7                                              17.4                                           7.22
     Cuba                                                    2.39c                                                 4c                                          25.0
     Dominica                                                 0.83                                                1.0                                          5.90
     Dominican Republic                                       18.4                                             20-70                                              -
     Granada                                                  2.96                                                1.5                                          5.89
     Guyana                                                     …                                                  10                                        10.00
     Cayman Islands                                             …                                                   7                                        21.00
     British Virgin Islands                                   3.01                                                1.5                                          3.24
     Jamaica                                                  7.31                                                 …                                         86.68
     Nicaragua                                              0.061                                                  2d                                            …
     Panama                                                 10.04                                             Apr-41                                           2.50
     Saint Kitts and Nevis                             0.82 / 0.47                                          0.8 / 1.3                                   1.40 / 0.85
     Saint Lucia                                              3.89                                                3.2                                          9.42
     Saint Vincent and Grenadines                             2.24                                                1.2                                          9.01
     Trinidad and Tobago                                    14.34                                                 2-5                                            …

     a   Percentage of national budgets for English Caribbean countries
     b   Corresponds to 1.6% of the federal government investments in water and wastewater for the 1995-2002 period
     c   Communal Services Budgets. The percentage of the budget corresponds to the percentage of the total budget allocated to Communal Services
     d   The government of Nicaragua allocates 2% of the general budget of the Republic to be used in part to cover the deficit (subsidy) for providing urban sanitation services. The
         assignment referred to was included in the 2003 budget for the Republic
     … Data not available
     Source: Solid Waste Evaluation: Country’s Database and Analytical Reports
                                               C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

Depending on the city, solid waste management can              the case in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados,
input between 10% to 50% of the mayors’ budgets                Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint
and, usually, this task is deficient due to the weak-          Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and
nesses to conveniently face social, economic, environ-         Trinidad and Tobago.          These taxes go into a
mental and technical aspects. In Ecuador, the munic-           Government Consolidated Fund and the disburse-
ipal allocations for urban sanitation services for larger      ment is made through a priority system, in which
cities varies between 3%-14%; for medium size cities           solid waste frequently has low priority. The strong
it varies between 0.8%-10% and for small cities, the           government dependency to obtain funds for the serv-
range is broader between 0.1%-10%.                 In the      ice affects the sector’s sustainability by being vulner-
Dominican Republic 2.5% of the national budget is              able to delays in transfers or to the deficiencies or
transferred for municipal allocations, of which it is          reductions in the government subsidy. The percent-
estimated that city-county assigns around 20%-70%              age of the national annual budget for solid waste
to solve sanitation service expenses. In Belize,               management varies from 0.81% (Saint Kitts) to 3.2%
around 25% of the municipal budget is allocated to             (Saint Lucia) with an average of 1.6% for the
urban sanitation services. In Brazil, approximately            Caribbean sub region. The lack of adequate financial
5% of the municipal allocations are destined to urban          resources is one of the factors that mainly limit the
sanitation services. In Bolivia, 2% of the national            development of an adequate solid waste manage-
budget is allocated, established in the solid waste            ment.
management regulation of the Environmental Law.
The total municipal expense consolidated in                    There are just a few countries in the Region that have
Argentina represents 8.4% of the total Government              financing policies for the service that contribute effi-
expense and a little less than 3% of the GNP and the           ciency criteria related to the transfer of resources, to
municipal expense in sanitation services is estimated          rate collection and municipal contributions within a
between 6%-15% of the budget, considering that the             specific schedule. The assignments are usually car-
city of Buenos Aires, Argentina spends around 5.75%            ried out based on specific applications that do not
of their budget in solid waste, while the communities          respond to urban development plans that include
of San Fernando (municipality which is part of the             solid waste management service and the correspon-
Buenos Aires metropolitan area) and La Plata spend             ding investments, and many times political criteria
more than 15%. There is a subsidy policy in                    prevail over technical criteria. By not having a sched-
Honduras established by the central government to              ule, there is no follow-up to the implementation of
transfer 5% of the national budget to the municipali-          financial resources. It is common to disregard the real
ties; however, it is not met and the transfer is less than     income and expenses of the service and, therefore,
2%, which it is applied to infrastructure works. The           available financial resources. The Solid Waste
Solid Waste Evaluation showed the difficulty, and              Evaluation showed that not too many municipalities
therefore, the lack of knowledge, that the municipali-         have an accounting and administrative separation of
ties have to determine the municipal allocations des-          their own income and transfer to municipalities that             47
tined to the urban sanitation service by not making            include desegregation of expenses incurred in the
clear the distribution of its budget among the different       urban sanitation service.
areas and services it provides.
                                                               The lack of information to define the criteria and the
In the Caribbean countries, the funds for solid waste          non existence of an origin program and the use of
management are an integral part of the annual nation-          funds makes it difficult to have an efficient manage-
al budget and it comes from a direct government sub-           ment, which translates into the inefficient use of
sidy, complemented by income from the collection of            resources, investment deficit, non existent responsi-
environmental taxes that are charged to tourists and           bilities clearly established for the implementation of
the collection of a tax paid by electrical appliances          transferred resources and the non existent instrument
(kitchens, refrigerators, washing machines, etc) and           that allows compliance with the goals established for
from other goods imported into the country, such is            urban sanitation services.

     Service costs                                                        elaborate the appropriate basis and then grade the pro-
                                                                          posals and finally supervise the contractor.
     Cost analysis for solid waste management is a practice
     that is missing in almost all the countries in the Region.           With the information collected from the Solid Waste
     There are just a few countries that have accounting or               Evaluation, it is estimated that sanitation service costs
     financial information regarding the services, and if it              in the region fluctuate between US$15 to US$105 per
     does not exist, it is dispersed in different institutions.           ton, with a regional average of US$29 per ton of col-
     This makes it hard to establish efficient average costs              lected, disposed of and adequately treated waste.
     for the service, which are basic for the implementation              These costs broken down correspond to sweeping,
     of a rate system and fair subsidies, considering that                collection, urban sanitation specialized in main roads,
     cost accounting is a basic element to control efficiency             transfer, treatment and final disposal. The cost
     and detect irregularities in administrations. This cost              unbundling indicates that the highest cost corre-
     determination is even more important when the                        sponds to sweeping and collection represented by
     municipality is going to bid for the service and it has to           60%-70% of the total cost.

                                       Table 13. Cost for household solid waste management services
                                          in selected countries in Latin America and the Caribbean

                                             Sweeping        Collection           Transfer         Final Disposal        Unit Cost
                  Country                     US$/km           US$/t               US$/t               US$/t              US$/t
      Anguila                                   …                58                    -                  4                  80
      Antigua and Barbuda                        ...             25                    -                 11                 105
      Argentina                                 28               14                   26                 11                  35
      Bahamas                                   72               72                    -                 …                   70
      Barbados                                  …                94                    -                 37                  94
      Belize                                    …                …                     -                 …                   27
      Bolivia                                     9              18                    -                  5                  30
      Chile                                       9              13                    4                  4                  21
      Colombia                                    9              17                    -                  5                  26
      Costa Rica                                …                …                     -                 …                   26
      Cuba                                        5              15                    -                  6                  66
      Dominica                                  …                …                    …                  …                   51
      Dominican Republic                          8              13                   …                  …                   …
      Ecuador                                   14               15                    2                 12                  43
      El Salvador                               …                29                   …                  20                  …
      Grenada                                   …                37                    -                 …                   83
      Guatemala                                   3               3                    -                 …                   …
      Guyana                                      3              11                   …                   2                  15
      Honduras                                    9              18                   …                   4                  15
      Cayman Islands                            …                76                    -                 13                  89
      British Virgin Islands                    …                20                    -                 17                  98
      Jamaica                                     6             162                   …                  52                  52
      Mexico                                      9              19                   14              10-15                  …
      Panama                                    …                …                    …                  …                   51
      Paraguay                                  …                20                   …                   4                  25
      Saint Kitts and Nevis                     …                …                     -                 …                   49
      Saint Lucia                               …                …                     -                 …                   51
      Saint Vincent and Grenadines              …                …                     -                 …                   61
      Trinidad and Tobago                       …                25                    -                 …                   …
      Venezuela                                 26                5                    1                  7                  15
      LAC Average                               10               25                   13                  9                  29
     - Does not exist.
     … Data not available
     Source: Solid Waste Evaluation.
                                                C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

In general, the costs only reflect the operational costs        The collection rates and terms for household waste
and do not take into consideration financial and capi-          varies sufficiently between countries and within the
tal costs. The costs for solid wastes final disposal are        country itself. The collection terms through real
usually low in relation to their collection and trans-          estate taxes uses several criteria. For example in
portation costs due to the fact that the activities that are    Argentina, the collection is carried out through a
carried out in final disposal sites are not sanitarily ade-     lighting, sweeping and sanitation rate, that is estab-
quate, frequently they are minimum, at the most they            lished as a percentage of the real estate tax of the prop-
are reduced to covering and leveling the land.                  erty or by meter of the front side of the property or
                                                                other, as decreed by the municipalities. In Peru, the
The high unit costs in Caribbean countries are attrib-          procedure to defray the services consists in dividing
uted to reasons such as: high contracting of labor force        the projected cost for the service into the amount of
to sweep and clean drains (Antigua and Barbuda),                lots serviced, incorporating in addition several classi-
operation of the incinerator (British Virgin Islands)           fications with differentiated values in relation to their
and, in general, the high cost that the participation of        commercial, industrial, service, household use, or
private operators represents.                                   their location and extension, being able to obtain up
                                                                to 56 different classes, without the rate having rela-
                                                                tion to the waste generated nor with the quality of the
                                                                service. This distortion produces very unequal rates
Rates and Tariffs
                                                                that vary from US$1 for households, US$1.8 for busi-
In the majority of the Latin American countries, the            nesses, US$3 for public institutions and US$132 for
service is economically sustaining through the collec-          large users. In this country, at a national level, the
tion of a municipal rate that is usually non exclusive          public sanitation service has a more prevalent range
of the urban sanitation service, but it includes other          between US$0.70 to US$18 monthly. Countries such
services such as public lighting, real estate taxes,            as Colombia have differentiated rates for the service
among others, which is supplemented with subsidies              and the collection is carried out through public utili-
usually from the municipality itself. Given the nature          ties, potable water (86.7%) and electric energy
of the solid waste management service, which is not             (13.7%). In Nicaragua, the Municipal Tributary Plan
feasible to be suspended for lack of payment, in sever-         establishes four types of rates for municipal services,
al countries it is authorized to charge and collect it          one of them being for “waste and street sweeping”,
jointly with the collection for other services, through         which rate is collected only if the service is provided.
the periodic electricity, water and sewage and solid            However, the majority of the municipalities of LAC
waste bills. As can be seen in Table 14, the real estate        countries, especially medium and small by not know-
tax, the periodic account to the user, the potable water        ing the real cost of the services do not have a solid
bill and the electricity bill, in descending order are          base to establish the values to be collected.
the most common forms of collection for urban sani-
                                                                For commercial and industrial service, the rate is usu-          49
tation services.
                                                                ally estimated based on the sales volume. This is the
In the case of real estate taxes, said rate is established      case of Colombia, Honduras and Uruguay. For com-
in some countries in the Region based on the real               mercial waste, the average rate value for collection
estate value of the property for household service, not         and transportation in large population centers corre-
related to the costs of providing the service. In order         sponds approximately to 29% of the total rate, while
for this service to be effective, an updated real estate        in the medium and small centers it corresponds to
database is required, situation that does not occur in          66% of its total value.
the majority of the municipalities. In a few large cities
                                                                Table 15 shows the average value of monthly rates for
rates are applied exclusively linked to sanitation serv-
                                                                household waste management services in different
ices. In small cities the criteria to establish rates is
                                                                size locations. The household solid waste manage-
usually based on some type of costing factor adopted
                                                                ment rates fluctuate between US$0.85 to US$5.16 per
by each municipality based on historical data or to
                                                                user, per month with a regional average of US$2.49
cover estimated annual budgets.

                                                 Table 14. Collection terms for urban sanitation services
                                                       in Latin American and Caribbean countries
                    Collection terms                                                                   Countries

         Real estate tax                              Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Paraguay, Peru
         Electricity bill                             Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Venezuela
         Potable water and sewage bill                Argentina, Barbados, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Dominican Republic
         Periodic account to user                     Belize, Cayman Islands, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala*, Nicaragua*, Peru, Dominican Republic

     *  In these countries the majority of the municipalities do not invoice for household service. Only when the private sector intervenes, it is directly collect-
        ed at each home.
     Source: Solid Waste Evaluation.

     per household per month for LAC, with decreasing                                     tion of these prior services. The rates for household
     differences in population centers larger to smaller.                                 solid waste management services cover only between
                                                                                          50%-60% of the costs, to which the costs for cleaning
     Table 16 shows rates broken down for different phas-                                 parks and gardens, businesses, industry, etc., have to
     es of commercial, industrial, non-hazardous and spe-                                 be added, as is shown in Table 17, besides delinquen-
     cial hospital waste management services. There are                                   cy and uncollected rates or tariffs
     just a few countries that use specific rates for collec-

                                   Table 15. Average value of household waste management (US$/month)
                                             in selected Latin American and Caribbean countries
                  Country                       Large Centers             Medium Centers                    Small Centers                      Country
      Argentina                                        …                            …                            17.6 *                            …
      Belize                                           …                             ..                            2.25                         2.25
      Bolivia                                        1.23                         1.32                                0                         0.85
      Chile                                          2.39                         4.64                             2.12                         3.04
      Colombia                                       3.12                         2.60                             3.01                         2.91
      Costa Rica                                     3.77                         4.25                             3.29                         3.76
      Ecuador                                        2.12                         2.18                             0.92                         1.74
      Honduras                                       7.50                         1.59                             1.17                         3.42
      Nicaragua                                     12.00                         2.50                             1.00                         5.16
      Panama                                         6.63                         3.62                             1.50                         3.91
      Paraguay                                       0.80                         1.71                              0.4                         0.96
      Peru                                           3.05                         3.82                             4.16                         3.67
      Suriname                                          ..                          …                              0.28                           …
      Venezuela                                      2.23                         1.47                             0.30                         1.33
      LAC Average                                    2.96                         2.74                             1.78                         2.49
     .. There are no population centers of this size.
     ... Data not available.
     * Determined only for 6% of a total of 63 population centers with a population of less than 50,000.
     Source: Solid Waste Evaluation.

                                                    Table 16.Average value of management rates
                                         for different types of wastes in Latin America and the Caribbean
                                          Collection and Transportation                   Treatment              Final Disposal                 Total Rate
             Types of Wastes             US$/t               US$/m3               US$/t        US$/m3        US$/t        US$/m3          US$/t        US$/m3
      Commercial                         12.7                    3.4                  0          0.2         8.4              1.1           52.5          5.6
      Industrial                          0.9                    3.9                0.2            0         5.6              1.5           69.9         4.58
      Hospital Hazardous                  2.2                   0.02                8.4         0.05          …                …             3.8         40.6
      Special*                            2.6                    1.7                 …            …         58.7              0.5           56.5         12.3
     … Data not available.
     * Voluminous or heavy wastes (furniture, bed mattresses, electrical appliances, abandoned automobiles, concrete, asphalt, tires), among others.
     Source: Solid Waste Evaluation.
                                              C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

The countries in the Region in which the regulatory           bills through the water bill. The rate is around
function is separate from the urban sanitation servic-        US$1.87 per user per month for both islands. With
es have adopted rates and tariffs that pursue a regula-       regards to solid waste final disposal in the English
tion with different criteria. For example, in Colombia,       Caribbean countries, only Grenada and Saint Kitts use
the Regulatory Commission establishes a price limit           “tipping fees” for commercial and institutional
for the service to which only the costs incurred due to       wastes. On the other hand, the Cayman Islands have
the distance where the landfill is located can be             annual rates for household waste management that
added.                                                        correspond to US$80 per year per household and for
                                                              commercial and institutional wastes they use a fixed
In a reasonable percentage of population centers in           rate estimated according to the size of the facility and
the Region, the municipalities, especially the smaller        the volume of waste generated.
ones do not charge for services related to solid waste
management and the expenses are covered by other              A great number of the municipalities in the Region
income generated by the municipalities. In the major-         have no knowledge of the real expenses for the servic-
ity of the municipalities that charge for the service,        es and their income, and the value of service rates is
the amounts of invoicing do not have any coherent             estimated based on the general update indexes and
relation to the real weighted costs and in the majority       adjustments by global needs. Therefore, the establish-
of the cases they are inferior to the amounts of the real     ment of rates is independent from the cost analysis for
cost for the service. For example, in Chile the expense       the service and frequently the invoiced rate for the
at its minimum level of sanitation services is 2.7 times      service is less than half of the real cost for the service.
superior to the income from the collection of the rate,       Even then there are difficulties for collecting the rates,
deficit that is greatly due to exemptions on the real         mainly due to the inefficiency of the collection systems
estate tax.                                                   added to the non-payment culture for sanitation servic-
                                                              es, which is widely promoted in the Region. The delin-
In Ecuador, according to the size of the population           quency for the services is significant, sometimes reach-
centers there is a wide variety of collection modes.          ing more than 50%. Consequently, the municipalities
The larger cities collect payment for the service             practically receive a minimum or none monetary retri-
through the collection of fixed rates through the elec-       bution for providing the service, which seriously limits
tric energy bill. The medium and small size munici-           the municipality in allotting resources for providing
palities have a varied form of collection that includes       urban sanitation services and at the same time causes a
rates and tariffs applied simultaneously collected            deficit in the municipal budget.
through electric energy and potable water service.
With regards to the small municipalities between              The lack of a rates and/or tariffs system and manage-
12%-22% does not charge for the service.                      ment based on a cost accounting system is one of the
                                                              most critical points in self-sustainability of services,
In Brazil, 54% of the municipalities do not charge for        which frequently suffer chronic deficit, which does              51
urban sanitation services and waste collection; the           not allow municipalities to accomplish a financial
remainder that charge, 93% does it through real estate        self-sufficiency and binds services to depend on trans-
and territorial taxes, 5% with a specific rate, 0.5%          fers from the central government or to obtain specific
charges for special services and the rest use another         resources from other non traditional sources. It is
form of non specified collection.                             estimated that an average of between 50%-80% of the
                                                              cost of urban sanitation service is subsidized through
In Anguila, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Cuba,               the municipal budget, which means that only around
Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, British Virgin Islands, Saint       20%-50% of the costs are recovered from the invoic-
Kitts, Saint Lucia, the Grenadines and Trinidad and           ing of urban sanitation services. As a regional aver-
Tobago there are no charges for household waste man-          age, the Solid Waste Evaluation estimates that cost
agement services, therefore the central government            recovery does not reach 47%.
completely subsidizes the services. Of the mentioned
countries, only Nevis has a minimum rate through the          Even though in the majority of the Latin American
monthly collection of electricity and Saint Vincent           countries the Law considers the judicial charge for the

     collection for effects of the service, it has not been             With regards to financing sources for investments in
     implemented practically in none. This is why a legal               the solid waste sector, Figure 5 shows the Solid Waste
     framework that supports a national tariff policy is                Evaluation results. The private sources include indi-
     needed that is capable of guaranteeing the recovery of             viduals, legal persons and any type of companies that
     administration, operation and maintenance costs.                   contribute resources for waste management, perhaps
                                                                        voluntary contributions or compensation for public
     The fact that a program that guides future projections             services, taxes, regular and special quotas, donations
     to cover urban sanitation services does not exist at a             and others. The most common external sources for the
     municipal level, makes the decisions to increase the               Region are from official assistance for development
     sanitation rates obey immediate and urgent needs that              from bilateral organizations (USAID, JICA, GTZ,
     invariably run into the population’s opposition. In                Government of Holland, etc) or multilateral (BID,
     order to solve financial problems that chronically                 World Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, etc.).
     attack the sector, projects to research and establish              These resources can be in the form of loans to the cen-
     which are the costs for providing the service should               tral government or donations and they are subject to
     be promoted, as well as promote strategies to imple-               the priorities that the corresponding agencies deter-
     ment tariff models related to urban sanitation services            mine and the national and municipal governments
     demands and sensitive to the socioeconomic reality of              channel. There are a few specific solid waste projects
     the different users, together with efficient collection            in the Region financed by external sources.
     systems that guarantee cost recovery.
                                                                        In the English Caribbean countries, the contribution
     The Solid Waste Evaluation showed that more than                   from the central government is comparatively high,
     70% of the population centers from participating                   especially where the central government has the
     countries apparently do not have any knowledge of                  financial responsibility for the service. The private
     the financial aspects relevant to providing the service.           company participates more and more on investments,
     The little information on costs, rates and tariffs for             even though these internal private financing sources
     solid waste management services is one of the big                  are limited and selective. It can be concluded that
     gaps in the majority of LAC countries.                             investments for the sector in the majority of the coun-
                                                                        tries are relatively low and are guided towards the
                                                                        purchasing of vehicles or heavy machinery with five
                                                                        years or more life cycles.
     Financing of investments
                                                                        In OECS countries, with the exception of Anguila and
     In the countries of the Region, financing for investment
                                                                        the British Virgin Islands, the investments for solid
     in infrastructure in the solid waste area is carried out
                                                                        waste in the last five years have been related to a proj-
     mainly with national and international funds. At a
                                                                        ect from the World Bank and the Caribbean
     national level, it is usually the central government the
                                                                        Development Bank, whose amount is around US$48.5
52   one that contributes for the most significant invest-
                                                                        million. The projects have been financed through
     ments with regards to the amount for the sector.
                                                                        national loans and contributions in the equivalent of
     However, in the majority of the countries the amounts
                                                                        land, tax exemption and exemptions form customs
     are not known since statistics nor information on solid
     waste management investments are available. It is esti-
     mated that the majority are very low percentages (less
                                                                        The capital costs required for sanitation services are
     than 2%) of public investment. At an international
                                                                        comparatively much lower than those for relevant sec-
     level, there are a few specific projects with financing
                                                                        tors, such as water and wastewater that require greater
     from external sources, usually the projects are integrat-
                                                                        investments, but with a much longer life cycle. The
     ed to environmental projects; the majority are water
                                                                        investments are used mainly in the purchasing and
     and wastewater, or municipal projects that have a
                                                                        repair of collection vehicles and in the purchase and
     small solid waste component.
                                                                        conditioning of final disposal sites.
                                                 C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

                                  Figure 5. Sources for resources to finance investments
                                            in Latin America and the Caribbean

Source: Solid Waste Evaluation.

