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Saturday, 21 April 2012 00:00

Brazil: First Meeting of Municipalities for Sustainable Development

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Brazil is a fast developing country with a fast growing economy. Because of this development, many changes have occurred in the last years and more are expected in the next year. One of the targets that the Brazilian government has set is to overcome poverty and extreme poverty and promote social inclusion and generation of productive employment and income. In that frame, on 27-29 March 2012, in Brasilia, the federal capital of Brazil, it was held the event: “I Encontro dos Municípios com o Desenvolvimento Sustentável”.

The event was a preparation of municipal administration for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio +20, which is scheduled for June in Rio de Janeiro.  The event aimed to promote an agenda for sustainable development of cities and to give subsidies to incorporate issues of environmental sustainability and the eradication of poverty and to create a favorable environment for small businesses. One of the ways assessed to contribute to that direction was solid waste management and D-Waste was there to talk with the participants and to express their opinions.

D-Waste interviewed two very important participants: Mr. Carlos Silva Filho, the CEO of the ABRELPE (the Brazilian Association of Sanitation & Special Waste Companies), and Mr. Silvio Baros, the Mayor of Maringá.

Mr. Silva talked about the importance of the event, especially because of the number of representatives, from around Brazil. What is more, he highlights the importance of the National legislation on Solid Waste, which was initiated on August 2nd, 2010, and created a solid basis for appropriate and adequate solid waste management in Brazil. As he mentions in the video, one of the prime targets of the Law is the development of Solid Waste Plans and the delivery of solid waste management infrastructure before specific milestones such as the World Cup of 2014 or the Olympic Games of 2016. Finally, despite the existing problems in the solid waste management sector, such as the great increase in waste generation, the great number of dumpsites and the miss of recycling targets, Mr. Silva believes that the National Law is the strongest ally to surpass the aforementioned issues.

Mr Baros talked about the opportunities and the barriers to developing WtE facilities in Brazil. More specifically, Mr Baros identified the lack of information and the ignorance of people on WtE technologies as the most important barrier for the development of WtE in Brazil. On the other hand, he identified as main forces for the development of WtE the fact that incineration provides at once an appropriate solution for waste treatment and that the gate fee for landfilling is very high and similar to the one of WtE facilities. Finally, Mr. Baros calls upon Brazilians to learn more about WtE technologies and highlights that WtE is not “The Solution” for the growing problem of waste management in Brazil, but it can constitute an important part of the solution. 

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