New solid waste disposal standards to come into force in H2, ministry says

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Friday, May 6, 2011

National standards for the disposal and reuse of industrial waste defined by Brazil's environment ministry should come into force during the second half of this year, government news service Agência Brasil reported.

The ministry will set standards for the collection, separation, proper disposal and recycling of five product groups: consumer electronics, medicines, fluorescent bulbs, packaging and lubricants.

The new rules are expected to considerably increase recycling in Brazil, according to the ministry's solid waste director, Silvano Silvério da Costa.

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"Today, the country recycles about 13% of its waste when it could be recycling 30%," Costa said, adding that Brazil could save 8bn reais/y if it took advantage of all the recycling potential of glass, plastic, paper, metal and aluminum.

The standards are part of the new national solid waste plan, a key component of which involves eradicating open-air dumps by August 2014.

Other planned measures include building landfills with proper waste treatment facilities and enforcing reverse logistics, whereby companies are responsible for the cost of collecting recyclable materials such as packaging after their use.