SWANA supports focus on environmental issues in Latin America and Caribbean
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) supports a plan established to address environmental issues as a primary strategy to recover from COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Ministers of the Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean signed thethat includes the establishment of a regional action plan to restore ecosystems, a Circular Economy Coalition, an Integrated Environmental Information System, and a second, updated Caribbean Small Island Developing States Program, with the aim of boosting a green recovery in the region.
"SWANA has a proven track record providing training and capacity building in Latin America on solid waste issues," said SWANA Executive Director & CEO David Biderman. "Our discussions with US government agencies, South American regulators and prominent non-governmental organizations in Latin America indicate the development of additional expertise in solid waste will be an important aspect of the recovery strategies identified in the Bridgetown Declaration."
SWANA recently concluded its virtual Colombian Training Centre where nearly 80 Latin Americans from Colombia, Chile, and Panama received first-hand knowledge and skills on managing solid waste in Latin America. The Training Centre was part of a larger multi-year project funded through a US State Department grant to support and improve environmental protection by encouraging better landfill operating practices.
About a dozen US-based companies participated in SWANA's grant-related activities, including the Colombian Training Center. This provided opportunities to showcase services and products that can help improve environmental protection throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Traditionally, waste management companies have operated using a simple "management of waste" approach to operating a MRF. Throughput targets and continuous operation (minimal downtime) were the main driving forces. The industry has changed however, and the focus moving forward is now on optimizing system performance and reliability, in conjunction with increasing recycling rates and a drive for a "greener" and more sustainable tomorrow.
When considering the addition of, or upgrade to, an "intelligent" MRF, for municipalities or private operators, the main factors should always be the client's (operator) current requirements, and evolving market needs, which include throughput, reliability, output quality, and adaptability. Equally important is a full understanding of what is really expected from any proposed system. Having an engaged and focused mindset for the project with the client from the beginning, will impact and drive the entire design process. This then impacts the overall project result, through to the productive, efficient, ongoing operation of the facility itself.