Colombia sees progress in solid waste management

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Approximately 90% of municipalities in Colombia are currently disposing of solid waste at approved sites, according to housing minister Luis Henao Cardona.

Waste collection in urban areas across the country is estimated at 97%, added Henao Cardona in a press release from the ministry.

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As part of Colombia's 2014-18 development plan, the government set out to improve waste management processes and specifically defined new regional coverage schemes that benefited 17 departments of the country.

Under President Juan Manuel Santos' administration, some 54bn pesos (US$16.5mn) has been invested in 17 new landfill sites, the ministry stated.

The government is also due to receive evaluated and updated solid waste management plans – to be submitted by municipalities across the country – on December 20, although progress and action towards the initiative has been slow, the ministry previously reported.

And while the measures are aimed at improving solid waste management across Colombia, capital Bogotá could be considered the country's worst offender in terms of poor waste management processes.

The capital's Doña Juana landfill has suffered numerous landslides and environmental mishaps over the years. The most recent landslide occurred in late October when around 700,000t of waste was said to have collapsed.