3.2 SITUATION OF THE DELIVERY                                    Table 17 shows solid waste generation by size of popu-
                                                                 lation center and by country for LAC countries. As can
    OF MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE                                     be seen, the municipal solid waste generation is related
    MANAGEMENT SERVICES                                          to the size of the cities and the levels of income of the
                                                                 population, which leads to a greater or lesser consump-
3.2.1 Municipal solid waste gene-                                tion of goods. The larger the population at the location,
                                                                 the trend is towards a greater generation rate, which
                                                                 explains the greater economic activity characteristic of
Municipal solid wastes include solid waste from resi-            larger population centers.
dential, commercial, institutional, industrial activities
                                                                 Even though it is expected that in smaller population
(small industry and crafts), sweeping and sanitation of
                                                                 centers waste generation is less than in larger popula-
public areas, which management is the responsibility of
                                                                 tion centers, many small cities can suffer considerable
the municipal authorities. The household wastes corre-
                                                                 temporary variations, due to seasonal migration varia-
spond to wastes generated within a house and consti-
                                                                 tions as in the case of tourism, that can duplicate or
tute approximately between 50 to 75% of municipal
                                                                 triple waste generation with the ensuing fluctuating
waste. The solid waste per capita generation or per
                                                                 demand. This requires certain flexibility in service
capita production (pcp) varies from one population to
                                                                 management. The Solid Waste Evaluation detected the
another, according to the degree of development, size of
                                                                 presence of a significant ambulant population in sever-
the locality, population density, income level, con-                                                                              53
                                                                 al countries in the Region. A large part of this popula-
sumption patterns and socioeconomic level of the pop-
                                                                 tion is linked to tourism, like it happens in the majori-
ulation, type and amount of economic and technologi-
                                                                 ty of the Caribbean countries, or to seasonal work con-
cal resources that it has to recycle, treat and/or recover
                                                                 ditions (mining, industry, agriculture).
them, as well as institutional management capabilities
and their level of efficiency. The seasons also influence
                                                                 In the Caribbean island states, the transient population
waste generation as well as predominant activities (i.e.,
                                                                 (tourists) at long term can significantly contribute to
tourism, commerce, among others).
                                                                 waste production as can be seen on Table 18. Of these
                                                                 countries, Saint Vincent has a relatively low waste gen-
It is important for planning solid waste management
                                                                 eration of 0.79 kg/inhab/day, which reflects a low tran-
services and specifically for economic management to
                                                                 sient population of around 1.2% of the permanent pop-
know the incidence of waste generation by the popula-
                                                                 ulation. In contrast, the British Virgin Islands have a
tion. Likewise, said knowledge is necessary to formu-
                                                                 waste generation of more than double of Saint Vincent
late action plans in the matter of minimization, recov-
                                                                 of 2.65 kg/inhab/day with a transient population in
ery and recycling.
     excess of 38% of the permanent population. It is                         kg/inhab/day. These differences reflect differences in
     acknowledged that tourists generate a disproportionate                   economic activities from different municipalities. On
     amount of waste in relation to the resident population.                  the other hand, some small countries have waste gener-
                                                                              ation rates per inhabitant relatively high, such is the
     Tables 2-A to 5-A in the Annex show solid waste gener-                   case of Paraguay with 1.14 kg/inhab/day, that even
54   ation per inhabitant per day in some different size cities               though it is not a country with a high level of consump-
     in LAC. Waste generation has been estimated consider-                    tion, the waste composition is predominantly organic
     ing data provided by the countries in the Region                         and the inorganic portion is made up mostly of soil
     because of the Solid Waste Evaluation15.                                 from yards and gardens.

     The per capita generation amounts for municipal waste                    In relation to solid waste generation, one should take
     have broad variations in some cases, especially in small                 into consideration that in the Region a large number of
     cities. For example, in Argentina the pcp for larger                     municipalities, specially the smaller ones, do not have
     cities is 1.13 kg/inhab/day, for middle size cities it is 1              scales to weigh the waste collected, therefore the
     kg/inhab/day and for small cities it is 0.69                             amounts generated are frequently gross estimates.

     15 The pcp for household and municipal waste from all the population centers registered for each country are detailed in the corresponding
        web site for Solid Waste Evaluation.
                                                          C H A P T E R     3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

                                      Table 17. Municipal solid waste generation per capita
                             in Latin American and Caribbean countries by population center size

                                    Large                        Medium                           Small               Country Average
                               (kg/inhab/day)                 (kg/inhab/day)                 (kg/inhab/day)            (kg/inhab/day)
        Country            Household     Municipal        Household    Municipal         Household     Municipal   Household    Municipal

Anguila                          ..              ..             ..              ..             1.08       1.22       1.08          1.22
Antigua and Barbuda              ..              ..          0.79            1.75                 ..         ..      0.79          1.75
Argentina                     0.83            1.13           0.84            1.00              0.62       0.69       0.82          1.12
Bahamas                          ..              ..          2.67            2.67                 ..         ..      2.67          2.67
Barbados                      0.95            1.69              ..              ..                ..         ..      0.95          1.69
Belize                           ..              ..            …             1.54                …        1.29         …           1.40
Bolivia                       0.50              …            0.45              …               0.50         …        0.49            …
Brazil                          …             1.18             …             0.75                …        0.63         …           0.88
Chile                         0.77            0.98           0.68            0.93              0.40       0.65       0.69          0.93
Colombia                      0.71            0.71           0.66            0.66              0.64       0.64       0.69          0.69
Costa Rica                      …             1.06             …             0.76                …        0.74         …           0.81
Cuba                          0.61            0.66           0.45            0.53              0.45       0.52       0.55          0.61
Dominica                         ..              ..          0.48            0.91                 ..         ..      0.48          0.91
Dominican Republic            1.05            …              0.71            …                 0.45       0.75       0.91          0.75
Ecuador                       0.71              …            0.69              …               0.59         …        0.69            …
El Salvador                   0.48            0.72           0.44            0.62              0.49       0.61       0.46          0.66
Grenada                          ..              ..          0.51            0.85              0.51       0.85       0.51          0.85
Guatemala                     0.52            0.95           0.43            0.74              0.51       0.89       0.50          0.91
Guyana                           ..              ..          0.65            1.53                …          …        0.65          1.53
Haiti                         0.44            0.60           0.21            0.33              0.15       0.25       0.24          0.37
Honduras                      0.54            0.68           0.49            0.58              0.38         …        0.50          0.65
Cayman Islands                   ..              ..             ..              ..             1.10         …        1.10            …
Brit. Virgin Islands.            ..              ..             ..              ..             2.37       2.65       2.37          2.65
Jamaica                       1.00              …            0.89              …               0.92         …        0.99            …
Mexico                        0.86            1.12           0.61            0.79              0.59       0.78       0.81          1.05
Nicaragua                     0.71              …            0.57              …               0.50         …        0.60            …
Panama                        0.62            0.84           0.58            0.78              0.45       0.53       0.60          0.81
Paraguay                      0.92            1.20           0.93            1.17              0.91       1.06       0.92          1.17
Peru                          0.51            0.69           0.56            0.75              0.50       0.67       0.53          0.71
Saint Kitts and Nevis            ..              ..             ..              ..             1.94         …        1.94            …
Saint Lucia                      ..              ..          0.74            1.18                …          …        0.74          1.18
Saint Vincent and                ..              ..          0.34            0.79              0.34       0.79       0.34          0.79
Suriname                      0.80            1.00              ..              ..               …          …        0.80          1.00
Trinidad and Tobago             …             2.20             …             1.53                …        1.07         …           1.59
Uruguay                       0.90            1.13           0.72            0.72              0.62       0.62       0.82          0.96
Venezuela                     0.90            1.03           0.79            1.11              0.80       1.05       0.89          1.03
Average LAC                   0.88            1.09           0.58            0.75              0.54       0.62       0.79          0.91
Large: > 200,000 inhabitants; medium: 50,000-200,000 inhabitants; small: <50,000 inhabitants
.. Without that size of population center
… Data not available
Source: Solid Waste Evaluation.

Figure 6 shows the average per capita generation for                        with a population of more than 1 million (1.04
domestic and municipal waste from different size pop-                       kg/inhab/day). For medium size population centers,
ulation centers in LAC. As can be seen, for large popu-                     the regional average for household waste is 0.59
lation centers the regional weighted average for house-                     kg/inhab/day, without greater differences between
hold waste corresponds to 0.88 kg/inhab/day, the value                      50,000 to 200,000 inhabitants. The regional average for
being very similar for 200,000 to 500,000 and 500,000                       small population centers is 0.54 kg/inhab/day. These
to 1,000,000 population centers (0.68 and 0.69                              values yield an average household waste generation
kg/inhab/day) and with a sharp increase for centers                         per capita for the LAC Region of 0.79 kg/inhab/day.

                                           Table 18. Tourism influence in municipal waste generation
                                               per capita in selected English Caribbean countries
                                                                                                        Per capita
                                                                                      Transient        generation*    MSW production*
                       Country                            Population                population (%)   (kg/inhab/day)       (t/day)
      Anguila                                               12,768                        10.0             1.22             17.1
      Antigua and Barbuda                                   75,078                         7.5             1.75            141.2
      Dominica                                              71,242                         2.2             0.91             66.2
      Grenada                                              104,770                         2.7             0.85             91.4
      British Virgin Islands                                20,647                        38.0             2.65             75.5
      Saint Kitts                                           34,930                         4.1             2.08             75.6
      Nevis                                                 11,181                           -             1.52             17.7
      Saint Lucia                                          159,133                         4.0             1.18            195.2
      Saint Vincent                                        106,916                         1.2             0.79             85.5
      The Grenadines                                         9,896                        41.6             0.79             11.1
      Trinidad and Tobago                                1,266,797                        23.7             1.59            2.036
     * In this rate the long-term tourism influence has been taken into consideration.
     Source: Solid Waste Evaluation.

                                       Figure 6. Regional average per capita generation of municipal
                                    and household waste according to the size of the population center


     Source: Solid Waste Evaluation.
                                                            C H A P T E R     3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

With regards to municipal waste, the average for large                         ters, 21% medium urban centers and 23% small urban
centers corresponds to 1.09 kg/inhab/day, for medium                           centers. Approximately half of the waste generated in
the average is 0.75 kg/inhab/day and for small centers                         LAC is produced by medium and small centers that
it is 0.62 kg/inhab/day. The average generation per                            tend to have more difficulty in waste management,
capita for municipal waste in the LAC Region is 0.91                           having a considerable impact on the environment since
kg/inhab/day.                                                                  the disposal of these wastes is usually deficient.

The average municipal solid waste generation per per-
son in Latin American countries is still below the
waste production of developed countries as can be                              Human Development and Waste
seen in Table 19. Of the countries shown, the United                           Generation
States shows the largest per capita generation index of
municipal waste with 2.02 kg/inhab/day, which corre-                           As was previously mentioned, waste production is linked
sponded to generation of 229 million tons of municipal                         to the population’s level of income in cities and their
solid waste (before recycling)16 for 2001. The recycling                       main productive activities. The Solid Waste Evaluation
rate for this country for that year was 0.6 kg per person                      shows that there is a relationship between waste genera-
per day, which represented 22.4% of recovery through                           tion and the Human Development Index (HDI)17 for 33
this method, to which 7.2% is added, which was recov-                          countries in LAC (does not include Anguila, Cayman
ered for composting, giving a total of recovered materi-                       Islands and British Virgin Islands because they do not
al of 29.6% (EPA 2003). In the United States because                           have the value of the corresponding HDI), as is shown in
of the comprehensive management policies, the waste                            Figure 7. Countries like Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala,
recovery rate during the 1990-2001 period increased                            Grenada, Honduras and Bolivia with a HDI of less than
from 16.2%-29.6%.                                                              0.700 (see Table 4) have a per capita generation of less
                                                                               than 0.6 kg/inhab/day and countries with a HDI greater
Considering that the Latin American urban population                           than 0.800, such as Argentina, Uruguay and English
is estimated in 406 million, with a pcp of 0.91                                Caribbean countries, tend to have a waste generation
kg/inhab/day, the municipal solid waste production for                         greater than 1kg/inhab/day, with the exception of Cuba
the Region for 2001 is estimated in 369,000 tons per                           and Costa Rica, that having a relatively high HDI their
day, of which 56.4% is generated by large urban cen-                           waste generations do not exceed 0.81 kg/inhab/day.

                           Table 19. Comparative per capita generation rate of municipal solid waste
                                   in Latin American and the Caribbean developed countries
                                           Countries                                Per capita generation (kg/inhab/day)

                      United States *                                                         2.02                                                          57
                      Australia                                                               1.89
                      Canada                                                                  1.80
                      Finland                                                                 1.70
                      Holland                                                                 1.37
                      France                                                                  1.29
                      Japan                                                                   1.12
                      Spain                                                                   0.99
                      Latin America and the Caribbean**                                       0.91

Data: Compendium 1995.
*United States Environmental Protection Agency. Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: 2001 Facts and Figures. October 2003.
** Solid Waste Evaluation.
Source: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 1995. OECD Environmental

16 United States Environmental Protection Agency. Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: 2001 Facts and Figures. October 2003, pag. 6.
17 The Human Development Index (HDI) consists of three components that define human development: longevity (life expectancy), educational level
   (literacy rate in adults and average years of school education) and standard of life (GNP adjusted to the local cost of life). The HDI allows the com-
   parison of experiences among countries. The HDI fluctuates between 0 (less human development) to 1 (greater human development).

                                          Figure 7. HDI correlation vs. solid waste generation
                                              in Latin American and Caribbean countries

     Source: Solid Waste Evaluation data. The amounts for the Human Development Index were obtained from the United Nations Development Program,
     Human Development Report 2003.

     3.2.2 Solid waste composition and                                      The waste composition in LAC countries, while it
                                                                            varies in the different population centers, it maintains
           characteristics                                                  a strong food waste component, with average values
                                                                            of 50%-70% in weight (humid base), while around
     The composition of household solid waste varies
                                                                            25% of the components from the wastes are made up
     according to the country’s level of development,
                                                                            of recyclable materials such as paper, cardboard, plas-
     socioeconomic level of the population, climatic charac-
                                                                            tics, metals, textiles, leathers, rubbers and wood. The
     teristics, customs, consumption habits, economic
                                                                            real recycling feasibility percentage will depend on
     activities and the population’s buying power. Even
                                                                            the humidity and the way in which the recycling
     within the same city, the composition can differ
                                                                            takes place. Even by using the best recycling methods
     according to the different socioeconomic stratum and
                                                                            and because of the market conditions, only a fraction
     the differences between seasons.
                                                                            is recovered, which after drying to what is stipulated
     Materials are classified in different forms according to               by the buyer in the best of cases only a 50% remains.
     their characteristics:                                                 In Table 20, the term “others and inert” refer to soil
58                                                                          and ash, textile, rubbers and leathers, wood, cells and
     • According to their fermentation into organic and                     batteries and others. This last fraction can also con-
       inorganic.                                                           tain substances that are classified as hazardous house-
                                                                            hold waste, such as automobile oil, fluorescents, bat-
     • According to their flammability into combustibles                    teries, cells, medication, solvent residue, paints, pes-
       and non-combustibles.                                                ticides, chemical fertilizers, etc.

     • According to their origin into household, garden,                    The volumetric weight in-situ is an important factor
       sweeping, etc.                                                       to be considered in solid waste management alterna-
                                                                            tives. This can vary from 170 to 330 kg/m3 without
     • According to their volume into conventional and                      compacting and it greatly depends on the content of
       special.                                                             the organic matter and its degree of humidity.
                                                              C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

                                           Table 20. Municipal solid waste composition (%)
                                         in selected Latin American and Caribbean countries

                          Cardboard                                                                            Perishable         Others
   Country / City         and paper           Metal              Glass          Textiles       Plastics         organics         and inert
Barbados                    20.0              …                   …               …              9.0            59.0                12.0
Belize                      5.0               5.0                 5.0             …              5.0            60.0                20.0
Costa Rica                  20.7              2.1                 2.3             4.1            17.7           49.8                3.3
Peru                        7.5               2.3                 3.4             1.5            4.3            54.5                25.9
Caracas A.M.                22.3              2.9                 4.5             4.1            11.7           41.3                11.2
Asuncion*                   10.2              1.3                 3.5             1.2            4.2            58.2                19.9
Ecuador                     9.6               0.7                 3.7             …              4.5            71.4                …
Guatemala**                 13.9              1.8                 3.2             0.9            8.1            63.3                8.8
Mexico D.F.                 20.9              3.1                 7.6             4.5            8.4            44.0                11.5
… Data not available.
* Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis for Paraguay, 2001.
** Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis for Guatemala, 1995.
Source: Country Analytical Reports, Solid Waste Evaluation.

In general terms, the municipal solid waste composi-                          in the Region makes it impossible to obtain recoverable
tion in LAC maintains a constant pattern in which a                           energy from incineration.
high content of perishable organic matter is character-
ized with an average of around 56% and moderate                               With the purpose of having comparison elements with
paper and plastic contents.                                                   the Latin American Region, Figures 8 to 10 show the
                                                                              solid waste composition for the United States, the
With regards to the physical-chemical characteristics                         province of Quebec (Canada) and Peru. In the United
of municipal solid waste in LAC countries, a high per-                        States as well as in the province of Quebec, paper and
centage of humidity stands out (40%-60%) and its low                          cardboard constitute the largest component of the
caloric power (less than 1.381 kcall/kg), that defines                        MSW generated and perishable organic matter (food
the low energy value of the Region’s waste. These char-                       waste and garden waste) is the second largest compo-
acteristics determine the most appropriate options for                        nent. In LAC, the organic component makes up the
waste storage, collection, treatment and disposal. In                         majority of the wastes, seconded by paper and card-
general, the average energy value and waste humidity                          board.


                                        Figure 8. Solid waste composition in the United States in 2001

     Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency. Municipal Solid Waste in the United States: 2001 Facts and Figures. October 2003.

                                  Figure 9. Solid waste composition in the province of Quebec, Canada

     Source: Quebec Environmental Health Committee. Living with Our Waste: Municipal Solid Waste Management and Public Health, Quebec, Canada, 1993.

                                                     Figure 10. Solid waste composition in Peru


     Source: Peru Analytical Report. Solid Waste Evaluation.
                                                            C H A P T E R      3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

                                   Table 21. Mean composition of household waste according
                             to the socioeconomic level in the Santiago. Chile Metropolitan Region
                                           Average value               High              Medium High             Medium Low                 Low
Component                                   country %               (20.5%) %             (34.1%) %               (31.6%) %              (13.7%) %
Organic Matter                                   49.3                  48.8                   41.8                   54.7                   56.4
Paper and cardboard                              18.8                  20.4                   22.0                   17.0                   12.9
Slag. ashes and pottery                           6.0                   4.9                    5.8                    6.1                    7.6
Plastics                                         10.2                  12.1                   11.5                    8.6                    8.1
Textile                                           4.3                   2.3                    5.5                    3.5                    6.0
Metals                                            2.3                   2.4                    2.5                    2.1                    1.8
Glass                                             1.6                   2.5                    1.7                    1.3                    1.0
Bones                                             0.5                   0.5                    0.4                    0.6                    0.4
Others*                                           6.9                   6.1                    8.7                    6.1                    5.8
Per capita production (kg/inhab/day)             0.77                  1.07                   0.85                   0.65                   0.57
* Includes disposable diapers, cells, rubber, plumavit, mixed materials, etc.
Source: Household solid waste composition and projection study in the province of Santiago, University of Chile, 1995, cited in: Chile. National
        Environmental Commission (CONAMA for its Spanish acronym). Solid Waste Regional Policy Metropolitan Region. March 1999.

