Solid Waste Management in Puerto Rico

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Solid Waste Management in Puerto Rico
Solid Waste Management in Puerto Rico:
Realities, Facts and Figures
February 18, 2010
Solid Waste Management in Puerto Rico:
Major issues:
•Solid waste generation
g
• 4,000,000 tons/year of solid waste are generated
• Recycling rates
• The
Th recycling
li
rate
t in
i 2007 was approximately
i t l 10%
• Landfills
• Se
Serve
e as Puerto
ue to Rico’s
co s only
o y means
ea s of
o disposal
d sposa
•Economic constraints
• Municipalities control landfills
• Municipalities are not required to allocate a
percentage of the tipping fee towards compliance,
closure or post-closure costs
Landfills in Operation: 24
*
* As stated in the Dynamic Itinerary
(Itinerario Dinámico de Instraestructura: Documento de Política Publica Mayo 2008)
Landfills in Operation: 22
*
* As stated in the Dynamic Itinerary
(Itinerario Dinámico de Instraestructura: Documento de Política Publica Mayo 2008)
Landfills in Operation: 14
*
* As stated in the Dynamic Itinerary
(Itinerario Dinámico de Instraestructura: Documento de Política Publica Mayo 2008)
Landfills in Operation: 4
*
* As stated in the Dynamic Itinerary
(Itinerario Dinámico de Instraestructura: Documento de Política Publica Mayo 2008)
Compliance Issues
•
•
•
•
•
•
Runoff control
Inadequate or insufficient landfill gas
controls and leachate collections systems in
many landfills
l dfill
Inadequate or insufficient groundwater and
air monitoring systems in many landfills
Landfill mining on active cells
Active cells are not properly covered daily
Inadequate slope gradient
Compliance Issues
Proper collection
systems for leachate
and runoff are not
installed
Compliance Issues
Recyclable
R
l bl materials
t i l
are landfilled
Compliance Issues
Solid waste is not
properly compacted
on a daily basis.
Situation
Action
Landfills are Puerto Rico’s
only means of disposal
Reduce and reuse waste generated
and diversify disposal means
through Waste-to-Energy
Tipping fees are
artificially
f
ll low
l
Reducing waste generation and
increasing landfill tipping fees are
necessary to ensure that our
waste disposal capacity is used
at a more sustainable rate
Lack of funding streams
for infrastructure improvements,
Regulate tipping fees so that
a percentage must be allocated
closure and post-closure costs
towards closure and post-closure costs
Low recycling
y
g rates
Promote recycling through
education and identification of
secondary markets
Puerto Rico: Laws and Public Policy
• Limits landfill expansions to those
strategically necessary to comply
g
plan
p
with the solid waste management
Puerto Rico: Laws and Public Policy
• Prohibits new landfills
• Geographic limitations:
-North: Karstic zone
-Center:
C t
M
Mountainous
t i
ttopography
h
Population Density: US
Densely populated areas have diverse means of disposal
Source: USEPA Region 2: 2007 Waste-to-Energy Conference, Puerto Rico, March 14, 2007
Earth Engineering Center Survey of 2004 data (BioCycle, April 2006)
Population Density: PR
Source: USEPA Region 2: 2007 Waste-to-Energy Conference, Puerto Rico, March 14, 2007
Earth Engineering Center, Columbia University
Waste-to-Energy: Advantages for Puerto Rico
•
Diversify means of disposal while reducing
waste generated
•
Opportunity to increase recycling rates
•
Opportunity to make environmental
compliance a reality
•
Plants emissions can be better controlled
•
Reduce greenhouse gas emissions and
avoid soil and g
groundwater contamination
•
Included in EPA approved Dynamic Itinerary as
part of the integrated solid waste management plan
Solid Waste Management Authority Initiatives
•
Scrap Tires:
- Act p
part in revising
g bylaws
y
for ADS pursuant to ACT 41 of 2009
- Asphalt rubber: first green road was paved
in November.
November
Solid Waste Management Authority Initiatives
•
Promote waste reduction through education
-
•
•
Consortium with the Department of Education: work
plan complete pending discussion with DE
Consortium with ‘Hogar Crea’: provide incentives for
recollection of recyclable materials
Develop a coherent management plan that will ensure
an integrated Solid Waste Flow and enables new project
developments
p
including
g Waste to Energy
gy
Growing businesses around recycling
Closing Arguments
•
Puerto Rico's situation regarding waste management
is critical
•
Puerto Rico must implement short and long term plans
to manage this crisis
•
Mass education programs are a key component
but a tangible shift in recycling rate will take time
•
Few options are economically viable
•
Immediate results are needed
•
Waste-to-Energy plants are an intrinsic part
of the solution to Puerto Rico's solid waste
management problem
“Source
Source reduction
reduction, recycling,
recycling and waste-to-energy
are complementary parts of an integrated waste
management system.”
U i dS
United
States E
Environmental
i
lP
Protection
i
A
Agency, R
Region
i
2
2007 Waste-to-Energy Conference
Toa Baja
Toa Baja
Vega Baja
Vega Baja
Florida
Florida
Illegal
Dumpsite
p
Illegal
Dumpsite
p

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