Mexico City Closes Dump in Push to Boost Recycling and Reuse

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Mexico City has announced plans to close one of the world’s largest open-air garbage dumps as part of an initiative to convert more of the city’s waste into reusable materials or energy.

By the end of the year, garbage trucks will no longer be allowed to drop trash at the Bordo Poniente, a massive dump that has received more than 76 million tons of trash since it opened after the devastating 1985 earthquake.

At its peak, the dump received about 12,700 tons of garbage daily. A recycling separation facility and composting plant will remain open at the site. According to a plan announced by city officials, a large concrete company, Cemex SAB, will buy 3,000 tons of trash daily to convert into energy.

Mexico City is searching for other sites to dump the remaining garbage until a new recycling program is instituted in 2012. Meanwhile, Seattle became the latest U.S. city to ban plastic grocery bags, and city officials also passed a 5-cent fee on paper bags in an attempt to reduce its waste stream.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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