The socioeconomic stratum has great influence on the                            around 1.1 to 3.7 tons daily of these types of wastes.
consumption levels. Table 21 shows this situation in                            The main hazardous wastes generated at home are:
Santiago de Chile. Around 5% of the population in                               cells, batteries, medication, healing material, syringes,
Santiago that concentrates the highest income pro-                              paints and varnishes, disinfectants, pesticides and
duces more than 20% of the waste, the medium high                               chemical fertilizers, cleaning products, fluorescent
sectors generate 34% and the medium low generate                                tubes, products used in automobile maintenance,
31%, while the poor, that constitute around 40% of                              among others. Some of these substances have toxic
the population, are responsible for 13% of the house-                           properties, oxidants, flammables, explosives, corro-
hold waste. Likewise, there are significant variations                          sive and ecotoxics capable of damaging health and the
in the percentage distribution of waste components;                             environment.
for example the biodegradable organic waste fraction
is greater in the poorest stratum and the inorganic                             In the majority of the LAC countries’ norms and regu-
fraction, especially paper, cardboard and plastics is                           lations the household waste generator is exempt from
more relevant in the higher socioeconomic stratum.                              any responsibility. Therefore, the responsibility on
Even so, there is a high percentage of organic matter                           the inclusion of household hazardous waste in house-
in all the socioeconomic stratum and consequently                               hold waste is not established.
high humidity.

                                                                                3.3 SERVICE COVERAGE AND
3.2.3 Household hazardous waste                                                     QUALITY
Currently, the exact amount of household hazardous                              The quality of solid waste management services pres-
or potentially hazardous waste generated in LAC is                              ents great variations according to the degree of devel-
unknown. It is estimated that it could be between                               opment of the countries, as well as the municipal
0.3%-1% of the municipal solid waste, depending on                              development level and the financial economic capa-
the characteristics and costumes of each zone. It                               bility of the municipalities. The lack of indicators that
should be mentioned that while it is a reduced frac-                            measure the service evolution in the majority of the
tion, the amount that is expected based on solid waste                          municipalities makes it difficult to clearly quantify the
generation estimated in LAC for 2001, would be                                  quality of each one of the management areas.

     3.3.1 Sweeping of streets and                                      Paraguay the range varies between 0.2 to 1.3 km/sweep-
                                                                        er/day; and in Mexico it varies from 0.6 to 2.0 km/street
           public areas                                                 shift (1.2 to 4.00 km of ditch). The personnel’s yield
                                                                        depends on the mechanical sweeping support, the orog-
     In the countries in the Region, the sweeping service is
                                                                        raphy, the climate, the degree of difficulty of the sweep,
     limited to urban areas with basic infrastructure and
                                                                        the location of the sweep and basically the community’s
     with paved streets. Usually, the sweeping service is
                                                                        cooperation. The range for Latin America is 1.3 to 1.5
     limited to central zones and public areas and with
                                                                        km linear/sweeper/day (PAHO/CEPIS, 2002).
     more population, and in some cases, cleaning of and
     waste collection from markets.
                                                                        Table 22 shows the manual and mechanical sweeping
                                                                        coverage in LAC countries. The amount of sweepers
     In the Region, the sweeping service is provided manu-
                                                                        varies from 0.001 sweeper/1,000 inhab. in Mexico up
     ally and mechanically. The mechanical sweeping
                                                                        to 4.26 sweeper/1,000 inhab. in Antigua and Barbuda
     tends to be done more in larger cities, especially in
                                                                        with a regional average of 0.42 sweeper/1,000 inhab.,
     large avenues. The condition of street pavement in
                                                                        which is within the traditional range of 0.40 to 0.50
     LAC cities and their design limit mechanical sweeping.
                                                                        sweeper/1,000 inhab. or 2,000 to 2,500 inhab/sweeper
     In medium and small size cities the manual sweeping
                                                                        (PAHO/CEPIS, 2002).
     is predominant, under the modality of assigning a zone
     or a certain number of avenues to a sweeper. The
                                                                        Figure 11 shows the sweeping coverage for LAC
     equipment used in manual sweeping consists of
                                                                        according to the size of the population centers. The
     sweeper carts, that could be conventional wheelbar-
                                                                        average sweeping coverage for the Region is 63% for
     rows or cars, built usually with 200 liter containers
                                                                        manual sweeping and 19% for mechanical sweeping.
     which are adapted with a pair of wheels and a tube for
     maneuverability and accessories that include a broom               The manual service uses a large amount of manpower,
     and bags to store what is swept.                                   the number of sweepers constitutes the largest number
                                                                        of workers with respect to the total personnel assigned
     The sweeping efficiency varies in the countries in the
                                                                        to urban sanitation, many times reaching up to 70% of
     Region. For Peru efficiencies are estimated at around
                                                                        the total. The sweeping inefficiency is attributed to
     0.9 km of street per sweeper per day and for Panama 0.7
                                                                        several factors, among them the lack of planning for
     km/sweeper/day. In Venezuela, the manual sweeping
                                                                        sweeping, the nil technological development related to
     yield fluctuates between 0.4 to 3.5 km/sweeper/day; in
                                                                        this activity, the not very appropriate design of some

                                         Figure 11. Sweeping services estimated coverage
                                           in the Latin American and Caribbean Region

     Source: Solid Waste Evaluation.
                                               C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

streets in Latin America and up to a point, the age of         3.3.2 Collection and Transportation
the people performing this job, that as an average it
usually exceeds 50 years of age.                               Solid waste collection and transportation constitutes
                                                               the most visible aspect and to which the municipality
Mechanical sweeping is generally used in large and             gives more importance in solid waste management, as is
medium size cities with a population of more than              proven by the budget allocated to this activity. In the
200,000 in fast, main and secondary well paved routes.         Region, between 60%-70% of the total cost of the serv-
The limitation in the use of mechanical equipment is           ice (collection, transportation and final disposal) is
related to the cost of the sweepers (around                    used for waste collection and transportation. In areas
US$150,000) and the high cost of maintenance that              where waste collection has been halted for some reason
requires specialized workforce and imported spare              (strikes, natural catastrophes, among others), the need
parts. The mechanical sweeping output is subject to            to collect waste fast is highly visible. In such condi-
deficiencies in the maintenance of the equipment,              tions, the fast deterioration of sanitation conditions cre-
whose main problems are found in the sweepers’ bands           ates considerable hazards to human health.
and rollers. The maintenance in Latin American coun-
tries tends to be more corrective and is executed once         The residential collection points, generally in side-
the equipment has been damaged, which decreases the            walks or large size containers located in strategic
life cycle of the units. The mechanical sweep yield in         places, determine the collection pace and its efficiency.
Latin America fluctuates between 8 and 30 km/sweep-            The demographic concentration and the presentation of
er/shift. The estimated average by Solid Waste                 the waste by the community for its collection also influ-
Evaluation for LAC regarding amount of equipment               ence the efficiency.
used for mechanical sweeping is 0.0044 mechanical
sweepers per 1,000 people.                                     In general, the waste collected is transported to the final
                                                               disposal site by the collection vehicles, except in the
The absence of the conveying and transfer station con-         cases in which transfer stations are used, from where
cept in the sweeping service attracts attention, which         the wastes are transported to the final disposal site in
as in the case of solid waste collection, would make the       larger capacity trucks usually by tow.
service more efficient and would reduce operation
costs.                                                         Different types of vehicles are used for collection, with
                                                               different capacities from 3 m3 capacity trailers to 15 m3
The Solid Waste Evaluation shows that the average              compacting vehicles with state of the art technology
cost for sweeping in Latin America is US$10 monthly            compacting systems. In large cities, the collection is
per kilometer swept, resulting in a value less than the        carried out with mechanical equipment, usually com-
traditional range for the Region of US$15 to US$20 per         pacting trucks with a 10-15 m3 capacity with a team of
kilometer swept per month. The sweeping cost is sub-           two to four operators. In medium size cities compact-
ject to factors such as the number of personnel                ing vehicles have a 9-12 m3 capacity. In small size
employed and their contract conditions.                        cities a variety of collection vehicles is used, among
                                                               them motor vehicles with a 2-5 m3 capacity, vehicles
In the English Caribbean countries, the cost for sweep-        with animal traction and manual carts, among others,
ing is difficult to determine since this entry includes        usually using only one operator.
other activities such as cleaning drains, clearing, parks
and gardens beautifying, removal of abandoned vehi-            The majority of the trucks have an operation range of 8-
cles, removal of dead animals from streets, among oth-         12 years, which exceeds their life cycle, and according
ers, for this reason a large amount of personnel is            to its use, it is estimated to be seven years. The lack of
employed. Furthermore, the national government                 preventive maintenance in many municipalities has the
organizations or municipal boards are in charge of this        vehicle fleet in critical conditions. Related problems
task, therefore making it difficult to determine the costs     are the selection and acquisition of equipment that is
or personnel involved.                                         not appropriate for the conditions of the area to be

                                 Table 22. Sweeping coverage in Latin American and Caribbean countries

                                                                         Sweepers per                                            Mechanical
                                            Manual Sweeping                  1,000               Mechanical Sweeping           Sweeping Equip.
                                             Coverage (%)                   inhab.                  Coverage (%)               per 1,000 inhab.
             Country             Large      Medium    Small    Country      Country      Large    Medium      Small     País       Country
     Anguila                        ..          ..      80      80            0.35         ..         ..          -      -                -
     Antigua and Barbuda            ..         75        ..     75            4.26         ..          -         ..      -                -
     Argentina                    73           89       72      74            0.48        26          6          2      17           0.0101
     Bahamas                        ..         10        ..     10            1.50         ..          -         ..      -                -
     Barbados                     33            ..       ..     33            0.19        12          ..         ..     12           0.0186
     Belize                         ..         98      100      99            3.14         ..         2           -      1           0.0257
     Bolivia                      64           66       33      64            0.35          -         2           -    0.4           0.0005
     Brazil                       …            …        …       …               …         …          …          …       …                …
     Chile                        72           76       63      72            0.42         8         10           -      8           0.0102
     Colombia                     88           72       67      76              …         …          …            -      -               …
     Costa Rica                   63           39       10      34            0.25          -          -          -      -                -
     Cuba                         94           90       77      91            0.88      0.01           -          -     …            0.0013
     Dominica                       ..         20        ..     20            0.25          -          -         ..      -                -
     Dominican Republic           51           78       90      66            0.66        10         11         14      11           0.0088
     Ecuador                      50           36       35      45            0.42        12           -          -      8           0.0080
     El Salvador                  …            …        …       …             0.44        …            -          -     …            0.0104
     Grenada                        ..         30       25      30            0.56         ..          -          -      -                -
     Guatemala                    80           51       44      74            0.24        19          3         24      16           0.0066
     Guyana                         ..        100       ...    100            0.07         ..          -          -      -                -
     Haiti                        29           12         -     12            0.18          -          -          -      -                -
     Honduras                     70           80       27      50              …           -          -          -      -                -
     Cayman Islands                 ..          ..      …       …             0.08          -          -          -      -                -
     British Virgin Islands         ..          ..      96      96            1.74         ..         ..         4       4           0.0507
     Jamaica                      ...           ..      …       …             0.46          -         ..          -      -                -
     Mexico                       79           75      100      78            0.01        21         11           -     19               …
     Nicaragua                     ...          3         -      1            0.23        …            -          -     …            0.0085
     Panama                       90             -        -     70            0.44        …            -          -     …            0.0013
     Paraguay                     ...            -      19      16            0.29        …            -          -     …            0.0016
     Peru                         37           42       64      40            0.34        …            -          -     …                …
     Saint Kitts and Nevis          ..          ..      45      45            2.67         ..         ..          -      -                -
     Saint Lucia                    ..         75        ..     75               ...       ..          -         ..      -                -
     Saint Vincent and the          ..         50       …       50            1.10         ..          -          -      -                -
     Surinam                       5            ..      0.2      4            0.45         -           ..         -     -                 -
     Trinidad and Tobago          34           60        46     54            0.40         -            -         -     -                 -
     Uruguay                      35           ...       ...    35              ...        5          ...         -     3            0.0181
     Venezuela                    69           70        34     68            0.72         8            -         -     8            0.0030
64   LAC Average                  67           59        38     63            0.42        12           4        0.8     9            0.0044

     ..   Without that size of population center.
     … Data not available.
     -    Magnitude 0.
     Source: Solid Waste Evaluation.

     served, to which the problem to obtain spare parts is                   place and the service demanded by the population, tak-
     added. The economic situation of the majority of the                    ing into consideration factors such as sanitary aspects,
     countries in the Region and the lack of priority and                    collection costs, use of fuel for collection vehicles, stor-
     planning has not allowed the municipalities to renew                    age space in houses and waste generation. The collec-
     their equipment and a considerable number has been                      tion frequency is conditioned many times to equip-
     operating for more than 20 years and are going out of                   ment and personnel available to carry out the tasks.
     service.                                                                Table 23 shows the percentage of collection frequency
                                                                             in countries in the Region, the most frequent being
     The collection frequency depends greatly on the demo-                   between two to five times per week and the least fre-
     graphic aspects of the zones where the collection takes                 quent corresponds to less than once a week.
                                                  C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

Frequently, the downtown areas and the most populat-              (greater than 80%) in almost all the larger cities, there
ed areas have daily collection.                                   are centers in the cities themselves and poor neighbor-
                                                                  hoods in the outskirts that lack the service, or its qual-
Table 24 shows the coverage averages for solid waste              ity is very low. It is believed that the low coverage that
collection by country and at a regional level resulting           medium and small municipalities show is due to tech-
from the Solid Waste Evaluation. As can be seen, in               nical and financial limitations.
countries in the LAC Region, the average coverage for
collection in large population centers greater than               It should also be mentioned that places with difficult
500,000 inhabitants is 82%, in medium population                  access or in some neighborhoods in the outskirts, the
centers it is 79% and in small centers it reaches 69%,            “door to door” service is used, because it is impossi-
with a regional average of 81%. However, even when                ble to do it using mechanical means, which in the
many countries show significantly high coverage                   majority of the cases results in a very expensive serv-

                          Table 23. Collection frequency in Latin American and Caribbean countries

                                                                    2-5 times               Once                < than once
                   Country                     Daily %             per week %            per week %             per week %

Anguila                                            -                   100                      -                     -
Antigua and Barbuda                                -                   100                      -                     -
Argentina                                         98                     2                      -                     -
Bahamas                                            -                   100                      -                     -
Barbados                                           -                   100                      -                     -
Belize                                             -                    93                      7                     -
Bolivia                                           60                    40                      -                     -
Brazil                                             -                    98                      2                  0.01
Chile                                             23                    77                    0.3                     -
Colombia                                           2                    98                    0.3                     -
Costa Rica                                         -                    87                     11                     2
Cuba                                              77                    23                      -                     -
Dominica                                           -                   100                      -                     -
Dominican Republic                                27                    25                     47                   0,5
Ecuador                                           32                    68                      -                     -
El Salvador                                       52                    48                    0.2                     -
Grenada                                            -                   100                      -                     -
Guatemala                                          2                    93                      5                    <1
Guyana                                            31                     8                      9                    53
Haiti                                              2                    56                      -                    42
Honduras                                           -                    98                      2                     -
Cayman Islands                                     -                   100                      -                     -
British Virgin Islands                           100                     0                      -                     -            65
Jamaica                                            -                    59                     41                     -
Mexico                                           100                     -                      -                     -
Nicaragua                                          -                   100                      -                     -
Panama                                            85                     -                     15                     -
Paraguay                                           8                    88                      4                     -
Peru                                              40                    60                   0.01                     -
Saint Kitts and Nevis                              -                   100                      -                     -
Saint Lucia                                        -                   100                      -                     -
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines                   -                     8                     92                     -
Surinam                                            -                    91                      9                     -
Trinidad and Tobago                                -                   100                      -                     -
Uruguay                                          100                     -                      -                     -
Venezuela                                         13                    82                      5                    …
- This modality does not exist.
… Information not available
Source: Solid Waste Evaluation.

                                    Table 24. Solid waste collection coverage and equipment indicators
                                                in Latin American and Caribbean countries
                                                                                                Conventional       Non conventional
                                                 % Collection Average Coverage                   equipment           equipment
                                                                                                  per 1,000           per 1,000
                Country                  Large      Medium            Small        Country       inhabitants         inhabitants
     Anguila                               ..            ..              100        100              0.691                     -
     Antigua and Barbuda                   ..          100                  ..      100              0.399                     -
     Argentina                           100           100                96        100              0.132                 0.026
     Bahamas                               ..          100                  ..      100              0.150                    …
     Barbados                            100             ..                 ..      100              0.238                    …
     Belize                                ..          100               100        100              0.326                 0.034
     Bolivia                              86            86                61         86              0.059                 0.307
     Brazil                               ...           ...                ...       ...             0.114                    …
     Chile                               100           100                99        100              0.079                 0.010
     Colombia                             99            96                97         98                  ...                  …
     Costa Rica                           78            80                63         74              0.046                 0.016
     Cuba                                100            98                 97        99              0.099                 0.425
     Dominica                              ..           50                  ..       50              0.140                     -
     Dominican Republic                   56            89                 87        69              0.128                 0.119
     Ecuador                              80            85                80         81              0.096                 0.027
     El Salvador                          86            79                58         71              0.122                    …
     Grenada                               ..          100               100        100              0.236                     -
     Guatemala                            72            90                0,3        72              0.006                    …
     Guyana                                ..          100                74         89              0.116                     -
     Haiti                                20            13                   -       11              0.063                 0.037
     Honduras                             85            90                49         68              0.039                 0.029
     Cayman Islands                        ..            ..                ...       ...             0.566                 0.080
     British Virgin Islands                ..            ..              100        100              0.405                     -
     Jamaica                              63             ..                  -       62              0.047                     -
     Mexico                               92            86                87         91                 …                     …
     Nicaragua                            80            78                 64        73              0.035                 0.013
     Panama                               84            64                28         77              0.085                    …
     Paraguay                             74            46                25         51              0.050                 0.073
     Peru                                 74            72                76         74              0.059                    …
     Saint Kitts and Nevis                 ..            ..               98         98              0.325                     -
     Saint Lucia                           ..          100                  ..      100              0.382                     -
     Saint Vincent and the                 ..           90               100         91              0.119                     -
     Surinam                              82             ..               63         80              0.079                     -
     Trinidad and Tobago                 100           100               100        100              0.241                 0.151
     Uruguay                              86            88                ...        86              0.083                    …
66   Venezuela                            86            91                72         86              0.052                 0.027
     Total LAC                            82            79                69         81              0.101                 0.249
     .. Without this size of population center
     … Data not available.
     - Magnitude zero.
     Source: Solid Waste Evaluation

     ice, usually above any mechanical or semi-mechani-                 try level. On the other hand, Dominican Republic has
     cal method, situation that should be taken into con-               a collection coverage of 70% and Paraguay 51%.
     sideration in order to plan more efficiently when                  Likewise, the quality of the service, even in countries
     these cases come up.                                               with a 100% coverage, varies depending on factors
                                                                        such as the zone where the collection takes place and
     As can be seen in Figure 12, the collection coverage               especially the company or municipality that carries it
     varies a lot between countries, some of them like                  out.
     Argentina and Chile have a 100% coverage at a coun-
                                                C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

                                  Figure 12. Percentage of average collection coverage
                                       in Latin American and Caribbean countries

Source: Solid Waste Evaluation.

