Zero Waste Ordinance
Waste 0— The ordinance was approved and the new waste integration plan of La Plata is moving forward.
An initiative of the Municipal Council and environmental NGOs.
For a first time in history, La Plata’s City Council voted unanimously for the ordinance aiming to establish a new way to manage urban waste. La Plata is the third city to establish such a system.
This Wednesday, December 16, the Agencia Ambiental de La Plata (“La Plata’s Environmental Agency”) announced the adoption of the ordinance Basura Cero (“Zero Waste”) by the Council Members. It implies a new set of measures aiming to minimize waste generation, to introduce selective separation and to recycle and reuse.
This new standard states that urban waste disposal is exclusive to the city of La Plata and that no other organization can collect waste from the conglomerate formed by the municipalities of La Plata, Berisso, Ensenada, Punta Indio and Brandsen.
This new municipal law implies a high recycling percentage, at least 25%, a treatment for organic waste, given that an important reduction of waste will imply a decrease of the recollection cost and of the volume of waste being disposed in the landfill.
It is important to mention that in the framework of this ordinance, the companies or organizations in charge of offering this service will soon be chosen, which implies that La Plata won’t be part of the former waste burial system. The new system will be chosen among the 18 projects proposals emanating from a public survey that remained open until December 11, 2009.
“The responses exceeded what we were expecting, all of them being very elaborated and received in less than the 40 days that lasted the survey, which shows the high level of commitment of the different authors in the community of La Plata,” said Sergio Federovisky, president of the Agencia Ambiental de La Plata (“Environmental Agency of La Plata”), organization dependent on the City Council.
Federovisky also mentioned that these advances will help to improve the life quality in La Plata. The propositions being developed in association with the presiding Agencia Ambiental and local NGO were brought by the Fundación Biosfera, Ala Plástica and Nuevo Ambiente, among others. “We acted side by side, which enabled the ordinance to be approved by all the city’s political spheres and supported by the region’s organizations and social spheres,” said the civil servant.
“The projects are in agreement with the city’s state of mind regarding the transformation of waste: imitate systems for paper recycling used in other countries,” said the holder of the Environment. In this regard, each of the proposed projects implies the use of waste to produce biogas, compost or electricity.
Federovisky added, “the propositions we received all imply a cut off with the current collapsing system, where waste has been buried without any distinction for more than 30 years.”
About Basura Cero Programme
Some of the activities of this programme have already started and are aiming to educate, inform and help all citizens to use adequately the treatment system of Urban Solid Waste (USW) to optimize its functioning.
It will also be its mission to plan short, medium and long-term objectives to achieve the different steps of the Programme for Integral USW Management.
Every other month, the Municipal Environment Agency will present a report to the City Council to present statistics on the Programme for Integral USW Management, specifying the quantity of USW reaching the final disposal site.
The Municipality, through the Environment Agency, will designate the sites or Treatment Centres for waste, reusables and recyclables. The first step will be a collect distinguishing the different types of waste, followed by a second sorting in a temporary storage place. These sites will have the necessary infrastructure and will be studied to prevent environmental degradation.
Moreover, organic waste will be converted into compost, or it will be treated with anaerobic digestion. The Municipality has been working several months on this project to be able to apply it shortly.
Finally, the Consejo de Control y Seguimiento del Programa de Gestión Integral de RSU (“Counsel for the Control and Follow-Up of the Programme for Integral USW Management”), which will be formed by one representative from each NGO treating environmental issues, an official from the Provincial Jurisdiction, two representatives from the Comisión de Medio Ambiente del Concejo Deliberante (“Deliberative Council of Environmental Commission”) and one member of each of the minority and the majority of the Deliberative Counsel’s President.