URBAN ReTHINK

TRACKING THE FUTURE OF CITIES

Mexico City’s mounting trash fiasco

This is what happens when countries embrace the economic growth and wealth that modern consumer society brings but ignore what to do with the mountains of waste that it generates.

Parts of Mexico’s capital are now sitting under heaps of trash. According to The Guardian newspaper, Bordo Poniente, one of only three dumps in the state which had been receiving a staggering 12,600 tonnes of garbage per day, has been closed due to long-time overcapacity. At present the dump has over 70 million tonnes of garbage sitting underground, causing serious water and air pollution problems, the article says. The situation is made worse by conflict between various levels of government which has made finding a solution difficult, and by a low recycling rate which sees only 15% of the nation’s 40 million annual tonnes of garbage recycled.

“Consumerism has increased sharply, in tandem with the absence of a culture of non-generation, classification and recycling of waste,” said said Ramón Ojeda, secretary-general of a Mexican environmental arbitration group.

It’s easy to blame consumerism for the creation of waste, however. Thanks to consumerism, we have also generated the wealth necessary to increase our life expectancy and radically improve our living, health, and education standards. But wasteful consumerism’s useful life has come to an end. Recycling or not, it has reached a point where it now seriously threatens to take away the gains that it brought us, and leave us with little else than a trash strewn planet.

To read the full Guardian article, click here.

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One comment on “Mexico City’s mounting trash fiasco

  1. Pingback: Sustainable urban bike-share holidays « Green Times

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This entry was posted on January 9, 2012 by in Ideas & Issues and tagged , , , , .

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