The English Caribbean countries are characterized for           ities the collection is carried out directly by the city-
a 100% collection coverage with the exception of                counties and the remainder (14.8%) is carried out
Dominica that shows a 50% coverage. In this country,            through concessions or any other management form.                67
because of the geographic dispersion of population              In Paraguay, 56% of the services are municipal, 36%
centers, the collection services do not cover the whole         are private and 8% of the municipalities have both
island. This situation is expected to improve once the          services.
construction of the two additional transfer stations
has been completed.                                             The use of waste collection micro companies is a
                                                                modality that is promoted more and more in LAC.
There is a trend in the majority of LAC in the progres-         Countries like Colombia, Peru and Ecuador use this
sive way of granting to third parties or granting in con-       modality extensively along several stages of solid
cession collection and transportation services by the           waste management. Usually, the collection micro
municipalities to the private sector. In countries such         company is made up of 10 to 15 employees that pro-
as Chile, more than 90% of the municipalities subcon-           vide service to an average of 20 to 30 thousand inhab-
tract private companies in a partial or total manner. In        itants. The micro companies carry out this work in a
Venezuela on the other hand, 85.2% of the municipal-            contractual form with the municipality or it can be as

     a concession, in which the micro company itself is in              portation to the final disposal site. The cost of the
     charge of invoicing for the service provided. The col-             facilities and of the large capacity trucks, as well as the
     lection can be through motorized vehicles, usually                 lack of vision in planning the urban sanitation system
     dump trucks, or animal and human traction vehicles.                constitute a limitation for many LAC countries in order
     The micro companies present an alternative to con-                 for this practice to be more communicated.
     tribute to solid waste management especially in the
     outskirts and areas of difficult access, providing the             The majority of the LAC cities with a population of
     opportunity of more accessible services to economi-                more than one million have transfer stations. In
     cally disadvantaged populations.                                   Argentina there are three transfer stations in Buenos
                                                                        Aires for the 4,500 tons a day produced in the Federal
     The Solid Waste Evaluation indicates that the aver-                Capital, which have 18 compacting machines and 77
     age cost for solid waste collection and transportation             vehicles, and a small one in Carlos Paz for 30 tons per
     is for large cities US$25 per ton, for medium US$21                day (70% of the waste) which has four vehicles.
     per ton and for small US$26 per ton, giving a region-              Mexico City has 13 transfer stations that handle 9,000
     al average of US$25 per ton. The costs depend main-                tons per day. Likewise, in metropolitan cities like
     ly on the amount of personnel employed, the service                Queretaro, Ciudad Juarez, Tepatitlan, San Luis Potosi,
     coverage, the amount of solid waste collected, the                 Ciudad del Carmen and Guadalupe, more than 75% of
     physical state of the trucks, the design of the collec-            the waste collected goes through transfer stations; in
     tion routes and the distance that the vehicle travels              Aguascalientes, waste generated in its territory is taken
     from the collection area to the transfer or final dispos-          to a landfill that operates in the capital of the entity,
     al site. The values obtained from the Solid Waste                  through the operation of five transfer stations located
     Evaluation are according to the traditional range of               in different sites in this state. In Quito, Ecuador there
     collection costs in Latin America, which vary between              are two transfer stations. In Venezuela, there are two
     US$24-US$40 per ton collected (PAHO/CEPIS, 2002).                  formal transfer stations, one in the metropolitan area of
                                                                        Caracas and the other in Maturin (Monagas State), with
     The collection in countries in the Region shows a                  installed capacities of 1,700 and 500 tons a day respec-
     mixture of public and private systems. However,                    tively (PAHO, 2000). In Brazil of the municipalities
     there is a general and clear trend towards the partici-            that have collection service only 1.6% use transfer sta-
     pation of the private sector. The advantages of this               tions that contribute 22,145 tons a day of wastes corre-
     change reside in the additional negotiation power on               sponding to 14.9% of the total waste collected in the
     the collection performance inherent to the contractu-              country. Likewise, this situation starts appearing more
     al system, as well as the release of the public entity of          frequently in the Region’s medium size cities that have
     the maintenance and replacement responsibility of                  important economic activities.
     the equipment by private parties. On the other hand,
     private participation tends to increase the collection             In the English Caribbean, only Dominica has a transfer
     cost due to the profit margin necessary to be able to              station and has plans to establish three additional sta-
     continue operating.                                                tions in the areas of Portsmouth, Marigot and in the
                                                                        southeast close to Rosalie. In this country generation
                                                                        sources are widely separated and the areas among them
                                                                        have low population density, which technically and
     3.3.3 Transfer                                                     economically justify the use of transfer stations.

     The difficulty in locating sites near-by for solid waste
                                                                        Table 25 presents data from a few LAC countries that
     final disposal, especially in densely populated zones,
                                                                        use solid waste transfer stations and collection centers.
     has influenced the progressive use of transfer stations
                                                                        As can be seen, the majority of the wastes go directly to
     to collect waste and facilitate their subsequent trans-
                                                                        the final disposal site.
                                                        C H A P T E R    3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

                                      Table 25. Latin America and Caribbean selected countries
                                 that use transfer services and/or collection services for solid waste
                                        Direct to                   Transfer             Collection         Conventional transfer
        Country                    final disposal (%)             station (%)            center (%)       equipment per 1.000 inhab.
Argentina                                 90.3                    28.0                     63.0                     0.0002
Barbados                                  85.0                     4.0                       ...                    0.0149
Belize                                    99.1                     2.0                         -                    0.2547
Bolivia                                   66.6                       -                      0.9                            -
Chile                                     72.9                    83.9                         -                    0.1218
Costa Rica                                99.3                       -                     25.0                          ...
Cuba                                      99.8                       -                      0.5                            -
Dominica                                  95.0                     5.0                         -                         ...
Dominican Republic                        69.8                     4.8                      0.3                     0.1198
Ecuador                                   31.2                    48.0                     15.6                          ...
Guyana                                    40.0                       -                     60.6                            -
Haiti                                      2.1                       -                     93.2                      0.040
Caiman Islands                            90.5                    10.0                         -                    0.0809
Jamaica                                   92.7                       -                     25.7                            -
Mexico                                    77.7                    98.2                       ...                        ....
Nicaragua                                 70.1                     5.4                      7.8                          ...
Peru                                      81.8                    79.6                         -                    0.0123
LAC AVERAGE                               73.2                    37.9                     15.6                     0.0130
- Does not exist.
… Data not available.
Source: Solid Waste Evaluation

According to the Solid Waste Evaluation, the average                     the final disposal sites, one should take into consider-
cost related to the transfer service for the LAC Region                  ation the mitigation criteria, environmental and
is US$15 per ton transferred for large population                        health risk reduction of the surrounding population,
centers, US$1 per ton transferred for medium centers                     as well as the opinion of the community since these
and US$0.1 per ton transferred for small centers,                        facilities require the citizens’ consensus.
resulting in a regional average of US$13 per ton
transferred. In cities that require this operation, the                  The combination of resources and efforts of two or
transfer cost represents approximately 29% of the                        more municipalities in joint operation to transfer
total amount of the integral service. The amounts vary                   waste reduces unit costs and to obtain better quality
based on the amount of waste managed and the dis-                        service by taking advantage of the economies of scale.
tance traveled to the final disposal site. The tradition-
al range for LAC has been US$8-US$12 per ton trans-
ferred (PAHO/CEPIS, 2002).
                                                                         3.3.4 Treatment and Final Disposal
Figure 13 shows the weighted average for transfer                              Systems
services and collection centers by city size and at a
regional level. The regional average of the population                   In the majority of the countries in the Region, the con-
centers that use transfer stations is 38% and 16% uses                   trolled tipping or sanitary or controlled landfill and the
collection centers. When reviewing the values one                        open air tipping are the most common municipal solid
should keep in mind that it only corresponds to 40%                      waste disposal systems. Other treatment alternatives
of the population centers in the Region, not knowing                     are just starting and not used frequently, usually car-
the situation of the rest.                                               ried out in the form of specific initiatives and some-
                                                                         times experimental. Among them are: recycling, com-
Besides the technical criteria for the location of trans-                posting, worm culture, incineration, pyrolisis, anaero-
fer stations, such as geographic variables, population,                  bic digestion (methane gas production) and use of
waste generation, street infrastructure and distance to                  waste as solid fuel.

                                      Figure 13. Use of transfer stations and collection centers
                                                 in Latin America and the Caribbean

     Source: Solid Waste Evaluation

     Recycling                                                          cooperatives, which have grouped and organized
                                                                        informal segregators. Peru recycles around 14.7% of
     The environmental benefit for recycling translates into            waste generated in the municipal environment, the
     a decrease in municipal waste, decrease in environ-                majority is carried out at a peri-household level and
     mental contamination and a notable savings in natural              during the collection and only 0.6% in final disposal.
     resources. Paper recycling is highly efficient if 90% of           Organic matter from the illegal and non sanitary
     the used paper yield is compared to 50% of the cellu-              breeding of pigs constitutes the main area for house-
     lose yield from wood. Glass, besides its potential                 hold recycling.
     reuse, can be recycled 100%. Plastic also has a high
70                                                                      The information on the recycling coverage in the
     potential for recycling depending on the different types
     of thermo fusion characteristics, which determines its             Region is limited, greatly due to the absence of records
     recovery potential. For example, polyethylene (deter-              on the amounts of recycled wastes. The Solid Waste
     gent, cleaning products and other plastic containers) is           Evaluation showed that the countries are not aware of
     recycled to be processed again in the form of toys,                the amount and type of material recycled, partly due to
     ducts for construction, garden benches and other uses.             the fact that formal recycling is very limited and the
     The PET from soft drink containers has a greater mar-              informal recycling, is frequently illegal, and even
     ket, it can be recycled in the form of sheets or plates or         though it is widely promoted in Latin American coun-
     to manufacture synthetic textiles.                                 tries, it is difficult to determine its magnitude due to
                                                                        the dispersed character of this activity.
     In the Region, especially in Colombia and Peru, there
     are several success stories of solid waste recovery                However, as can be seen in Figure 14, the amounts of
     through micro companies and recovery and recycling                 municipal waste recycled in LAC are relatively small,
                                                C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

with plastic being predominant, followed by paper and           poverty and unemployment, coupled with the fact that
cardboard, iron materials and glass in descending               formal initiatives are non existent for the integration of
order. Plastic recycling which had historically repre-          this form of sub-employment to the solid waste sector.
sented less development compared to glass, apparently
exceeds it due to the growing increase in the flow of           Mexico City has since 1994, solid waste selection and
plastic waste in households pertaining to the substitu-         recovery plants for a total capacity of 5,500 tons per
tion of glass containers for this material.                     day and with an average recovery potential of 5.3%
                                                                (291.5 tons per day). The plants are built as part of a
The formal segregation and recovery of recyclable               system guided towards by-product recycling which is
materials is not carried out at a large scale in the            part of the waste content in order to recover materials
Region. As an average the Solid Waste Evaluation                for the recycling industry and extend the life cycle of
showed that around 2.2% of the materials are recov-             final disposal sites, create employment sources,
ered from the garbage, with 1.9% corresponding to               improve the quality of life of scavengers (segregators)
inorganic recycling and 0.3% to organic waste recy-             and help in environmental conservation. Plants have
cling (vegetable leftovers).                                    received subsidies for investment expenses and for
                                                                operation and maintenance costs. Besides the great
On the other hand, informal recycling is widely pro-            benefit of integrating scavengers to the formal sector
moted in Latin America. A respectable portion of recy-          and having improved their living conditions, the
cled material from solid waste is carried out through           Mexico City government does not obtain any benefit
informal activities in streets before collection or in dif-     from this activity, nor from the income of scavenging
ferent phases of waste collection and disposal. This            (segregation at the generation sources and collection
activity has increased in countries that have experi-           trucks). In Mexico, there is the National Recyclers
enced rapid and deep economic crisis, such is the case          Institute (INARE for its Spanish acronym), which has
of Argentina and Uruguay, as a result of increase in            a membership of more than 500 recyclers in the coun-

            Figure 14. Percentage of recycled materials at a Latin America and the Caribbean regional level


Source: Solid Waste Evaluation.

     try, that recover different by-products with a commer-             approximately 2,000 tons per month glass, with which
     cial value.                                                        33% of the glass containers are produced; close to
                                                                        1,000 tons per month of thermoplastics and close to
     Colombia stands out as the Latin American country                  50% of industrial waste (43,000 tons per month) is
     that has traditionally had the highest recycling rate in           recycled within and outside of the industry (CONA-
     paper and cardboard in Latin America and is in 18th                MA, 1999).
     place at a world level with 57 tons recycled for each
     100 produced, surpassing the United States that recy-              Reuse refers to the use of waste materials without
     cles 31 tons, Germany with 50 tons and Japan with 53               greater modification to be used again for the original
     tons. It is estimated that in Ecuador approximately                purpose for which they were manufactured. Recycling
     40% of the paper and cardboard available is recovered              involves a physical, chemical or biological processing
     through recycling. With regards to plastic and glass the           to be used as raw material for new products. The reuse
     amounts were much less.                                            of materials from solid waste as well as recycling are
                                                                        feasible disposal methods that can be directly influ-
     In Chile, in the metropolitan Region of Santiago                   enced by economic policies, such is the case of the
     approximately 50% of paper and cardboard generated                 returnable glass containers to be used as such or as raw
     is recycled, around 10,000 tons per month (close to                material for new bottles or another glass product.
     50% of these materials are recycled in the country);

                                           Inset 3. Solid waste recycling in Uruguay
      Plastics. In 1999, in Uruguay, a voluntary agreement was established to implement a plastic container recycling pro-
      gram through an agreement signed between the Ministry of Housing, Territorial Ordinance and the Environment
      (MVOTMA for its Spanish acronym), the Uruguay Chamber of Industries, the Uruguay Association of Plastic Industries
      and the Manufacturers’ Center of Non Alcoholic Beverages and Beer. This program has allowed to-date, the withdraw-
      al from urban solid waste of more than 250 tons year of PET containers.
      Organic Fertilizer. The compost or organic fertilizer production in Montevideo began in 1999 through the implemen-
      tation of an organic waste treatment program that emerged as an initiative of technicians from the community. The
      plant processes around 100 tons a day of waste and has a mean production of 15 tons a day of organic fertilizer and
      is operated by the Uruguay Social Economic Promotion Institute, an NGO that also has agreements for sweeping and
      household collection in some areas in Montevideo. Furthermore, the municipal management of Paysandu has a com-
      post processing plant that has successfully integrated the participation of the community into solid waste management.
      Batteries. Several agencies have selective collection programs for batteries in order to dispose of them in adequate con-
      ditions and in special areas.
      Paper. The paper market is a growing market, since paper and cardboard industries installed in Uruguay use more and
72    more used paper substituting cellulose virgin paste. This market has a great potential growth and valorization of recov-
      ered material, therefore it is important to improve the selective classification capacity of paper. Some non-governmen-
      tal organizations participate in this system, such as the Tacuru and EMAUS organizations.
      Source: Uruguay’s Analytical Report, Solid Waste Evaluation.
                                             C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

The wastes that are within the metals classification or      Organic matter composting
of the industry present a great recycling potential.
However, for the majority of the wastes produced in          In the Region, composting of organic waste is carried
LAC, recycling is not economically attractive and less       out at a very small scale, generally at a community level
than 3% of household and commercial solid wastes             and the recovery does not reach 0.6% of organic waste
from the Region are recycled. The problem is basical-        generated. Since the beginning of the 1970s, there has
ly financial. In many situations, it can be more expen-      been a great number of incentives guided towards the
sive to recycle than to use raw material, depending on       establishment of composting plants with different
the incentives provided for it. Furthermore, the mar-        importing technologies, of which the majority have
kets for recycled material are frequently subject to a       failed, due to several factors related mainly to inade-
temporary boom and to market fluctuations, accord-           quate equipment maintenance, indefinite market, inad-
ing to variations in prices and costs of materials in        equate markets, inadequate technologies and the lack of
force. This situation provides little incentive of pri-      a linkage with strategic environmental projects for the
vate earnings to develop recycling technologies.             recovery of forests and eroded soils.

The nature of solid waste in LAC, especially those           Nevertheless, there are success stories in several LAC
generated by household, commercial and institution-          countries, for example, in the city of Loja (population
al sources, creates a technological problem for recy-        120,000), Ecuador, the intra-household separation of
cling. With just a few exceptions, the solid waste col-      organic waste has been accomplished, applying in
lected gets to the final disposal site all mixed up. The     addition the worm culture technique; likewise in
manual separation of waste is a difficult and haz-           Cuenca and Esmeralda there are several composting
ardous method given the magnitude and diversity of           activities in the marginal urban areas with the support
solid waste.                                                 of the municipality and NGOs, combining in this
                                                             activity urban and rural participation. In Montevideo,
Due to the fact that space is limited in the Caribbean       Uruguay, an organic waste treatment plant was estab-
islands, the few alternatives for disposal in landfills      lished in 1999, which processes approximately 100
have intensified other waste treatment alternatives          tons of wastes and has a mean production of 15 tons
guided towards minimization and recycling. As a              per day of organic fertilizer. In Chile, the Industrial
response, the recycling programs have increased suf-         Recycling –Ex Armony Company is in the process of
ficiently in recent years, such is the case of the           carrying out a composting project in Vega Central
Cayman Islands that prepares and ships materials             (market), which will recycle 5,000 ton per year of
such as automobile batteries, used lubricating oils,         organic waste generated in markets. Currently, in
aluminum cans, metals among others, for their mar-           Mexico City, a small plant is operating to produce
keting in other countries. It is estimated that              composting from batteries to process garden refuse.
Barbados recycles around 152,173 tons per year of            In the Caribbean, Saint Vincent operates an official
materials that include paper, plastics, iron and non-        composting unit in the Diamond landfill near                     73
iron metals, automobile batteries, electronic circuit        Kingstown and there are plans to establish compost-
boards and cooking oils. Antigua and Barbuda,                ing units at the new final disposal site in Wallilabou
Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent             (Belleisle) once its construction is concluded.
and the Grenadines recycle glass, which allows for the
recovery of bottles, for which there is an incentive for     In the majority of the Latin American countries, in gen-
the return, of around 70%-90%. This means an                 eral, by-product recovery and the production of com-
approximate recovery of 50% of the glass that goes           post have not had the expected results due to the lack
into the garbage circuit. In Trinidad and Tobago, some       of a market, high operation and transportation costs and
glass, plastic, paper and cardboard recovery incen-          sometimes the bad quality of the finished product.
tives have been formalized to include them in the            Likewise, the recycling of organic matter for compost-
export to foreign markets.                                   ing needs a good social acceptance to accomplish the
                                                             separation at the origin, its selective collection and the
                                                             acceptance of the composting facilities that generate

     odors in the environment during the process. Besides               the countries, traditionally, waste disposal has been
     the selective collection by the municipality increases             carried out under technical and environmental con-
     collection costs.                                                  trol conditions that are very unsafe and basic. Only a
                                                                        few countries have landfills that comply with the
                                                                        required technical conditions to be qualified as such,
                                                                        with controlled disposal from the environmental and
                                                                        sanitation perspective according to relevant norms.
                                                                        Generally in the Region, open air dumps are predom-
     Incineration in the countries in the Region is general-
                                                                        inant and many of the so-called landfills cannot even
     ly used for the treatment of hospital waste and from
                                                                        be considered controlled landfills since their opera-
     other health care centers. This technique is not wide-
                                                                        tion is carried out with little or no control.
     ly used due to its relative high cost and the nature of
     solid waste in LAC that is characterized by its high
                                                                        In Paraguay, close to 50% of the solid waste final dis-
     organic content, which makes incineration an ineffi-
                                                                        posal sites are open-air dumps with all the sanitation
     cient method for its treatment. The main advantages
                                                                        and environmental risks that this represents, the
     of this method are volume and mass reduction of the
                                                                        remainder is considered controlled. In Ecuador, the
     material to be disposed of in landfills and the possi-
                                                                        cities of Guayaquil, Cuenca and Loja have a landfill
     bility of recovering energy to generate vapor or elec-
                                                                        but without environmental monitoring, and only the
     tricity. On the other hand, gas emissions can contain
                                                                        Cuenca landfill is water resistant with geomembrane;
     contaminants and the operation and maintenance of
                                                                        Quito has a landfill where the seepage is not chan-
     the incinerators can be complex. In Latin America the
                                                                        neled and the biogas is not collected. In Chile, around
     high humidity of the waste and their low calorific
                                                                        45% of the urban population of the country has land-
     power do not make this alternative viable.
                                                                        fills; however, 70% of the final disposal facilities do
                                                                        not have the corresponding sanitary authorization and
     The Caribbean countries, due to the limitations of
                                                                        only 11 facilities have been approved by the environ-
     their territories for final disposal sites, practice incin-
                                                                        mental impact system. In Mexico, according to recent
     eration at a small scale. Barbados incinerates a total
                                                                        research on municipal performance regarding solid
     of 16,400 tons of solid waste per year, without using
                                                                        waste management, carried out by the Environmental
     the energy generated as a result of the combustion
                                                                        Infrastructure Mexican Commission (COMIA for its
     from wastes, disposing of inert material in the
                                                                        Spanish acronym) in more than 100 cities with a pop-
     Mangrove Pond landfill. The British Virgin Islands
                                                                        ulation of more than 100,000, concluded that none of
     have an incinerator on the west side of Tortola with a
                                                                        the final disposal sites complied 100% with the regu-
     40 ton per day incineration unit, which has exceeded
                                                                        lations in force and that only 15 sites were above 75
     its capacity due to the enormous increase in genera-
                                                                        points of a total of 100.
     tion rates and the growing maintenance needs.

