Towards the Valorization of Solid Waste in Latin America and the Caribbean: Basic Concepts, Feasibility Analysis and Public Policy Recommendations

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Jan 2022
In Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) there is a tendency to dispose of waste in sanitary landfills and open dumps. The implementation of recovery technologies is still incipient, despite the important benefits they generate, such as the reduction of carbon emissions, the recovery of materials and energy potential present in waste, the extension of the lifespan of landfills and the creation of "green" jobs, among others. It is essential to introduce and promote the use of recovery techniques, which, although they require greater capital resources, allow waste to be transformed into new resources and generate large savings for society in the long term in economic and environmental terms. This publication presents the concepts used by countries that have made the greatest advances in the integrated management of municipal solid waste in order to evaluate the different waste segregation, treatment and recovery techniques (best available techniques and proven technologies) and includes technical sheets with criteria for evaluating the available technologies. It also offers a feasibility analysis methodology that can guide municipalities and decision-makers in the selection of waste recovery technologies, according to their local context. Finally, it makes a series of recommendations for the adoption of public policies and instruments to promote the introduction and use of these technologies in LAC.