Improving Waste Management in El Salvador
El Salvador has a variety of problems, and one of them is its waste problem – about 25% of the waste is still disposed of, untreated, into rivers or elsewhere in the natural environment. The remaining waste is transported over long distances across the country and distributed amongst the country’s sixteen landfills, driving up the cost of waste disposal.
So, the government approved a national waste management improvement plan. The country plans to introduce a decentralised and economically viable waste management system to include three extended landfills and build one facility for transfer, composting and waste separation. The Federal Republic of Germany through the German public development financing organisation (KfW) is involved in implementing the plan by investing in the waste disposal infrastructure.
CDM Smith is working with GOPA Consultants and a local partner (Ambientec) on supporting the competent authority in the implementation of the national waste plan. Our responsibilities include technical planning and tendering as well as construction supervision on three extensions to existing landfills and one transfer stations. Apart from technical implementation, managing the project successfully and convincingly while applying intercultural competence in an international team has been a special challenge.
The construction of new landfills and expansions on existing facilities will improve El Salvador’s infrastructure towards a sustainable disposal and recycling of waste.
The project area encompasses the entire country with 262 municipalities and an area of about 21,000 km². Landfills extensions were constructed and are decentralised across the country to serve as many municipalities as possible with an organised waste disposal and recycling system while also cutting transport costs. Local staff and organisations are to be trained to ensure a sustainable waste management in the future. The project also plans to raise environmental awareness in the wider population.
In this project we reduced the number of illegal dumps to protect the environment and climate.
Did you know?
The Central American country El Salvador has been working on reforming its economy and opening its markets since the end of the civil war in 1992. The country’s major exports include coffee, sugar, gold, chemicals and textiles. Apart from environmental policy, El Salvador suffers from high crime rates, which is why many foreign firms still shy away from investing there.