                                                                        Table 26 shows the results of the Solid Waste
74   The Solid Waste Evaluation estimates that in the LAC
                                                                        Evaluation in relation to the different modalities of
     Region less than 1% of municipal solid waste is dis-
                                                                        waste disposal present in the countries in the Region.
     posed of by this method, and a minimal percentage
                                                                        These results should be considered carefully, since it
     complies with the standards in force, which means
                                                                        should be considered that the majority of the munici-
     that it is not an environmentally appropriate system.
                                                                        palities lack reliable information regarding the opera-
     Often, there is no monitoring activity to prove the effi-
                                                                        tion of the systems and the controlled landfills can be
     ciency and the incinerator’s compliance with the
                                                                        considered landfills as was previously mentioned.
     required standards.
                                                                        Furthermore, the final disposal amounts are estimated
                                                                        as percentages of collected wastes that receive final
                                                                        disposal, the large cities having great weight because
     3.3.5 Final disposal                                               they are the large waste generators and tend to have
                                                                        better final disposal technical alternatives than medi-
     In LAC, final disposal is one of the most critical                 um and small cities.
     aspects of solid waste management. In the majority of
                                           C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

The Solid Waste Evaluation shows that only 23% of          in controlled landfills, which are mostly dumps with-
the municipal waste generated in the LAC Region is         out any control.
deposited in an adequate sanitary manner in land-
fills. The remainder has other final disposal forms in     With regards to the final disposal of hazardous mate-
controlled landfills, open-air dumps or waterways.         rials, the situation is critical in the majority of LAC
This situation is of greater concern even considering      countries, since it is common practice in the Region to
that approximately 60% of the solid waste generated        dispose of hospital and hazardous waste together with
in the Region represents an unknown in its final dis-      municipal. In the Region, there are secured landfills
posal, especially in medium and small population           for hazardous wastes in the following countries:
centers, being disposed of illegally in the environ-       Argentina (8); Barbados (1); Brazil (+50, of which 10
ment. Taking into consideration that the average           or 12 units are collective use landfills, the remainder
regional collection coverage is 85%, this means that       are industry landfills for their own use); Chile (8);
approximately 236,000 tons of waste collected daily        Colombia (1); Cuba (4); Ecuador (Quito, 1); Guyana
are deposited in open air dumps or are tossed to the       (Linden, 1); Nicaragua (1); Mexico (1) and Uruguay
environment, and in the best of cases are disposed of      (Montevideo, 1).

                         Table 26. Final disposal coverage in Latin American and Caribbean countries according to the size of the population center

                                                             Large                                            Medium                                              Small                                           Country

                                                                             Open air                                          Open air                                           Open air                                          Open air
                                                            Controlled      dumps or                          Controlled      dumps or                           Controlled      dumps or                          Controlled      dumps or
                                            Landfill         landfill       water ways         Landfill        landfill       water ways         Landfill         landfill       water ways        Landfill         landfill       water ways
              Country                         (%)              (%)             (%)               (%)             (%)             (%)               (%)              (%)             (%)              (%)              (%)             (%)

 Anguila                                          ..               ..              ..               ..               ..               ..            99.9                 -             -              99.9                 -              -
Antigua and Barbuda                                ..               ..              ..            95.0                 -                -               ..               ..            ..             95.0                  -              -
Argentina                                       97.8                 -            1.5             12.2              8.5            32.2              5.8              16.9          67.2              60.7               5.6           22.9
Bahamas                                            ..               ..              ..              ...              ...             ...               ...              ...           ...                ...              ...            ...
Barbados                                        35.0             48.0              ...               ..               ..               ..               ..               ..           ...             35.0              48.0             ...
Belize                                             ..               ..              ..                -            99.0            1.00                  -            95.0           5.0                   -            96.8            3.3
Bolivia                                         70.7             13.5             7.9             55.6             16.1             5.3                  -            21.3          39.2              55.5              15.3           13.0
Brazil                                            ...              ...             ...              ...              ...             ...               ...              ...           ...             12.6              16.8           59.6
Chile                                           63.5             33.1                -            38.5             47.1             6.2             27.5              29.6          38.4              43.2              38.5           12.6
Colombia*                                       74.0              6.5            16.6             40.5              8.6            46.5             40.8               4.0          54.0              32.0              15.0           54.0
Costa Rica                                      96.5                 -               -            57.9             17.0            16.0             36.0              24.1          37.4              54.4              17.5           22.4
Cuba                                            19.4             73.9             6.6             17.7             39.0            42.7             39.5              16.7          42.0              21.4              57.6           20.5
Dominica                                           ..               ..              ..                -            85.0                 -               ..               ..            ..                  -            85.0               -
Dominican Republic                              64.3             64.3            24.8             14.8                 -           81.6              0.3               1.2          93.1              35.0               4.1           57.2
Ecuador                                         75.8              8.9                -            22.3             31.9            24.7             18.4              28.0          44.5              48.9              7.88           16.8
El Salvador                                     86.2                 -               -            49.1                 -             ...             8.2                  -           ...             41.3                  -            ...
Grenada                                            ..               ..              ..            90.0                 -                -           90.0                  -             -             90.4                  -              -
Guatemala                                           -            32.2              ...                -                -             ...                 -                -           ...                  -            22.0             ...
Guyana                                             ..               ..              ..                -            90.0            10.0                  -                -         88.1                   -            59.1           36.8
Haiti                                               -                -           34.3                 -                -           20.3                  -                -          3.3                   -                -          24.1
Honduras                                           ..           100.0                -              ...              ...             ...               ...              ...           ...                ...              ...            ...
Cayman Islands                                     ..               ..              ..               ..               ..               ..           95.0                  -          4.5              95.0                  -           4.5
British Virgin Islands                             ..               ..              ..               ..               ..               ..           33.4              15.8              -             36.4              15.8               -
Jamaica                                             -                -               -                -           100.0                 -                -                -             -                  -           100.0               -
Mexico**                                        60.0             60.0            15.0             20.0             14.0            56.0             10.0               5.0          63.0              25.0              35.0           40.0
Nicaragua                                           -                -               -            15.9                 -           38.1             20.1                  -         56.5              12.6              15.6           33.5
Panama                                          84.4             84.4              ...                -                -           64.4                  -                -         23.8              56.4                  -          20.1
Paraguay                                        20.2             20.2                -                -            43.6            56.4                  -            34.4          67.3               6.4              37.2           42.2
Peru                                            24.6             24.6            18.4              7.1             57.5            20.2             12.8              54.6          17.1              15.0              51.0           18.7
Saint Kitts and Nevis                              ..               ..              ..               ..               ..               ..          100.0                  -             -             10.0                  -              -
Saint Lucia                                        ..               ..              ..            70.0             17.5                 -               ..               ..            ..             70.0              17.5               -
Saint Vincent and Grenadinas                       ..               ..              ..            80.0                 -                -                -                -             -             77.6                  -              -
Suriname                                            -                -           99.9                 -                -                -                -                -        100.0                   -                -         100.0
Trinidad and Tobago                                 -           100.0                -                -            91.1             8.9                  -           100.0              -                  -            93.5            6.5
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    REPORT ON THE REGIONAL EVALUATION OF MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SERVICES IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

Uruguay                                             -            70.7            29.3             24.8             29.1            46.1                  -                -        100.0               2.6              65.5           31.9
Venezuela                                         ...            40.6            18.9                 -            20.8            79.2                  -                -        100.0                 ...            24.3           59.2
LAC Average                                     60.1             14.2            12.4             19.3             23.8            44.1             13.6              12.4          58.8              22.6              23.7           45.3

Large: > 200,000 inhabitants; medium: 50,000-200,000 inhabitants; small: <50,000 inhabitants.
.. Without a population center that size.
… Information not available.
- Magnitude zero.
Source: Solid Waste Evaluation
Note: The Regional Report reviewers have provided the values of Colombia and Mexico and these are not the data that the countries have recorded. These values were taken because they are more coherent with prior values from some studies. The
    sources for the corresponding countries are: *Republic of Colombia, Ministry of the Environment, Housing and Territorial Development, Division of Potable Water and Basic Wastewater and Environmental. ** Mexico’s Environmental Performance
    Evaluation. OCDE, 2003 and Waste in limbo. Performance of local governments and private participation in waste management. Environmental Infrastructure Mexican Commission. Mexico, 2003.
                                              C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

Environmental contamination from leachates is critical        Rural areas in the Region do not have the same problem
in the majority of LAC countries, especially in those         as urban areas in solid waste management due mainly
areas where storm water and surface and underground           to the low population density in these areas and the
hydric resources are abundant. In a few countries in          habits the population has of burning or burying waste
the Region leachate treatment is carried out, among           in the patios of their homes. Besides, consumption
these is Argentina that has a very advanced treatment         habits tend to be more reduced.
system in the North III landfill in Buenos Aires, which
includes physical chemical treatment followed by bio-         There is a current trend in several LAC countries to
logical aerobic/anaerobic treatment. Similarly in             join two or more municipalities to operate at the same
Brazil, Caxias do Sul uses the same type of treatment,        final disposal site. The advantage is the cost reduction
Curitiba uses stabilization lagoons and in the                in waste disposal in a more efficient manner using
Gramacho Landfill in Rio de Janeiro, leachates are            economies of scale, as long as the savings are not
recirculated and physical chemical treatment is fol-          exceeded by the increase in transportation costs.
lowed by biological treatment and nanofiltration. Sao         Countries like Paraguay and Venezuela widely use this
Paulo, Porto Alegre, Salvador, Belo Horizonte treat           modality.
leachates jointly with wastewater in secondary treat-
ment stations. In Mexico, D.F., the Bordo Poniente            In the Region, the new final disposal infrastructure
Landfill has a leachate treatment plant to return efflu-      works developed in recent years must comply with the
ent to the environment without causing negative               requirements that demand quality standards, which
impacts. In Chile, the Loma de los Colorados and              include the prevention of environmental impacts gen-
Colihues La Yesca landfills in Santiago use a leachates       erated by construction and operation of the final dis-
recirculation process in their landfills, considering it      posal site.
appropriate for the countries because of the favorable
                                                              In several countries, some improvements have been
climatic conditions of limited rainfall.
                                                              accomplished in final disposal that have transformed
An important limitation in leachate management is             some uncontrolled landfills integrating substantial
the conceptual mistake of considering them concen-            improvements in engineering works as well as in infra-
trated raw sewage, which has influenced solution pro-         structure and operative procedures. An example is
posals for their management, which are not always             Uruguay that has improved the operation of several
right. It is important to give leachates their own iden-      dumps transforming them into landfills, even the
tity, so that the proposals made for their control, con-      Paysandu Municipal Agency has included the collec-
template their variability in time; their high organic        tion and final disposal service in a quality certification
volatile load when they are “young”; their unmanage-          process under the ISO 9001 standards. This certifica-
able load that increases with time; and their haz-            tion will allow for the application of a continuous
ardous waste content.                                         improvement policy in the quality of the service inde-
                                                              pendently of political changes.
The Caribbean countries have a special situation with
regards to the final disposal of solid waste, considering     The recovery and energy use of methane produced in
the geographic and physical characteristics of the            landfills is carried out in very few countries in the
islands, whose ecosystems are environmentally fragile.        Region, among them Mexico, Chile and Brazil.
The impossibility of excavating in the islands without        Uruguay is starting studies for the design, construction
having saltwater percolation to bury garbage, as well as      and start-up of the catchments and production of elec-
the soil composition with predominant limestone, nar-         tric energy in the Landfill of Las Rosas, department of
row the options for selecting final disposal sites and        Maldonado, which would be transformed into a
limit long term disposal options. This situation is           demonstrative project for the country and the Region.
pressuring some countries like Barbados and the               Since April 2003, in Mexico, in the regional landfill for
Cayman Islands to look for alternatives in waste mini-        the metropolitan area of Monterrey, methane gas gener-
mization, composting and the use of waste for energy          ated by the organic part of the municipal waste is being
production, in order to decrease the amount of waste          used to generate electric energy. Nicaragua is in the
deposited in the final disposal site.                         process of beginning environmental impact and feasi-

     bility studies to use biogas generated by solid waste              waste management, of which 77% are related to sweep-
     deposited in open-air dumps in the city of Managua to              ing and collection, 2% to maintenance, 4% to special
     produce electric energy. In Chile, for Santiago, the               services, less than 1% to treatment, 13% administra-
     recovery of biogas generated by landfills is in the order          tive personnel and 3% in other activities. The majori-
     of 4 million cubic meters per month, that satisfies 40%            ty of the personnel are in sweeping, and their labor is
     of the residential and industrial demand of gas in the             usually poorly qualified.
     cities’ ducts and for Valparaiso, the first port in the
     country, the biogas recovery satisfies 30% of the
     demand of piped gas for the city. In Rio de Janeiro,
     Brazil, a small fraction of the biogas generated in the
                                                                        3.4 RELEVANCE OF THE SOLID
     metropolitan landfill was used in 1992 as a fuel for                   WASTE MANAGEMENT SER-
     vehicles, and currently, biogas is used as a fuel for a                VICES TO HEALTH AND THE
     generator motor that feeds part of the electric energy for
     the leachate treatment plant. In the Bandeirantes land-
     fill in Sao Paulo, in early 2004 a biogas electric energy-
                                                                        The lack of collection or the inadequate disposal of
     generating unit was installed with a 22-megawatt
                                                                        solid waste provides a favorable habitat for diseases
     capacity. In the Salvador Bahía landfill, a unit with an
                                                                        caused by vectors. In the lack of collection, waste is
     8-megawatt capacity was installed. The biogas produc-
                                                                        accumulated in empty lots and in local bodies of water,
     tion from waste decomposition in landfills, contributes
                                                                        where it constitutes a health risk and a contamination
     rates that go from 280-360 m3 per ton of waste (with
                                                                        source, besides being an environment conducive to
     approximately 50% of methane).

     With regards to the use of manual landfills, recom-
     mended as alternate technology for populations of less
     than 40,000 people, with a waste volume of less than               3.4.1 Health effects
     20 tons per day, there are success stories in Colombia,
     Cuba, Panama and Mexico. The use of landfills oper-                In the different phases of solid waste management,
     ated manually is highly appropriate for rural and small            from its generation to its final disposal, there are sever-
     semi-urban localities that in many countries in Latin              al risk factors that endanger the exposed population,
     America constitute the majority of the municipalities.             especially people that work in contact with waste, and
                                                                        the population adjacent to final disposal sites.
     The regional average cost for final disposal is US$9
     per ton; US$10 per ton for large cities, US$8 per ton              In the Region, final disposal constitutes the most
     for medium and US$4 per ton for small cities. In spite             severe aspect of solid waste management, since the
     of the bad quality of the operation in the majority of the         waste that cannot be collected is deposited without any
     landfills and many times their almost inexistent daily             control in the environment, either rivers, ravines, or in
     operation, make the management cost of this phase                  the streets of the cities. Household solid wastes are not
     almost minimal in many countries of the Region.                    exempt from health risks, especially due to their het-
     Furthermore, it should be taken into account that the              erogeneous composition that many times includes
     majority of the municipalities report scarce data with             remains of pesticides, debris, expired medications, and
     regards to their costs.                                            chemical substance waste, among others.

                                                                        It should taken into account that around 50%-70% of
                                                                        the wastes in LAC correspond to organic waste that go
     Personnel in charge of solid waste man-                            through a decomposition or rotting process and consti-
     agement                                                            tute an appropriate means for bacteria proliferation
                                                                        and preservation of parasite eggs, that could be the ori-
     The Solid Waste Evaluation estimates that of the popu-
                                                                        gin of numerous infectious illnesses, mainly gastroin-
     lation centers that reported (approximately 65%),
                                                                        testinal and dermal.
     around 410,000 formal workers are linked to solid
                                                        C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

The inadequate waste storage is an adequate means                        posal to be carried out jointly with municipal and hos-
for the reproduction of rodents, flies, roaches and oth-                 pital waste without additional treatment.
ers that act as vectors in the transmission of diseases
that affect the population. These vectors can trans-                     The population exposed to the risks related to inade-
port, either in the external parts of the body and also                  quate management of solid waste includes mainly:
through vomit, fecal matter or liquids from it, an
amount of pathogen agents that cause diseases. These                     • The population in general.
agents include virus, bacteria, fungi and parasites that
                                                                         • Formal workers of the solid waste sector (collectors
cause a great number of diseases such as hepatitis,
                                                                           and sanitation operators.)
dengue, typhus, leptospirosis, rabies, and ricketsiosis,
among others.                                                            • People dedicated to the selection and recovery of
                                                                           recyclable materials in the streets and storage and
Furthermore, some domestic animals behave as disease
                                                                           final disposal sites.
transmitting agents, especially pigs and beef cattle that
feed from solid waste in storage and/or final disposal                   • Population adjacent to final disposal sites.
sites. The feeding of animals with solid waste, even
though in the majority of LAC countries is not accept-                   • Urban population without household collection.
ed nor allowed by public health institutions, it is a
practice that is spread in the Region, in waste disposal                 • Population disadvantaged groups, such as children
sites as well as in storage areas in households, streets,                  and teenagers from the street and indigent people
markets and other public sites. This practice added to                     that are fed directly from household waste found in
the presence in this fecal and human matter, increases                     bags, and containers where garbage is stored for its
the potential of transmitting diseases such as teniasis,                   collection and in final disposal sites.
cysticercosis and trichinosis.

The inadequate management of municipal solid wastes
contributes to the increase of the incidence of gastroin-                The population in general
testinal and respiratory infectious diseases, and skin
                                                                         The risk that the general population faces with regards
conditions, as well as the possibility of increasing the
                                                                         to solid waste management depends on the environ-
risk of cancer, neurotoxic disorders and congenital
                                                                         mental conditions to which it is exposed. Factors such
malformations due to the presence of hazardous waste
                                                                         as the quality of housing, waste storage habits, hygiene
in garbage. It should be taken into account that heavy
                                                                         in general, closeness to final disposal sites, as well as
metals present in hazardous wastes that are disposed of
                                                                         the contamination of bodies of surface and under-
in municipal waste dumps, develop a greater solubili-
                                                                         ground water, air contamination and exposure to haz-
ty capability because of the acid environment that pre-
                                                                         ardous waste have the potential of impacting the whole
vails in these sites, maximizing and increasing the                                                                                         79
damage that it can cause.
                                                                         Practically none of the countries in the LAC Region
The threat to public health due to inadequate waste
                                                                         have carried out epidemiology studies to measure the
disposal is more significant in tropical countries than
                                                                         inadequate waste management impact on health.
in warm regions, due to the fact that biological degra-
                                                                         There are only a few isolated studies as in the case of
dation and growth conditions of pathogen organisms
                                                                         the Dominican Republic where a transversal cut study
is greater.
                                                                         was carried out to determine the prevalence of infec-
The problem of hazardous waste disposal is critical in                   tions by enteric protozoon in a population of 100 chil-
the Region. Even though the law prohibits its disposal                   dren from 3 to 35 months of age with acute diarrheic
without adequate treatment, nevertheless, in the                         disease18. The study evaluated the relationship
majority of the LAC countries it is common for its dis-                  between protozoan infection and epidemiological and

18 Dominican Republic Analytical Report: Ref. Tavarez et al. Prevalence of protozoons in children with acute diarrehic disease. Dominican
   Pediatric Records 27(2):43-47, May-August 1991.

     environmental risk factors, finding a prevalence of 66;              Formal workers
     having a significant relationship (p≥0.05) between pro-
     tozoan infection and waste in open air and/or ingestion              Even though a great number of LAC countries have
     of non-potable water.                                                legal provisions related to workers’ health – among
                                                                          them the Health and Occupational Safety Law – that
     The dengue incidence, especially in tropical countries               addresses the obligations that the employers have with
     in the Region has been related to inadequate disposal                regards to the health of their employees, including hav-
     of abandoned vehicles, tires and containers disposed of              ing access to some type of health care system, their
     where storm water is stored and vectors proliferate.                 compliance is not evident in all the countries. In gen-
                                                                          eral, not too much attention is given to the effect that
     The deficient maintenance of storm drains also affects
                                                                          inadequate management can have on sanitation work-
     the health of the population due to the accumulation of
                                                                          ers. This can be clearly seen by the lack of preventive
     wastes that clog canals resulting in flooding during the
                                                                          measures that include annual medical controls and
     rain season and stagnant water in disposable objects
                                                                          vaccines against tetanus and diphtheria.
     during the dry season, constituting an ambience for the
     proliferation of vectors.                                            On the other hand, it is observed that in general, there
                                                                          is a lack of compliance with basic occupational health
                                                                          standards, many times due to the lack of training and
                                                                          lack of awareness regarding the hazards involved in
     Occupational health
                                                                          this occupation. The Region does not have available
     Formal and informal workers from the solid waste sec-                statistical data on occupational diseases and work
     tor are the ones who are more exposed to health risks                related accidents for this group of workers. The scarce
     due to the management of this wastes, considering that               information available comes from isolated studies. In
     a great portion of the work that they carry out is done              a study carried out in several Latin American countries
     manually without any training and without the use of                 on the health conditions of workers who handle solid
     protective equipment, situation that is aggravated by                wastes, in the case of Costa Rica it was established that
     the indiscriminate management of conventional solid                  the most frequent disease in a sample of workers from
     waste and hazardous wastes. Besides the diseases                     a sanitation micro company are migraines (37%), fre-
     commonly related to the inadequate solid waste man-                  quent colds (23.3%), lumbar problems (22.6%), irri-
     agement, this population is more exposed to accidents                tability (20.7%), dizziness (17.9%) and pain in extrem-
     due to cuts with glass and metals, pricks with hypoder-              ities (17.9%)19.
     mic needles, traffic accidents, falls from collection
                                                                          Another high-risk group is made up of medical teams,
     equipment and accidents at the final disposal sites.
                                                                          paramedics and hospital maintenance employees.


