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CATIE presented a key study for the transition of the canton of Turrialba to a circular economy

  • The study was presented at the virtual congress "Reject and Reduce: The most important Rs", which was organized by the Municipality of Turrialba in Costa Rica

December 8, 2020 CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) recently presented the project "Case study of the canton of Turrialba in its transition to a circular economy: diagnosis of municipal solid waste management", a work that seeks to determine the main challenges faced by the local government of Turrialba in Costa Rica to achieve the transformation to a circular economy.

The study was presented at the virtual congress "Reject and Reduce: the most important Rs", an activity organized by the Department of Integrated Waste Management of the Municipality of Turrialba, in conjunction with the Centro de Acopio Preserve Planet, in order to promote responsible consumption habits among citizens.

According to Gracia Lanza, coordinator of the Economy, Environment and Sustainable Agribusiness Unit of CATIE and responsible for the study, the circular economy is a system of resource use where the reduction, reuse and recycling of various elements prevails and where waste becomes a resource.

Lanza said the study analyzed the characterization of the district of Turrialba in issues such as installation, equipment and personnel for waste management, collection service and routes, final disposal of solid waste, regulations, initiatives and programs, among others.

In this regard, according to the study, the Municipality of Turrialba has important strengths that would allow it to move towards a circular economy. "At this time, the municipality is working on updating the Municipal Solid Waste Regulations and the study recommends incorporating the concept of a circular economy. The municipality also has a Department of Solid Waste Collection and the collection of ordinary solid waste is carried out frequently along routes that cover established communities that are directed to a Municipal Collection Center for the recovery of recoverable waste," said Lanza.

The study concluded that the state of progress of the district  of Turrialba is at an early stage, while the level of circularity for the prevention, reuse and management of solid waste is moderately advanced.

As part of the recommendations that the study makes to the local government is to carry out public communications and information campaigns, conduct workshops or training sessions aimed at informal and private collectors in the district, establish an instrument to encourage the recovery of ordinary waste that can be recovered in businesses and institutions in the district as an environmental seal, as well as the treatment of organic waste at the household, educational, local and commercial levels

During the first day of this virtual congress, the context of the Law for the Integral Management of Waste N° 8839 and the importance of the actions to avoid and reduce in the hierarchy were analyzed. Also, the congress counted with the participation of organizations such as Turrialba Sostenible and Turrialba Va Primero, as well as the speakers Felicia Granados, professor at CATIE and expert in environmental management; Andrea Acuña, environmental engineer; José Retana, co-founder of the national SME Compra Sin Plástico and Luis Alejandro Conejo from Grupo Vidriero Centroamericano.

For her part, Ana Lorena Vallejo, waste manager for the Municipality of Turrialba, said that in understanding the national and local problems of waste management, she identifies that there has been much promotion of actions around waste recycling, but not the actions mentioned above that refer to rejecting and reducing the generation of waste "Each citizen represents the beginning of the chain of waste management, since each of us is a consumer and therefore a generator," she said.

Vallejo said that for this reason the need to promote responsible consumption habits among citizens, in order to protect health and the environment, should not be overlooked. "These consumption habits are linked to the most important Rs, often forgotten, to reject and reduce," he concluded.

The study was implemented by CATIE, funded by the Climate Technology Centre and Netwroky and led by the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, the Secretariat of Sectoral Planning for the Environment, Energy, Seas and Land Management, the Institute for Municipal Development and Advisory Services and the Municipality of Turrialba.

 

More information:

Dra. Gracia Lanza
CATIE Researcher
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Written by:

Daniel Cedeño Ramírez
Communication Assistant
Information Technology and Communication
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