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Saturday, 10 November 2012 15:04

Carlos Silva Filho on waste management in Brazil

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Carlos Silva Filho on waste management in Brazil

Carlos Silva Filho is the Managing Director of ABRELPE, Regional Development Network Representative of ISWA and Coordinator of the South America sub-regional secretariat for IPLA. Mr Filho speaks about ABRELPE, current waste management situation in Brazil and the new National Law.

 Mr Silva Filho, you are the Managing Director of ABRELPE. Can you provide us some more information about ABRELPE’s tasks and duties in Brazil?

ABRELPE is a NGO not for profit association created in 1976 to represent the professional waste sector in Brazil. Our mission is to promote and develop the sector in the country. To achieve such mission the association organizes meetings, events and awards. Also we promote science through updated researches and reports. Another very important role is to represent ISWA in Brazil and integrate the international community aiming a sustainable waste management.

In August, 2010, the Brazilian government introduced a National Law around Waste Management. Is it implemented so far? What is it required to move forward?

The Waste Law is under implementation. Several steps are being made in order to put the Law into practice (master plans, reverse logistics, separate collection and waste hierarchy for example).
However the deficit is historical and it takes time to adequate all the wrong things carried for many years. The most important issue achieved up to now is the social awareness that has been raised. Before the law in general citizens didn't cared for waste related items. After the Law many people begun to carry its own activities regarding waste management and joined social movements towards its regular implementation. Also the media has developed a very important role by publishing several articles related to waste.

What is the current waste management situation in Brazil and what is your forecast for the next years?

Nowadays Brazil generates more than 60 million tons of municipal waste per year and it is increasing fast annually. Almost 90% of it is collected and more than 40% have improper disposal (open dumps and uncontrolled landfills). To complete this sub developed scenario there is a real lack of separate collection all around the country. The perspective for the upcoming years is to have the waste Law implemented and them put into practice its main concepts such the waste hierarchy principle, minimizing waste generation and prioritizing reuse, recycle and recover activities. But for now the main target is to close all inadequate disposal sites and really develop regular waste destination for the whole country.

Brazil will hold two very important international events, the World Football Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016, and many people of from all over the world will visit the country. Is Brazil ready to face such an increase in waste generation and to avoid a short waste crisis? If not, what is it required?

We are paving the way towards realizing such important events successfully and waste services are a very important part of this success. Some projects are under development to deal with this sector however they've not been announced yet. We are getting close to the mentioned events and the concrete measures have not been taken yet and this situation may be a problem. One good way to move forward would be to count on experts with previous experiences in mega events waste management so some of the success cases should be implemented in Brazil.

Read 5850 times Last modified on Friday, 07 December 2012 16:36
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