     19 Central American Isthmus Environmental and Health Program Journal - MASICA No. 18, 1997.
                                                      C H A P T E R     3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

                                Table 27. Risks to which sanitation workers are exposed

    Related Risk                                 Cause                                                            Agents
Biological         Components from specific wastes, especially from health care         Virus, bacteria, fungi, parasites.
                   facilities, organic waste.
Chemical           Presence of hazardous substances: household disinfectants, pesti-     Explosive, combustion, flammable, toxic, carcinogen,
                   cides, waste from small industries, expired medication, wastes        corrosive, flammable gas releasers in contact with
                   from medical dispensaries, hospitals and clinics.                     water, toxic smoke releasers in contact with air or
Physical           Accidents and injuries occurred during the work performance,          Sharp objects, paper, metal, glass.
                   injuries, and accidents in public streets, excess of physical effort. Noise and odors, dust.
Social             Addiction to alcohol, drugs, violence, depression, social exclusion. Low cultural and economic level that is predominant in
                   Lack of medical insurance.                                            this social group, lack of knowledge and/or lack of risk

In countries such as Chile and Trinidad and Tobago,                     are located or in peri-urban zones in marginal settle-
large industries and commercial operators tend to                       ments next to them in very precarious housing, usual-
adopt occupational health and safety measures as part                   ly made of disposable materials, without any type of
of the comprehensive human resource management.                         basic sanitation services (potable water supply, collec-
The use of protective equipment together with period-                   tion, transportation, treatment and wastewater sanitary
ic medical check-ups has started to be an integral part                 disposal, fecal matter and solid waste), in inhuman
of the planning of management. Usually, compliance                      conditions.
with these measures is in response to requirements
imposed by multinational companies or as a pre-requi-                   Segregators are in direct and constant contact with
site for ISO certification (International Standardization               different types of wastes, including many times hospi-
Organization). The implementation of the ISO 9000                       tal and toxic industrial wastes that are deposited
series insures a certifiable system of basic quality and                together with the rest of the conventional solid waste
the ISO 14000 is a global series of environmental man-                  in a common final disposal site without any specific
agement standards.                                                      precautions. The unhealthy conditions in which this
                                                                        activity is carried out in dumps involve a high risk for
                                                                        accidents and different diseases, among which respi-
                                                                        ratory, intestinal parasites, skin and muscular, bone,
Informal workers                                                        ocular and skin diseases are predominant. These
                                                                        pathologies have a close relationship to the environ-
In the majority of the countries in the Region, segrega-
                                                                        ment where they work and the sanitary conditions in
tion is practiced in open-air dumps, as well as in micro
                                                                        which they live.
dumps in vacant lots, riverbeds and ravines. Even
though sanitation legislation in many countries pro-                    There is practically no data available in the Region to                     81
hibits the presence of segregators, in the majority of the              evaluate the health situation of this segment of the
controlled landfills in the Region, the presence of per-                population, except for a few epidemiological focal
sons dedicated to this activity can be observed.                        studies carried out in some countries that reflect the
                                                                        situation. In Ecuador, in a study carried out by the
The segregators of waste for recycling, known in the
                                                                        Solid Waste Project of the Natura Foundation in 1993,
different LAC countries as minelayers or draftsman
                                                                        revealed a series of abnormalities in a group of segre-
(Ecuador), vagabonds or cardboard collectors (Argen-
                                                                        gators, in which gastrointestinal diseases are out-
tina), scavengers (Mexico, Colombia), divers (Costa
                                                                        standing, manifested by chronic diarrhea, non specif-
Rica), cachureros (Chile), samplers (Brazil), guajeros
                                                                        ic dermatology problems; non specific respiratory
(Guatemala), carry out their activity in deplorable san-
                                                                        symptoms (cough, expectoration, nasal cold); immu-
itation conditions, by constantly being exposed to the
                                                                        nological diseases and anemia. Furthermore, another
emission of gases, smoke generated by the combustion
                                                                        investigation of “minadores” in the city of Cuenca in
of waste, bad odors and communicable disease vectors.
                                                                        1992 shows a broad variety of gastrointestinal and res-
Generally, they live in the same lot where the dumps

     piratory diseases. In this study, it was observed that                       3.4.2 Effects on the environment
     the population adjacent to the final disposal site has
     the same diseases and with greater infant mortality                          The storage and final disposal of waste are the man-
     rates because of them.                                                       agement phases that represent the most prolonged
                                                                                  exposure of waste to the environment, while collec-
                                                                                  tion and its process are short-term operations and
                                                                                  therefore do not cause environmental problems, even
     Population adjacent to final disposal
                                                                                  though they do represent health and occupational
                                                                                  risks for collection workers. One of the largest envi-
                                                                                  ronmental contamination sources is the presence of
     In the Region, the majority of the population that lives
                                                                                  hazardous waste, industrial as well as household,
     near open-air dumps lives in irregular settlements, do
                                                                                  mixed with municipal waste.
     not have basic sanitation services, and generally
     receive contaminated surface and underground water,
                                                                                  The main impacts to the environment are summarized
     in addition, suffer all the problems and risks that
                                                                                  as follows:
     involve being close to the dumps. The people that
     recover materials from the final disposal sites, of whom                     • Air contamination, mainly due to dust from vehicles
     the majority live in these localities adjacent to the                          and machinery and the burning and incineration of
     dumps are within this group.                                                   waste and potential fires that generates particle
                                                                                    emissions, contaminating gases and dioxins and
     Due to the fact that the causes for diseases are multi-
     varied, it is difficult to establish an aetiology that
     directly correlates health with household solid waste,                       • Surface water contamination and the alteration of
     even though it is acknowledged that there are causal                           natural drainage systems due to the uncontrolled
     risk agents in waste of specific health diseases such as                       dumping of solid wastes in bodies of water.
     was previously mentioned. The lack of epidemiologi-
                                                                                  • Underground water contamination due to inade-
     cal studies in this aspect has not allowed the direct cor-
                                                                                    quate final disposal and the infiltration of leachates
     roboration with this relationship. Other factors that are
                                                                                    into the subsoil.
     generally present in this high risk group, such as pover-
     ty, malnutrition, hygiene, inadequate maintenance of                         • Soil contamination by leachate spills, as well as the
     sewage and drainage systems and the poor basic                                 inadequate dumping of special wastes (chemical
     potable and wastewater services that frequently coin-                          and biocontaminated) and hazardous.
     cide with poverty, also contribute to the incidence of                       • Food contamination, mainly due to beef cattle and
     diseases.                                                                      pig breeding with contaminated organic wastes.

                        Inset 4. Health conditions of scavengers in some final disposal sites in Mexico.
      In the final disposal sites, where people work as scavengers, 14% of the women have experienced an abortion and 3%
      more than three abortions, 13% has lost a child, 10% two children and 15% between three and seven children. With
      regards to the level of mortality, 67% of the children that have died are in the age group between 0-3 years of age.
      The main causes of fatalities in this age group are attributed in 73% of the cases to a disease, due to the fact that the
      immunological system is not well developed to face the environmental hazard and in 14% they occur due to acci-
      dents, frequently due to negligence from adults. The life expectancy for this people is less than 45 years compared to
      the life expectancy at birth in Mexico, which is 76 years.
      Source: Mexico’s Analytical Report, Solid Waste Evaluation (Ref. “Options for participating in scavenging in the solid waste management”, 1993).
                                                           C H A P T E R     3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

                                         Table 28. Environmental health problems related to
                                                 inadequate management of wastes
                                                                                                                              Group of exposed
     MRS Phase                         Environmental problem                                  Health risks                       population
Inadequate genera-      Environmental hazard due to hazardous or potentially      Gastrointestinal diseases.               Population lacking ade-
tion and storage        hazardous materials of daily household use.               Poisoning of infants and pets.           quate storage and/or col-
                        Proliferation of vectors (insects, rats, rodents and      Dengue.                                  lection systems.
                        pathogen organisms).
                        Food contamination.
                        Bad odors.
Inadequate disposal     Proliferation of vectors (insects, rats, rodents and      Gastrointestinal and respiratory dis-    Population lacking ade-
in public areas.        pathogen organisms.)                                      eases.                                   quate collection services.
                        Air contamination due to open air burning.
                        Surface water contamination due to dumping of wastes.
                        Food contamination.
                        Bad odors.
                        Landscape deterioration.

Collection, trans-      Landscape deterioration.                                  Respiratory, gastrointestinal and der-   General population.
portation, storage in   Bad odors.                                                matology diseases.                       Formal and informal urban
transfer stations.      Noises.                                                   Occupational diseases and acci-          sanitation workers.
                                                                                  dents (problems with ergonomics,
                                                                                  traffic, injuries with sharp objects
                                                                                  and traction).
Segregation and         Reuse of chemical products bottles and containers.        Respiratory, gastrointestinal and der-   Segregators.
recycling               Feeding of beef cattle and pigs with unhealthy organic    matological diseases.                    Population that acquires
                        waste.                                                    Occupational diseases and acci-          products in reused contain-
                        Application of contaminated compost to soil.              dents; chronic degenerative dis-         ers. Consumers of beef
                                                                                  eases, mental health (alcoholism         and pork meat from ani-
                                                                                  and drug addiction.)                     mals bred in dumps or
                                                                                  Poisonings                               with organic waste from
Treatment and final     Soil contamination.                                       Infect contagious and parasitic dis-     Population adjacent to final
disposal                Air contamination from open air burning.                  eases; allergic diseases, respiratory    disposal sites.
                        Surface and underground water contamination.              tract, skin and mucous, occupation-      Peri-urban population sec-
                        Modification of sewage systems (public sewage, canals     al diseases and accidents; chronic       tors where waste is accu-
                        and riverbeds).                                           degenerative diseases, mental health     mulated or burnt.
                        Landscape deterioration.                                  (alcoholism and drug addiction);         Formal and informal work-
                        Fires.                                                    dengue.                                  ers from the sector.

Source: PAHO. Solid Waste SectoralAnalysis in Paraguay and Peru. 2001.

• Greenhouse gasses emission.                                                Even though environmental problems caused by inad-
                                                                             equate solid waste management are acknowledged in
• Landscape deterioration.
                                                                             the Region, none of the countries have systematically
• Bad odors.                                                                 monitored or studied them.
• Acoustic and visual contamination.
                                                                             With regards to air contamination, waste incineration
• Social costs and risks (delinquency, violence, mar-                        is not practiced too much in Latin America, with the
  gination, etc.).                                                           exception of hospital and industrial hazardous waste.
                                                                             The biggest problem is the uncontrolled open air burn-
• Decrease in value of property.
                                                                             ing of waste that is accidental or as a regular practice in
An important aspect for countries in the economic mat-                       open-air dumps. This practice is widely promoted
ter is visual contamination that negatively affects                          especially in smaller municipalities where there is not
tourism and is produced in beaches and recreational                          too much control. However, this practice is less
areas, including protected areas, such is the case of the                    accepted when the amounts of solid wastes disposed,
Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.                                                the population density, and the serious risk of contam-

     ination increases. In Uruguay, within this context, in             3.5 RELATIONSHIP OF MUNICI-
     the year 2001, the Environmental National General
     Office (DINAMA for its Spanish acronym) carried out
                                                                            PAL SOLID WASTE MANAGE-
     the first standardized inventory for the identification                MENT SERVICES TO LOCAL
     and quantification of the release of dioxins and furans                ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL
     in Uruguay, in the framework of cooperation between
     UNDP and the MVOTMA, which concluded that the
     uncontrolled combustion represents 45% of total emis-
     sions to the atmosphere of this substances, the burning            3.5.1 Equity of services
     of agricultural waste, the open air burning of urban
                                                                        Even though it is perceived that there is no difference
     solid waste and forest fires being the main sources. In
                                                                        between the deliveries of urban sanitation services to
     that sense, in Mexico, the National Environmental
                                                                        the population, it is observed that in general, in large
     Research and Training Center (CENICA for its Spanish
                                                                        cities, the poorest sectors receive service of a lesser
     acronym) prepared the Dioxin and Furan Inventory for
                                                                        quality, shown by the frequency of the sweeping and
     the year 2000 (556.16 grams TEQ/year), which estab-
                                                                        more infrequent collection. In irregular settlements
     lishes that combustion from different types of wastes is
                                                                        where the poorest population of the cities concentrate
     equal to 40.63% of the total emissions of these com-
                                                                        and in the semi-rural areas, the collection is inadequate
     pounds, fires in final disposal sites, as well as house-
                                                                        or non-existing. Frequently, the municipalities reject
     hold burning of waste being the most important prac-
                                                                        collecting waste where taxes are not paid on real estate
     tices since they represent 97% of this indicator.
                                                                        or other municipal services are not charged. This dif-
     Currently, Chile has passed a law prohibiting this prac-
                                                                        ference is not so marked or is not so evident in small
     tice and it is guiding its policies towards the sanitary
                                                                        cities where the service provided is independent of the
     disposal of solid waste.
                                                                        economic level of the population.
     With regards to the emission of greenhouse gases,
                                                                        There are great differences in the coverage of sanitation
     which are directly responsible for planet warming,
                                                                        services within the same countries. For example, in
     since they cause the infrared radiation from the sun to
                                                                        the Dominican Republic, according to data provided by
     be in the environment, it is estimated that carbon diox-
                                                                        the Central Bank, only 55.5% of the homes at a nation-
     ide (CO2) and methane (CH4), the main components of
                                                                        al level receive waste collection services. This percent-
     the biogas generated at waste final disposal sites, con-
                                                                        age is less in relation to 84.8% of the homes that
     tribute 55%-15% respectively. The National Center for
                                                                        receive potable water from the aqueduct and 87.7% of
     the Prevention of Catastrophes, estimates that in
                                                                        the homes that receive electric energy service. In
     Mexico, the waste that is daily disposed of at every
                                                                        Colombia, according to numbers submitted by the
     final disposal site (about 90,000 ton per day), generates
                                                                        Potable Water and Basic Wastewater Regulatory
     39.77 million m3 of these gases.
                                                                        Commission, 43% of the 1,065 municipal seats do not
     Surface and underground water contamination is very                have sanitation services.
     serious in the Region especially in areas with water
                                                                        In the majority of the countries of the Region, there are
     table levels. It is estimated that 50% of the population
                                                                        crossed subsidies for urban sanitation services, consid-
     in LAC use underground water as the primary source of
                                                                        ering that rates and tariffs do not cover the costs. This
     water supply, including large cities like Buenos Aires,
                                                                        type of subsidies fall on the whole population and not
     Mexico City, Lima, Santiago and Sao Paulo. The con-
                                                                        necessarily are they directed to the most needy groups.
     tamination of urban aquifers is produced mainly by the
                                                                        Many times, grants protect large generators where dif-
     indiscriminate discharges of agrochemicals, untreated
                                                                        ferential tariffs are not used in relation to the volume of
     industrial waste, mining rinses and municipal wastes
                                                                        waste generated. On the other hand, in more than 90%
     into the sewage.
                                                                        the charge is carried out through indirect mechanisms
     The open-air dumps have a socioeconomic impact by                  (real estate taxes, electricity bill, potable water and
     devaluing the land and adjacent areas, depreciating the            sewage bill, etc.), or the service is not charged.
     affected areas, besides affecting the urban image.
                                                C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

3.5.2 Service efficiency                                        vide at a national level a considerable amount of for-
                                                                mal and informal employment. However, there are no
The lesser scale and the complexity of the problems             clear records of the activity not even when it is formal.
produced by wastes in smaller urban centers make
solid waste management relatively easier than in the            Some initiatives in the countries have recorded recy-
larger centers. In this sense, the low population densi-        cling activities, such is the case of Costa Rica through
ty and smaller distances in small centers offer an              a database on the management of recyclable and
advantage in their management by having faster collec-          reusable solid waste, promoted by REPAMAR-CR and
tion routes and with less obstacles and shorter dis-            the Ministries of Health, have allowed the systematiza-
tances for transportation to the final disposal site. On        tion of different aspects of recycling, providing a
the other hand, the economies of scale give an advan-           glimpse of how much the recycling sector has grown
tage to the large urban centers to carry out their solid        in recent years with regards to employment and eco-
waste activities in a more economic and efficient man-          nomic activity, which would offer a base to economi-
ner. However, problems persist due to the lack of qual-         cally asses the sector. Furthermore, in Dominican
ified human resources and the lack of political priority        Republic, the reuse of glass bottles that are used for
to provide the necessary financial resources.                   soft drinks and alcoholic beverages is a traditional
                                                                practice of industries in this line of business. In the
                                                                island countries such as Antigua and Barbuda,
                                                                Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia
3.5.3 Economic value of the sector                              and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines glass recycling
                                                                allows an 80%-90% recovery of the bottles for which
In contrast with other sectors, to date, none of the            there is a deposit system, which also has the advantage
countries in the Region have estimated the economic             of reducing the volume of glass that reaches the final
value of the sector in terms of work generation,                disposal site by 50%.
exchange of goods and services, development of small
companies and of recycling. The solid waste manage-             In Bolivia, the solid waste segregation that has been
ment sector is not included as a productive sector of           organized at a small scale in the city of Sucre (193,876
the economy based on its employment capacity, espe-             inhabitants) contributing 2.2% of the budget of the
cially of a significant group of the low income popula-         Sucre Municipal Sanitation Company.
tion, nor has the economic impact that the recycling
activities can have and the use of recycled materials as        However, for recycling activities potential recycling
raw material in industrial processes to generate new            development strategies should be examined based on
quality products to the consumer, even with export              production volumes, need for raw material, direct
capability has been measured. This is due largely to            effect on the use and implications of the need for inter-
the fact that the recycling activities are still considered     nal and external demand. The planning of recycling
to belong to an informal economy.                               activities in the countries is sometimes damaged by
                                                                the insufficient reliable projections of the market’s
Providing solid waste management services requires a            development. The supply and demand projections of
strong workforce component. The municipal sanita-               recycled products should be submitted to a continu-
tion personnel often represent an important fraction of         ous review and should be flexible from the perspective
the municipal government employees, mainly the                  of products and goods in planning recycling projects.
large municipalities, in sweeping and collection activ-         It is evident that in every country, the recycling strate-
ities. Likewise, it is an important source of employ-           gy should be adapted to local needs, resources and
ment generation for private collection companies.               conditions.

Solid waste management is also the depository of one            Furthermore, the economic value of the sector should
of the industries that has been acquiring more impor-           be measured based on its contribution in the affluence
tance at a world level, the recycling industry. In sever-       of tourism in places where this activity represents an
al countries in the Region, the recycling circuits pro-         important economic sector at a local and national

     level. The inadequate disposal of solid waste affects              demands nowadays better services, equal to devel-
     the tourist activity due to the deterioration of the               oped societies to prevent affecting the environment.
     landscape, bad odors and contamination in general
     that this disposal produces. Costa Rica, which                     However, in most of the countries of the Region, com-
     receives more than 1.13 million visitors per year, is              munity participation in the different phases of the
     addressing this problem through the Environmental                  service tends to be passive, with few exceptions.
     Education Program of the Tourist Micro-companies                   Usually, the population does not identify itself with
     General Office and the General Office of Promotion of              the sanitation problem generated by inadequate solid
     the Costa Rica Tourism Institute, through the Solid                waste management, once they leave the household
     Waste Management Program in Tourist Communities,                   and are deposited in the street for its collection.
     which tries to promote participative management                    Likewise, the community has not assimilated the
     between the municipality, businessmen and the com-                 awareness of minimizing waste production at the
     munity.                                                            source. The community’s participation tends to
                                                                        become more active when it is facing a problem that
                                                                        affects them, especially those related to the “Not In
                                                                        My Back Yard”(NIMBY), such is the case of the facil-
     3.6 PARTICIPATIVE MANAGE-                                          ities of waste treatment units (i.e., debris recycling
         MENT IN SOLID WASTE MAN-                                       units or segregation units) next to their neighbor-
                                                                        hoods, as well as the installation of a final disposal
                                                                        site. Many times this negativism before the initia-
                                                                        tives tending to solve the solid waste problem by the
     3.6.1 Community’s participation,                                   community, is due to the wrong perception of the
           mobilization and organization                                problem that is linked to the lack of real and objective
                                                                        information, the lack of environmental and sanitation
     The adequate behavior of the population in relation                education programs, the lack of credibility in its gov-
     to services, their collaboration for preparing solid               ernment institutions, and the inadequate social inter-
     waste for its collection, respecting the days and                  vention methodology.
     schedules, as well as the awareness for not disposing
     of solid waste in public places in streets, vacant lots            Currently, this institution is improving due to the fact
     or bodies of water, is basic to accomplish a good                  that the regulation in force in the majority of the LAC
     waste management that starts at the source. The                    countries requires an environmental impact assess-
     three Rs principle: reduce, reuse and recycle wastes,              ment, with the corresponding environmental license
     announced in Agenda 21, is not yet as promoted in                  for transfer stations and landfill projects, in which
     LAC countries and even though an effort has been                   the social component and community participation
     made to implement it in some countries like                        should be an integral part of the process. The impor-
     Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Uruguay among                 tance of consulting the community in projects and
     others, it has not been successful as can be seen by               decisions on solid waste management is essential for
     the increase in waste production per capita and the                preventing conflicts later on. Therefore, it is impor-
     relatively small percentage of recyclable materials,               tant to have a positive assessment by national and
     due mainly to the lack of clear government policies,               local authorities regarding citizens’ participation in
     with precise objectives, as well as the economic                   the management of environmental problems, includ-
     implications and infrastructure requirements, related              ing solid waste; having these authorities the respon-
     to the this initiative.                                            sibility to promote that participation.

