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Need for Sustainable Waste Management in Colombia

Excerpt

Colombia is a country of 46 million people located in South America, with special historical, geographical, demographic, and cultural antecedents that play an important role in the genesis of many problems, such as waste handling. Although there is a clear need for sustainable waste management, there are important barriers. Some of them are considered and discussed in relation to options for developing Waste to Energy (WTE) projects. The Colombian electricity companies seem to consider WTE projects that produce electricity only from the point of view of comparing investment costs per installed kilowatt and the cost of generation per kilowatt-hour, to hydroelectric, wind or solar projects. In general, this means that the generation of electricity from MSW appears as neither profitable nor viable. This conclusion is also felt in the companies and entities of the waste sector. Of course, in this way, the integral, comprehensive picture is not included, as the waste sector must consider a more sustainable and broader perspective and see electricity generation as one aspect of WTE and not the only goal. The interests of the electricity sector and the waste management sector, apparently, are not the same and do not seem to coincide. Sustainability is a common ground to consider and also the need to integrate solutions looking for the real (evident and hidden) cost and benefits to society. Here, the authors present a model of application of WTE to solid waste in Colombia to help provide some perspective on this matter.

Introduction
Legal Framework in Colombia for the Integral and Sustainable Management System of Solid Municipal Waste (MSW) and the Use of WTE Systems
Existing Barriers for WTE in Colombia and Suggestions to Manage Them
Proposed Model for Application of WTE to Solid Waste in Colombia
Acknowledgments
References

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