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garbage truck If it's not sorted they won't take it.

Separating garbage will be obligatory

Rule requiring trash be sorted three ways goes into effect in Mexico City next month

Separating garbage into different categories will soon become obligatory in Mexico City, a metropolis notorious for its large volume of trash and the difficulties in disposing of it.

Effective July 8, a new Environment Secretariat (Sedema) regulation will come into effect meaning that people must divide their waste into three distinct classes: recyclable inorganic waste, unrecyclable inorganic waste and organic waste.

The norm was first announced in 2013 but not slated to come into effect until this year.

“The classification will enable the creation of energy and reduce its cost and will also be of great benefit to the environment, reducing the high rates of contamination,” said Jorge Treviño, the general director of Ecología y Compromiso Empresarial, an organization dedicated to environmental sustainability.

Earlier this year it was announced that 70 million tonnes of trash would be used to fuel a biogas plant on the site of Bordo Poniente, formerly Mexico City’s largest landfill site.

It is believed that the regulation will also have numerous knock-on benefits including helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, limiting the degradation of natural resources, reducing waste volumes, stimulating a market for recyclable goods, promoting the production of compost for use in the city’s public parks and reducing public health risks.

The onus will be on residents to make sure they know what belongs in each category and to ensure that they always separate waste accordingly.

The city will modify 2,500 garbage trucks to meet the needs of the new law and operators will be instructed to not take trash away if it has not been separated or correctly classified.

Repeat offenders or those found to be dumping trash in public spaces will face fines ranging from 800 to 12,000 pesos depending on the offense and Sedema will seek to police the regulation through unannounced random inspections and by referring guilty parties to the relevant authorities.

Every resident of Mexico City produces on average 1.45 kilograms of waste each day, adding up to more than 12,000 tonnes, according to the National Statistics Institute, Inegi. Only 20% of that is currently separated.

There are 1,600 garbage collection routes in operation across 16 boroughs and more than 8,000 tonnes of trash are sent daily to private treatment facilities in the State of México and Morelos, costing the city government close to 2 billion pesos (US $110 million) annually.

Sedema has also developed a free smartphone app, Basura cero CdMx (Zero Waste CDMX), to teach children and adults alike how to properly separate garbage in a fun and informative way and educational programs on recycling are also being run in primary and secondary schools in the city.

Source: Milenio (sp) 

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