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ARGENTINA | 03-05-2018 11:07

BA City’s plans to burn rubbish draw closer

Environmentalists warn that the incineration of rubbish offers an easy way out for authorities, and comes at a serious cost to the environment. 

Lawmakers in Buenos Aires City will on Thursday vote on a bill that would allow authorities to incinerate the city's rubbish.

The controversial plans include a US$ 500-million investment in seven waste-to-energy plants, Infobae reported.

Current legislation prohibits the burning of rubbish, instead obliging City Hall to make strong moves toward a reduction in the production of rubbish, the separation of rubbish in categories, reuse and recycling. 

Environmentalists warn that the incineration of rubbish offers an easy way out for authorities, and comes at a serious cost to the environment. 

CRISIS

The City faces a major short-term crisis with its rubbish. The CEAMSE waste management body warns that it will run out of space for rubbish storage within five years.

The ruling PRO Party’s bill proposes the reduction in the amount of stored rubbish “by 50 percent by 2021, by 65 percent by 2025 and by 80 percent by 2030”.

Environmental activists argue that with just four percent of the funds allocated to the construction of the waste-to-energy plants, City Hall could build 40 additional “green spots” for residents to properly dispose of their recyclables. They estimate that by doubling the amount of green spots, the City could comply with 75 percent of its recycling obligations.

According to CEAMSE data, Buenos Aires City produces 6,760 tonnes of rubbish daily. This includes 49 percent organics, 15 percent plastics and 14 percent paper. 

Argentina on average produces one tonne of rubbish every two seconds, or 16.5 million tonnes per year. Only 23 percent of households separate their rubbish according to recycling norms.

- TIMES

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