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Content archived on 2024-05-29

Multilateral Network to promote research on sustainable solid waste Management for INCO target countries

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Tackling solid waste in Latin America

EU efforts to create a network in Latin America to help combat challenges associated with solid waste management and disposal are bearing fruit.

Climate Change and Environment icon Climate Change and Environment

The concept of solid waste management in third world countries such as those in Latin America has been hampered by lacking infrastructure and hazardous waste among other issues. As untreated waste harms the environment and society, the EU has been seeking ways to alleviate the problem. In this light, the EU-funded project 'Multilateral network to promote research on sustainable solid waste management for INCO target countries' (Wastenet) advanced cooperation and research on sustainable solid waste management, including the technology and policymaking aspects. The project found that while Latin American countries had laws in place on waste management, the monitoring and implementation aspects were weak and so was public awareness. While cities were better off than rural areas, overall separation of hazardous waste, recycling and biowaste composting were insufficient. In response, Wastenet created a platform for global exchange, introduced European knowledge and proposed concepts for sustainable development in the field. It established a project website representing a powerful interactive communication platform with a discussion forum, best practices, studies by country and relevant images. Meetings and regional workshops were also instrumental in communicating the project's results. The project identified priorities for target countries and focused on rural areas, proposing decentralised biogas plants and trade with carbon dioxide (CO2) certificates. It also recommended international cooperation for knowledge transfer through creation of a centre for technical assistance on waste management and environmental issues. Wastenet targeted stakeholders from various countries, proposed an upgrade of laws and outlined demand for future projects. Lastly, it investigated the relationship between solid waste management and pertinent social, cultural and gender barriers. In all, the new network proved to be highly successful and steps were taken to continue the efforts of the project after its end date.

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