Identifying the barriers and opportunities for the implementation of an effective Integrated Solid Waste Management Program in the Mexican Federal District
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Generation of solid waste is a problem of great environmental significance in the Mexican Federal District. With an estimated daily generation of 12,500 tons waste management is a priority for the district government. Through the launch of a new initiative known as ‘Green Plan’, the government is proposing to implement an integrated waste management system that will not only reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, increasing reuse and recycling of waste, but also will allow the district government to realize economic gains by charging a fee for collection services and selling energy generated from incinerating waste. Integrated waste management programs have been implemented in the Mexican Federal District in the past. They have failed. This research has examined the most recent initiative in an effort to discover the causes of failure, using a case study approach. In addition to identifying barriers to and opportunities for implementation of an effective integrated waste management system in the Federal District, this research recommends options for the newly proposed waste management system that will achieve the objectives desired by the government, while aiding in the pursuit of sustainable development. The research has revealed that the performance of the Federal District’s Integrated Solid Waste Management Program, or any other program of the sort, is affected mainly by a combination of factors that are under the local government’s control: legal instruments, administrative organization and political conflicts, allocation of resources, education and training, and citizen participation. Strengthening these areas will improve the performance of the program. In comparison to much of the existing waste management literature that aims at identifying opportunities for supporting proposed systems through technological innovation (Chambal, et.al., 2003; Eriksson, et.al., 2005; Hung, et.al., 2007), this research has found that key barriers and opportunities lie in the strengthening of the institutional capacities of the local government. While recommendations of this study have been developed within the specific context of Mexico City, they may offer some more general guidance about how to respond to concerns which are likely to apply to many other large urban municipalities in developing countries. Application of the Gibson principles for sustainability in the context of Sandra Cointreau’s guidelines for sustainable waste management has provided a useful evaluation guide. This research has focused not just on evaluation of a particular waste management system, but also on the geographic and administrative context of the system in order to gain a broader insight into the factors over and above technical standards and mechanisms that affect the performance of the system.
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Adriana Lopez de Alba Gomez (2009). Identifying the barriers and opportunities for the implementation of an effective Integrated Solid Waste Management Program in the Mexican Federal District. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/4549