     On the other hand, the world globalization process                 The community can likewise have a supervisory role
     that we are experiencing nowadays has presented                    exercising social control on the quality of the servic-
     new conditions for developing countries, with                      es by participating in their planning and rate design.
     regards to municipal solid waste management and its                This way it acquires more knowledge of the needs
     dangers. Therefore, we start seeing in some LAC                    and easily accepts the charge for the services on real
     countries that the well-informed community                         basis. However, active participation of the communi-
                                                C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

ties in the definition, implementation, control and             In Paraguay, several municipalities affiliated to the
evaluation of solid waste public management,                    Healthy Municipalities Network, currently with 38
through concrete mechanisms such as local planning              members in the country, carry out awareness cam-
boards or the delegation of services to organized com-          paigns on the importance of solid waste management
munities, is still new in Latin American countries              in relation to segregation at the origin, courses on the
and practically non existent in Caribbean countries             reuse in crafts of certain solid wastes, recycling,
in which the central government directly provides               beautification of green areas, among other activities
the services.                                                   that have the support of local, neighborhood and pro-
                                                                motion commissions. As an incentive inter-neigh-
The level of community participation with regards to            borhood competitions are carried out to select the
solid waste varies enormously in the countries of the           cleanest neighborhood.
Region and with the size of the cities. In large cities,
the community tends not to be very active; however,             However, many of these initiatives do not last due to
the large environmental NGOs tend to have a more                the lack of formal support, either through govern-
important role in the integration of the civil society to       mental policies or legal provisions that gives them
solid waste management. The community participa-                the necessary recognition. Nevertheless, the concern
tion tends to be more accentuated in small population           of the population in general terms has exercised a
centers, many times pressed by the need to solve a spe-         notable action in the relative awareness and incorrect
cific problem related to waste management or impelled           management of municipal solid waste and hazardous
by an NGO that promotes this type of activities.                waste. It is becoming more frequent for department
                                                                governments (in federal countries) and the munici-
In this aspect, several countries have carried out the          palities to get involved in improving the urban sani-
initiative to promote community participation; such             tation services and hazardous waste control.
is the case of Panama with the creation of the Solid
Waste Local Action Committees, in some communi-                 A very successful experience and one, which has dis-
ties located in the Panama Canal basin. These com-              persed to several countries in the Region, are the
mittees participate in a range of activities that               Ecoclubs. This initiative was originated in 1992 in
include surveillance for providing the collection               Argentina as an NGO organized for children and
service, the discussion and approval by the commu-              youth residing in small communities or in neighbor-
nity of tariffs or sanitation rates, participation in solid     hoods in some large cities that articulate actions with
waste storage procedures for their collection in                other institutions in the community to participate in
streets and public places, the generation of funds to           ecological activities in order to improve the quality of
support sanitation for public places, the identifica-           life of the community. The Ecoclubs have dispersed
tion of persons with low payment capacity and the               as an Ecoclub International Network (RIE for its
solidarity payment for the cost of the services.                Spanish acronym) to 15 Latin American countries:
                                                                Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile,           87
In Peru, the National Integral Solid Waste                      Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Management Forum, promoted by CONAM, is a                       Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru,
space with broad participation to coordinate objec-             Uruguay, and also to Spain. Their activities have
tives and national policies related to solid waste inte-        been guided towards the fight against dengue, use of
gral management for sustainable development and                 tobacco, urban trees, waste integral management,
promote local intervention comprehensive projects               adequate use of potable water, ozone layer, eco-
in which the different institutions and public and              tourism, and pesticides, among others. Since 1997,
private companies participate, with broad citizens              PAHO has been providing support to the Ecoclubs
participation and the support from local govern-                activities.
ments. The inter-district coordination tables, with
the participation of NGOs, constitute one of the main           Costa Rica is carrying out the Clean Cities Project,
strategies for the coordination of objectives and face          promoted by the Ministry of Health with the support
in an optimum manner issues related to solid waste.

     of the CEPRONA Foundation (National Productivity                   the community groups involved. Furthermore, Costa
     Center) guided towards supporting the management                   Rica has a great potential to increase community par-
     and active participation of communities in recycling               ticipation in the topic of waste through the Civil
     activities. In the year 2001, the first phase was carried          Society Office, appointed to the Ministry of the
     out through a US$30,000 donation from the Japan                    Environment and Energy (MINAE for its Spanish
     Embassy and eleven cantons; the second phase is on                 acronym), with the Natural Resource Surveillance
     its way, which will be carried out with government                 Committees Program, which gives the civil society
     funds. The municipality of the canton, where the                   authority to supervise the environment.
     activities will take place, should be the co-signer for

                             Inset 5: Ecoclubs in Argentina and their solid waste management work
      The Ecoclubs movement began in 1992 in Argentina as movers in the Productive Use of Household Solid Waste Plan.
      The Ecoclubs are articulated with different community role players, especially municipalities, with the objective of sen-
      sitizing the population on different environmental problems. Each group is basically made up of 10 year old children
      that go into the infant and youth group, and when they turn 14 years old go into the adolescent category. Furthermore,
      the structures are open to all interested parties.
      The emphasis of the Ecoclubs is mainly focused on education to obtain a change in people’s behavior towards solid
      waste. They also participate in the resource reorganization that the municipality possesses for restructuring collection
      and for the construction of recycling and composing plants, with the corresponding training of personnel. Likewise,
      they participate in the preparation of specific regulations that allow authorities to act. The topic addressed by teenagers
      in Ecoclubs that has the greatest repercussion is the segregation of solid waste at its origin, complemented by small
      plants recycling-vermicompuesto.
      The families that voluntarily decide to carry out selective waste collection, receive a plastic container (ecological con-
      tainer), in which they daily deposit organic waste, which is collected three times a week. The biodegradable materials
      selectively collected are transported to the treatment plant where they are disposed of in 5,000 kg cells on composting
      platforms and covered with dry straw. At the end of the composting, the maturity stage of the fertilizer begins using
      worms, from the red Californian group, for approximately two months. At the end of this time, the compost is ready to
      be used as fertilizer. Many times, composting is exchanged for newspaper at a rate of 3 x 1 in weight. That way the
      population uses the compost in their gardens and the Ecoclubs sell the paper and the income goes to financing their
      Once the selective collection or organic waste has been implemented in the locality, a new campaign begins for the
      selective collection of some of the inorganic waste fractions. There are currently five organic waste treatment plants in
      municipalities of the Province of Santa Fe, two in Cordoba, four in Entre Rios and two in Buenos Aires. The collection
      of paper and cardboard started in 1997. By 1999, 7,440 tons of organic waste and 240 tons of paper and cardboard
      had been collected, with the participation of 54 municipalities and 40,000 families.
      The success of the Ecoclubs is proven by its wide dissemination in the Region. In 2001, a total of 276 Ecoclubs already
      existed, distributed in Argentina (135), Chile (80), Bolivia (12), Belize (8), Paraguay (8), Costa Rica (5), Panama (4), Brazil
      (7), Guatemala (4), Honduras (4), Nicaragua (2), Dominican Republic (3), Uruguay (1) and Spain (1). There are promot-
      ing groups in Peru and El Salvador.
      Source: Argentina Analytical Report, Solid Waste Evaluation.
                                            C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

The initiatives that some cities in Brazil are imple-       in the global campaign “Clean the World” since
menting should be mentioned, because through the            1993, during which public sanitation activities are
formulation and application of dynamic policies             carried out with a broad participation from commu-
directed to the community with the economic sup-            nity based organizations.
port and well trained human resources, are making
the community in general participate more actively
in solid waste management, showing them the
effects that bad management has on health, economy
                                                            3.6.2 NGOs participation and other
and the environment. In Brazil, in the early 1990s,               community groups
Porto Alegre and Belo Horizonte were the pioneer
capitals in the implementation of solid waste man-          Several NGOs related to the environment, have their
agement participative models, that together with            action field in community development related to
other initiatives in this area, served as the basis for     waste management, through environmental educa-
the Waste and Citizens Program. This program advo-          tion, appropriate technology, legislation and citi-
cates for the social mobilization and organization of       zens’ participation. Furthermore, there are a large
the community for their broad participation, espe-          number of NGOs and other community institutions
cially for selective waste collection. In 1998 the          in the Region that promote and finance solid waste
National Waste and Citizens Forum was created as            projects.
an integral part of the program, with the participa-
                                                            In several countries in the Region, the participation
tion of 19 public and private institutions that are
                                                            of NGOs in solid waste management is very active.
directly or indirectly linked to solid waste manage-
                                                            In Brazil, at a national level, the Water and Life NGO
ment, with the purpose of eradicating waste segrega-
                                                            stands out in this aspect, which has supported a few
tion by children and adolescents and change the
                                                            states in the elaboration of solid waste policies, the
unacceptable situation of the final disposal of solid
                                                            Polis Institute, which as a member of the Sao Paulo
waste in the country. Waste and Citizens state
                                                            Waste Forum, opposed the implementation of incin-
forums have been progressively created in Bahia,
                                                            erators in this city, and is currently the leader of the
Pernambuco, Ceara, Sergipe and Maranhao, with the
                                                            Waste and Citizens Forum in Sao Paulo, and the
leadership of UNICEF, and others with the leader-
                                                            Municipal Administration Brazilian Institute (IBAM
ship of the Brazilian Association of Sanitation
                                                            for its Spanish acronym), that supports the munici-
Engineering (ABES for its Spanish acronym), the
                                                            palities in solid waste management training activi-
Secretariats of Sanitation and the Environment, the
                                                            ties, as well as in the elaboration of state plans for
Environmental       Control      Organizations,    the
                                                            the integrated management of wastes. Furthermore,
Engineering, Architecture and Agriculture Regional
                                                            a few NGOs linked to the Catholic Church, such as
Boards (CREA), among others. In addition, Waste
                                                            Caritas Brasilera, the Auxilio Fraterno Organization
and Citizens municipal forums have been created,
                                                            and the Pastoral de la Rua, support the National
with a greater or lesser degree of effectiveness, with                                                                       89
                                                            Recyclable Materials Segregators Movement
the Waste and Citizens Forum in Sao Paulo standing
out, which by being the largest city in Latin America,
with a population of more than 10 million, has the
                                                            In Ecuador, the main contribution of the NGOs lies
possibility of having a positive massive impact. The
                                                            in the incorporation of the social variable into solid
civil society has a maximum representation in plan-
                                                            waste management. These organizations have par-
ning and implementing the participative manage-
                                                            ticipated for more than 10 years in projects linked to
ment of wastes through municipal forums.
                                                            this sector, promoting the social and economic
                                                            improvement of these vulnerable groups, especially
In the English Caribbean, the community’s participa-
                                                            segregators (‘minadores’) and participating in the
tion is generally limited to sporadic public sanita-
                                                            promotion of solid waste comprehensive manage-
tion campaigns and recycling activities promoted
                                                            ment projects, with emphasis in inorganic recycling
mainly by NGOs with the support of the municipali-
                                                            and the production of composting, with the purpose
ties. On the other hand, Suriname has participated

     of improving sanitation systems as well as the eco-                3.6.3 Municipal support for com-
     nomic aspect of the service operators, that in many
     cases constitute micro companies. The NGOs that
                                                                              munity programs
     have had a greater contribution in this respect are
                                                                        The opening and support provided by the municipali-
     the ESQUEL Foundation, Natura Foundation,
                                                                        ty to the communities to carry out community pro-
     OIKOS, and Foundation for Waste Management
                                                                        grams in the Region is very diverse and is greatly lim-
     (FUGERES for its Spanish acronym) and the
                                                                        ited by the municipality’s operative and economic
     Environmental Management Foundation (GEA for its
                                                                        capacities, as well as by the leadership of the munici-
     Spanish acronym).
                                                                        pal authorities. Even though it is recognized that the
                                                                        success of solid waste management greatly depends on
     The government and non-government entities asso-
                                                                        community participation since the beginning of the
     ciation and the private sector have proven very effec-
                                                                        projects, this aspect is not yet formally integrated.
     tive in carrying out initiatives guided towards the
     reduction of solid waste generation in some Latin
                                                                        There are several experiences in the Region that pro-
     American countries. In Mexico, the Solid Waste
                                                                        vide greater leadership to the community in solid
     Comprehensive Management (MIRES for its Spanish
                                                                        waste management. In Uruguay, the Montevideo
     acronym) Group was created by the initiative of an
                                                                        Municipal Administration has invited the community
     NGO, industrialists, academic, community associa-
                                                                        to participate in environmental management as part of
     tions, federal government institutions (the
                                                                        the participative decentralization process of environ-
     Secretariat of Social Development, SEDESOL and the
                                                                        mental issues, which includes solid waste manage-
     National Ecology Institute INE) and the National
                                                                        ment. This participation was formalized with the
     Works Bank (BANOBRAS for its Spanish acronym),
                                                                        approval of the Montevideo Environmental Agenda in
     with the purpose of contributing through an inter-
                                                                        the year 2000.
     sectoral approach to the design of policies and pro-
     grams that can be implemented at a local level.                    In Costa Rica, as a result of the Community Projects’
                                                                        initiative, a pilot project is being carried out in the
     In the English Caribbean, the Caribbean Conser-
                                                                        Escazu canton for the collection, segregation and accu-
     vation Association (CCA) is a sub-regional NGO that
                                                                        mulation of urban solid waste for their commercial
     interacts with local NGOs and is involved in the
                                                                        recovery. This project, that started in 2001 with the
     development and implementation of environmental
                                                                        formal support of the Escazu municipality and two
     projects of the Caribbean sub-region. In Barbados,
                                                                        NGOs, has contributed to the enactment of a regulation
     several NGOs such as the Barbados NGO Association
                                                                        for the solid waste discriminate management in the
     (BANGO), the Barbados Environmental Association,
                                                                        Escazu Canton, the first of this type in the country,
     the Barbados Environmental Youth Program (BEYP)
                                                                        making it mandatory for the population to make a
     among other groups from the community, are very
                                                                        selective separation of wastes for their reuse and recy-
     active in education programs on environmental
     issues, urban sanitation campaigns, including beach
     sanitation and other special activities related to solid           At other times, the municipality is open to accept and
     waste management. Likewise, there are several com-                 promote community programs, as is the case of
     munity organizations in the country that carry out                 Guatemala in which the Chimaltenango municipality
     composting and organic agriculture activities.                     allowed the community to use the facilities of the old
                                                                        segregation plant built in municipal land for a pilot
     The Inter American Association of Sanitation
                                                                        project operated by the community.
     Engineering (AIDIS for its Spanish acronym) stands
     out in the Region, with its corresponding chapters in              In this respect, the municipal associations can play a
     the countries, through the Waste Technical General                 predominant role in consulting and support to provide
     Office (DIRSA for its Spanish acronym), that has a                 the necessary empowerment to the community.
     broad range of activities that go from training cours-
     es to related research.
                                                        C H A P T E R    3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

The municipality is supporting community programs                        corners and roads, mainly due to the lack of a regular
and campaigns, with more frequency, guided towards                       collection service, and also due to the lack of knowl-
environmental conservation and the health of the pop-                    edge, indifference and irresponsibility regarding the
ulation. In Costa Rica, the National Ecological and                      environmental impact this causes.
Healthy Cantones Award presented by PAHO since
1997 stands out; it consists of a financial incentive and                A large part of the national sanitation education pro-
honorary mention for the municipalities that develop                     grams are general environmental programs that inte-
projects in this subject matter.                                         grate a solid waste component. The majority of the
                                                                         countries in the Region carry out sporadic environmen-
Furthermore, the Healthy Municipalities Network20                        tal education campaigns through different communica-
stands out, an initiative promoted by PAHO, through                      tion mass media.
which several activities are developed for solid waste
management such as awareness campaigns on the                            Countries such as Brazil have a legal basis to integrate
importance of solid waste management, segregation at                     environmental education at every school level, includ-
the origin, solid waste recovery, reuse and recycling,                   ing community education (Law 6,938 established in
beautification of green neighborhoods programs,                          the National Environmental Policy, the Constitution of
among others.                                                            1988, State Constitutions). It also includes the
                                                                         National Environmental Policy (Law 9,795), which has
Within this framework, Environmental Primary Care                        given place to the National Environmental Education
(APA)21 constitutes a powerful environmental action                      Program (PNEA for Spanish acronym), which is seen as
strategy, basically preventive and participative, that                   a participative practice focused towards concrete com-
proposes the strengthening of state and local organisms                  munity problems respecting its cultural context.
responsible for the environment and health, sponsor-                     Progressively, environmental education has been
ing at the same time a greater concentration and dia-                    evolving from natural resource conservation topics to
logue at a local and community level. The APA is look-                   urban environmental topics, especially the topic of
ing to establish a local environmental management                        waste. Likewise, addressing environmental issues in
level that includes all the role players, specifically the               the different mass media, with more frequency, has
local government and the community, empowering                           contributed to broadening the social perception regard-
communities in the local sustainability environment,                     ing environmental issues. The existing communica-
and at the same time, strengthening the capacity of                      tion networks with the Brazilian Environmental
environmental management of local governments.                           Education Network, the State Networks, the Latin
                                                                         American Network and the Raimundo Network con-
                                                                         tribute to the communication of success stories, pro-
                                                                         moting new initiatives.
3.6.4 Environmental sanitation edu-
      cation and communication                                           Peru has the National Network of Training Specialized
                                                                         Institutions for the Comprehensive Management of
The little or lack of environmental education is                         Waste, which is part of the Capacity Building Program
expressed in the habits of the population of littering in                promoted by the National Environmental Board
streets and roads, mainly bottles and remains of prod-                   (CONAM for its Spanish acronym). The Network pro-
ucts. In addition, household waste disposal, remains                     vides a strategic coordination, complementary and
from pruning, debris and inert materials in vacant lots,                 cooperation mechanism among institutions, in order to

20 Healthy Cities and Municipalities is an initiative promoted by PAHO with the purpose of empowering and movilizing as many sectors as
   posible at a local level to improve the health of the communities. The development of a healthy municipality includes the elaboration of a
   strategic plan authorized by local authorities, the community and other agents involved; the creation of a work group, and the development
   of a detailed action plan.

21 The concept of Environmental Primary Care derives from Health Primary Care (APS for its Spanish acronym) promoted by WHO from the
   International Conference on Health Primary Care (Alma Ata, 1978 Declaration). The focus of both strategies is guided towards the preventive
   aspect more than healing, where community participation is essential for the detection, follow-up and solution of health and environmental

     improve the academia supply in the country, facilitate             risks inherent to sanitation services. As was previous-
     research, innovation and technological transfer                    ly mentioned, this work represents health risks for the
     processes in this field.                                           workers, for their potential waste contamination, by
                                                                        accidents, by muscular problems, social problems (low
     Countries such as Costa Rica and Ecuador have inte-                self-esteem, alcoholism) among others. In spite of this,
     grated environmental topics in the elementary and                  only a few countries offer health plans that include
     secondary curriculum and within it solid waste man-                immunizations, regular medical check-ups and indi-
     agement.                                                           vidual and collective protective equipment, these prac-
                                                                        tices being used more so in larger cities. The sanitation
     Even though environmental education has significant-               workers in medium and small cities are in an unfavor-
     ly improved in the Region, it is still deficient with              able situation, even very dangerous by not having the
     regards to quantity and quality, because it lacks con-             minimum protection with regards to clothing.
     ceptual criteria with regards to solid waste manage-
     ment. Due to this, the population does not feel part of            Acknowledging that the implementation of occupa-
     the problem, and therefore, it is not perceived as part of         tional safety programs and the prevention of work
     the solution.                                                      related accidents, increases productivity by preventing
                                                                        absenteeism, countries such as Brazil, Chile and
     In the majority of LAC countries, the mass media is a              Ecuador, have carried out initiatives to improve occu-
     means to send public sanitation and recycling mes-                 pational health and safety conditions for these workers.
     sages, as well as the distribution of educational materi-
     als on several environmental health aspects, usually               In spite of legal procedures that the majority of the LAC
     with the support of PAHO and the health and environ-               countries have regarding worker protection, occupa-
     mental ministries of the corresponding countries.                  tional health and safety is not specifically defined for
                                                                        the solid waste area and surveillance activities are
     The educational interventions in the school environ-               practically non-existent. Frequently, there are no relat-
     ment are key to acquire from a young age along the                 ed programs, and occupational safety is limited to the
     educational years of childhood and adulthood, con-                 number of work hours established and to compliance
     cepts and the capacity to form and strengthen behav-               with standards in the work facilities.
     iors and healthy habits, children and youth therefore,
     becoming individuals capable of influencing changes
     for the benefit of their communities’ health (PAHO,
     2003). The Regional Initiative of Health-Promoting                 3.6.6 Informal workers in the
     Schools (EPS for its Spanish acronym), launched by                       segregation and recycling of
     PAHO in 1995, as an integral and integrating strategy of
     health promotion in schools, presents a great potential
     to incorporate and expand environmental education
92                                                                      The large amount of open-air dumps that exist in the
     within the creation and maintenance context of healthy
                                                                        Region easily allows for segregation and recovery of
     environments, as well as the development of activities
                                                                        materials, especially in large cities, with all the sanita-
     that are projected outside the school environment
                                                                        tion risks it implies.
     towards the community.
                                                                        The extreme poverty conditions with the ensuing
                                                                        growth of social inequalities, as well as unemploy-
                                                                        ment, have contributed to the considerable number of
     3.6.5 Occupational health and
                                                                        individuals that live in deplorable and subhuman con-
           safety programs                                              ditions collecting food to eat and recoverable materials
                                                                        from garbage as their only means for survival. There
     The formal workers in the solid waste area are munici-
                                                                        are segregators in practically all the LAC countries that
     pal employees or employees contracted by third party
                                                                        operate at the generation sources, public streets, in col-
     companies and the majorities are workers in the opera-
                                                                        lection trucks and in final disposal sites of almost all
     tional area, exposing them to a number of work related
                                                                        the large and medium size cities in the Region. This
                                                    C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

practice is linked to a dynamic market of buying and                ized work at the waste generation source. These organ-
selling materials, mainly cardboard, paper, glass, plas-            ized groups also provide sanitation services to urban
tic and metals, where intermediaries that transport                 centers, private companies, transportation terminals
these materials to the companies that recycle them par-             and some shopping malls, especially in the cities of
ticipate. When the recovery is carried out directly at              Bogota, Cali, Medellin, Manizales, Armenia and
the waste generation source, especially institutional or            Rionegro, and they have participated in the discussion
from markets, the sanitation conditions are usually                 and preparation of solid waste management plans for
acceptable, in contrast with the recovery from contain-             the cities of Bogota, Cali and Manizales.
ers or bags deposited in streets, and even more so in
final disposal sites where the sanitary conditions are              In Argentina, as a result of the 2001 crisis, it is estimated
deplorable.                                                         that only in the city of Buenos Aires, more than 20,000
                                                                    “people working with cardboard” (cartoneros) arrived in
It is estimated that in some regions in Brazil, there are           the city every night to segregate recyclables from plastic
around 25,000 people working as segregators at the                  bags placed in sidewalks for their collection.
final disposal sites, of which at least 22% are less than
14 years of age. In cities such as Recife, Porto Alegre,            It is estimated that in Chile, 3,500 to 6,000 people usu-
Rio Grande do Sul and Belo Horizonte, the segregators               ally work in the segregation activity at the final dispos-
are organized into associations and cooperatives that               al sites. The prohibition of access to the landfills in the
integrate street and final disposal site segregators and            metropolitan Region of Santiago has influenced the
work with the municipality in selective collection                  decrease in the amount of segregators at these sites;
programs.                                                           however, segregation at the dumps is being done all
                                                                    over the country. Informal recycling is also being done
It is estimated that in Mexico, there are between                   by independent collectors (cartoneros or cachureros)
25,000 to 30,000 segregators at the final disposal                  that collect waste at the place of origin in order to later
sites22, whose mean age average is 38,8 years and the               classify it and sell it to intermediaries or to recycling
ratio of women is 1,12 for each male. The life                      industries. Each collector can collect around 100 kg of
expectancy for segregators in this country is less than             waste daily, mainly paper, cardboard and glass.
50 years compared with the life expectancy at birth,
which is 76 years in Mexico.                                        It is estimated that in Ecuador, there are about 3,500
                                                                    segregators in the big cities. It is estimated that in
In Paraguay, there are approximately 3,600 segregators,             Honduras, in the three cities with the largest popula-
of which half operate in the main dump in the city of               tion, there are 500 people working in dumps, of which
Asuncion. About 1,200 of these are organized in coop-               30% are women and children easily constitute about
eratives and some 400 people go to that place in an                 the same ratio.
independent manner.
                                                                    The main limitation that the organized segregation
In Colombia, the Bogota Recyclers Association esti-                 groups have to obtain greater participation in offering
mates that around 41,500 families made up of 249,000                and providing sanitation services at a municipal level,
people informally work in the collection and trans-                 is the demand of the regulation in force, the conditions
portation of waste for recovery purposes. Likewise,                 and values of the contract and the political and eco-
there are 107 cooperatives and association groups that              nomic interests of other service providers.
make up a total of 51,000 persons that carry out organ-

22 OCDE. Mexico’s Environmental performance evaluation. 2003

                           Inset 6. The progress of the National Segregators (“samplers”) Movement
      In January 2003, the First Latin American Segregators Congress took place in Caxias do Sul, in which more than 800 per-
      sons from Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay participated, looking to strengthen the organization process of these workers in
      associations and cooperatives. As a result, the Caxias do Sul Charter was developed, which proposed a series of meas-
      ures to improve waste management, that included training and professional education, the expansion of environmental
      education programs that make selective collection viable jointly with the segregators, the review of the legislation on
      cooperatives, the eradication of open air dumps, the responsibility of the waste generators as well as their correct dispos-
      al, creation of specific lines of credit, among others.
      On the other hand, this progress has been limited by the reluctance of the municipalities to incorporate segregators into
      selective collection programs, based on the difficulty to establish an association with the segregators because of their
      social condition, which is usually deplorable and hardly compatible with the frequency that the urban sanitation pro-
      grams demand. To date, only 451 municipalities (8.2%) of a total of 5,507 Brazilian municipalities have integrated seg-
      regators to selective collection activities.
      Source: Brazil’s Analytical Report, Solid Waste Evaluation.

     It is common in several countries of the Region for                lence by adult segregators, as well as to the use of drugs
     waste to be segregated by the collection operators                 and alcohol present in these environments.
     before it is deposited at the final disposal site. In
     Mexico, the scavenging of materials with a greater com-            The data gathered by Solid Waste Evaluation on this
     mercial value, such as aluminum, glass and cardboard               segment of the population is shown in Table 29. The
     is widely promoted and it represents an additional eco-            presence of segregators is greater in medium and small
     nomic source of income for urban sanitation workers                cities, in part due to the fact that in big cities there is
     and for the “volunteers” that support without a salary             more control in the entrance of segregators to landfills,
     and benefits the personnel contracted. A similar situa-            many of them prohibiting their access, especially when
     tion takes place in Bolivia, Jamaica, and Paraguay and             open air dumps are converted into landfills.
     in Dominican Republic.
                                                                        It is estimated that the amounts presented by Solid
                                                                        Waste Evaluation are well below the reality. Even
                                                                        though the exact magnitude of the problem is not
     3.6.7 Presence of women and                                        known it is estimated that in the countries in the LAC
           children who live and work in                                Region, the number of segregators exceeds 200,000
                                                                        families (which would represent approximately more
           the garbage                                                  than 500,000 individuals) dedicated to the recovery of
                                                                        solid waste in final disposal sites and in the streets of
     Segregation in LAC is a family activity. It is common
                                                                        the countries in the Region. According to Table 29, it
     to see children, teenagers, women and old people col-
94                                                                      can be inferred that at least 29% are women who carry
     laborating in the segregation of materials in garbage
                                                                        out this activity usually accompanied by one or more
     dumps, as well as in the streets. The most vulnerable
                                                                        children, who would correspond to 42% as indicated.
     are children who have become part of the material
     recovery work and spend most of their time in contact
                                                                        The difficulty in having exact amounts is due mainly to
     with garbage without taking any precaution, usually
                                                                        the reduced number of studies carried out, especially
     due to ignorance added to their needs. It is well known
                                                                        due to the lack of importance and knowledge of this
     that children are more susceptible than adults to acci-
                                                                        informal sector by sectoral and municipal authorities,
     dents due to the lack of experience, as well as to dis-
                                                                        as well as the public in general. Added to this is the
     eases, especially when there are severe nutritional defi-
                                                                        difficulty in logistics to estimate the number of persons
     ciencies and harmful substances present in the envi-
                                                                        who live of the recovery of materials from dumps due
     ronment. These conditions increase for children that
                                                                        to the fact that frequently this is a transient population.
     work in the garbage dumps. Furthermore, they are
     exposed to every type of oral, sexual and physical vio-
                                                           C H A P T E R     3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

                                       Table 29. Amount of segregators per 1,000 inhabitants
                                     in selected countries in Latin America and the Caribbean

            Country                           Men                     Women                       Children                   Total
Antigua and Barbuda                          0,053                         0,079                   0                        0,133
Argentina                                    0,010                         0,282                   0,008                    0,300
Belize                                       0,008                         0,025                   0                        0,034
Bolivia                                      0,027                         0,017                   0,020                    0,065
Brazil                                       …                             …                       0,192                    0,134
Chile                                        0,015                         0,046                   0,009                    0,076
Costa Rica                                   0,015                         0,025                   0,020                    0,061
Cuba                                         0,030                         0,098                   0                        0,128
Dominican Republic                           0,122                         0,212                   0,042                    0,241
Grenada                                      0,019                         0,059                   0                        0,078
Guatemala                                    0,208                         0,22                    0,006                    0,430
Guyana                                       0,048                         0,254                   0,025                    0,329
Honduras                                     0,107                         0,225                   …                        0,332
Jamaica                                      0,012                         0,009                   0                        0,021
Paraguay                                     …                             …                       …                        1,510
Peru                                         0,156                         0,513                   0,054                    0,724
Saint Lucia                                  0,03                          0,061                   0                        0,092
Surinam                                      0,075                         0,075                   0,100                    0,123
Trinidad and Tobago                          0,080                         0,180                   0                        0,260
Venezuela                                    0,030                         0,104                   0,025                    0,159
LAC Average                                  0,185                         0,051                   0,072                    0,173
… Data not available
Source: Solid Waste Evaluation

Several NGOs have implemented a few initiatives to                           tries in the Region where this problem is more accentu-
improve the situation of children segregators. In Brazil,                    ated. This initiative, which has not yet been imple-
the Waste and Citizens Programs stands out in this                           mented waiting for financing, takes into consideration a
aspect, with the campaign “Children in Garbage Never                         series of assistance and preventive technical and social
Again” that began in 1999, carried out by the Water and                      interventions, that go from programs directed to the
Life NGO, with support from UNICEF. In Paraguay, a                           social organization of segregators and alternatives to
few NGOs have contributed with programs to include                           cover their basic housing, health, education needs
children segregators in area schools, with the incentive                     among others, to action lines guided towards the trans-
of school breakfast and lunch. In this aspect, PAHO has                      formation of open air dumps into fenced and controlled
designed an initiative to improve the quality of life of                     landfills.
mothers and children living of garbage in some coun-


       Inset 7. The presence of mothers and children that live and work in the garbage at final disposal sites
 The economic and social circumstances largely contribute to the high percentage of mothers and children living and
 working in municipal final disposal sites. The badly operated landfills and open-air dumps are a way of life, although
 highly hazardous, where these individuals satisfy their daily needs. There are cases in developing countries where moth-
 ers build houses with pieces of cardboard and plastic, and it is among food and the waste from others where children
 live, play and work. For the majority of the people in developed countries, the image of children living and working in
 garbage is an image difficult to visualize.
 The situation is similar in Jamaica. Every day, in order to survive, men, women and children face the risk of being dragged
 by the equipment from the landfills and being exposed to serious diseases that afflict these sites. In comparison with
 other countries in similar situations, the percentage of individuals is not as large as in Jamaica, but frequently, informal
 settlements are installed adjacent to these sites.
 Source: Jamaica’s Analytical Report. Solid Waste Evaluation
     The presence of segregators in final disposal sites makes      some persisting limitations that are common in the
     any attempt for waste sanitary management impossible,          majority of the countries. On the other hand, the
     and it creates high sanitary risk situations, accidents,       growing importance given to environmental aspects
     and great social marginality for people who work there.        with the adoption of environmental agencies and of
     Therefore, it is important that countries include alterna-     sustainable development by the countries looks with
     tives in their waste management strategy to take into          favor on the integration of solid waste management
     consideration this population group which constitutes          into this frame. Even though they are just starting, a
     an important part of the capital that integrates the sector.   few countries already have solid waste national poli-
     Besides the closing of dumps, actions guided towards           cies that support some sectoral directives.
     recycling of recoverable materials at the source should
96   be promoted, and the organization of segregators into          While regional differences in solid waste management
     cooperatives, as well as other actions that contribute to      are big, the Solid Waste Evaluation showed that there
     the improvement of their living conditions.                    are common problems in the current management, at
                                                                    national and local levels, and also problems of institu-
                                                                    tional, legal, financial, technical, sanitary, environ-
                                                                    mental and social nature.
         REGIONAL SITUATION OF                                      The most critical limitation to improve solid waste
                                                                    management in the Region is the lack of a national
         SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT                                     institution that performs a governing function with
         SERVICES                                                   sufficient authority to provide the importance needed
                                                                    for solid waste management. When this governing
     The Solid Waste Evaluation shows that the solid                function exists, it is partial and scattered in the major-
     waste management situation in the LAC Region has               ity of the Latin American countries, with the ensuing
     improved in recent years in some aspects, in spite of          gaps in political management and coordination of the
                                             C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

sector to formulate and implement policies, plans and        trative and judicial review mechanisms for these stan-
programs in the matter of solid waste at a national          dards based on economic and technological consider-
level, with the corresponding harmonization and              ations.
compatibility required. The absence of a sectoral,
political and effective coordination is one of the caus-     The lack of an adequate control, coupled to the weak-
es of the persistent organizational, technical and oper-     ness in the capacity to sanction, drastically affects the
ative problems to solve solid waste management               enforcement of the regulation. The lack of a specific
problems in a sanitary and environmental manner in           regulation for some aspects of solid waste manage-
the Region.                                                  ment leaves many unknowns, such is the case of how
                                                             to proceed for disposing of special wastes.
The temporary tenure of high level authorities and
their experts in public office has a repercussion on the     In many municipalities, solid waste management is
follow-up of plans, programs or projects that start          carried out with an evident lack of technical, econom-
within a government administration, with the possi-          ic and social criteria, which is the reason this service
bility of being cut with the changes in government.          lacks an adequate planning and organization, which
This is seen in the Agenda 21 commitments where              at the same time translates into high operational costs
only a few countries have elaborated their agenda and        that the municipalities have had to subsidize using up
included the solid waste topic, more evident at a            a good portion of their budget. The collection method
municipal level. Therefore, the LAC Region does not          that municipalities have is deficient; payments are
have any plans for the next 20 years that would allow        dependent on the will of the citizens, since actions are
it to reach the 100% goal of treatment and adequate          not implemented to collect through a legal procedure.
disposal coverage by the year 2025.                          The non-payment culture and the little appreciation
                                                             of the users for the service largely contribute to this
In all the countries of the Region, the set of laws and      situation.
regulations that make the sector’s legal and regulatory
framework is relatively abundant. However, they              A consequence of the previously mentioned, is the
have been dictated individually by different institu-        permanent economic deficit that exists in a great
tions, without contemplating the intersectorality that       number of the sanitation services, and the inadequate
solid waste management has, nor do they clearly              practices of disposing of solid wastes, which because
establish the different responsibilities that different      of lack of resources, interest or technical know-how,
role players who interfere in the sector have. This has      are discharged inside or outside the urban areas with-
resulted in duplication of assignments, ambiguity of         out any control, giving way to disperse dumps, with
functions and the lack of mechanisms to solve con-           the ensuing social, environmental and public health
flicts. Laws continue to be issued without abolishing        issues.
or correcting prior ones, which causes duplications
and incoherences in the regulations. At the same             The social problem is based on the people who segre-
time, there are great gaps in regulating services, which     gate and market waste, and who carry out these activ-
is necessary to guarantee continuity, sustainability,        ities in unacceptable risky and dangerous conditions.
quality, generality and equality in services for the         In a similar manner, the sweeping and collection serv-
whole population, and therefore, guarantee their effi-       ice personnel arrive to this sector because they lack of
ciency, and the protection to public health and the          opportunities in other areas of production. Usually
environment. The legislation for the sector tends not        they come from a disadvantaged socioeconomic stra-
to provide regulating instruments, but rather consti-        tum, with a low cultural level and are not aware that
tutes a punitive element instead of regulatory, not          they are performing an unhealthy and risky job,
making the assignment of environmental responsibil-          which they carry out without sufficient protection.
ities very clear. There is a trend in the Latin American     Likewise, they have little opportunity to receive train-
Region to take norms and parameters established in           ing and be able to advance financially, and to make
developed countries as models without adapting them          things worse, society does not respect or value their
to local situations, without establishing progressive        work.
compliance standards and without creating adminis-

     The public health hazard emerges from the dumps                    waste management in the future, since a considerable
     themselves, which besides causing bad odors and aes-               number of countries in Latin America have a legal and
     thetic problems, constitute a source and habitat for               institutional environmental framework, that in many
     flies, rats and other disease vectors, and soil, air con-          cases contain provisions for solid waste management.
     tamination sources and of surface or underground                   This situation will facilitate the formulation of nation-
     water sources.                                                     al solid waste policies. Likewise, several countries
                                                                        already have specific comprehensive solid waste
     In many LAC countries, the possibility of recycling                management laws and national plans, even though
     materials is limited because it is not always cost effec-          their implementation is still in its initial stages and
     tive due to the lack of market demand. On the other                need strong political support. Some countries do not
     hand, in several countries recycling is not important              have a specific legislation for waste management, the
     because it does not have the support of incentivating              Environmental Impact legislation is used to demand a
     policies.                                                          good design from the new facilities as the transfer sta-
                                                                        tions, treatment plants and landfills.
     Final disposal is a serious problem that deserves
     immediate attention. The majority of the final dispos-             The fact that providing sanitary services requires a
     al sites lack critical infrastructure, such as, leachate           strong workforce in many countries of LAC, repre-
     systems, gas vents, monitoring wells and protective                sents an important source of employment. Currently,
     covers. These sites have transformed into potential                in many municipalities employment offered through
     contamination points because a variety of special and              the sanitation service is greater than the employment
     hazardous wastes are indiscriminately deposited in                 provided by other activities and municipal services.
     what has been designed for urban or municipal waste                Likewise, the participation of the informal sector is
     disposal only.                                                     important in this aspect as an integral agent of the
                                                                        recycling circuit.
     On the other hand, there are positive aspects that can
     be strengthened to accomplish a more efficient solid

                                                 C H A P T E R   3 - ANALYSIS OF THE MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SITUATION

                                     Inset 8. Factors linked to solid waste
                                        management in Latin America
• Very short planning horizons and commitment from local authorities due to the brief period of municipal administra-
• Political volatility and lack of continuity in municipal administrations.
• Lack of a payment culture for public services, which are provided to the population.
• Excessive postponement and severe deficiencies in procedures and mechanisms to collect municipal taxes.
• Endorsement of decisions and public debate.
• Persistence of rural cultural features in cities, which in general, is equal to the lack of consideration for public space
   in an urban context.
• Lack of a sanitation and responsibility culture for waste generated at an individual level.
• Lack of judicial order enforcement and its control.
• Ideological barriers against the private sector in administration projects, concessions and contracts for urban solid
   waste management.
• Uncertainty for investment and lack of transparency in the decisions of the local governments.
• Persistence of corporate groups that illegally take over waste management revenues under the protection of partisan
• Low levels of capabilities and training in public service.
• Non-compliance with International Agreements (Kyoto, Basilea, Montreal, Agenda 21).
• Incomplete and wrong vision of the management by assimilating it basically as a problem related to service, forgetting
   the environmental, social, economic and health components.
• Lack of autonomous operation organisms under clear mandates of efficiency and accountability.
• Regulatory and normative diffused, uncertain, obsolete, incomplete framework, lacking an intersectoral structure and
  technical legal instruments.
• Non-existent mechanisms for enforcing ecological regulations.
• Lack of economic, legal and promotion tools that motivate and promote citizens’ participation in waste segregation
   and recycling processes.
• Lack of policies and strategies for Comprehensive Municipal Solid Waste Management.
• Lack of strategies to incorporate the informal sector (segregators, scavengers, etc.) to solid waste management.
• Lack of linkage between the different agencies involved with the sector.
• Lack of tariff models that allow the recovery of rates or quotas for lending the services and to consider the wastes gen-
   erated by the different sources.                                                                                               99

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