Like many developing nations, Mexico faces serious difficulties in managing solid waste. The country generates about 99,000 tons of solid waste every day, yet only 54.5 % is disposed under sanitary conditions on landfills and an additional 10.5 % under controlled conditions (not on landfills). 32% are disposed under un-controlled conditions and only 3% is being recycled. Open dumping is the most common solid waste disposal method in small- and medium-sized cities in Mexico. This creates health, safety and environmental problems in the affected communities.
With World Bank assistance, the Government of Mexico has initiated a program to address some of the underlying causes of poor solid waste management. The program is helping to introduce more effective practices and incentives for solid waste management by strengthening federal and local regulations and institutions. The program will also help draw up a comprehensive recycling plan.
As a complement to this program, the Global Environmental Facility is financing a Methane Gas Capture and Use at a Landfill – Demonstration Project, based in the city of Monterrey. This project will focus on incorporating landfill gas capture and use into solid waste management practices. It will result in immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Support the design and implementation of a system to capture and utilize landfill gas, at landfills developed under the solid waste management program. These systems will avoid the emission of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, to the atmosphere and will reduce high carbon fuel consumption through the use of Landfill Gas (LFG) as a fossil fuel substitute. The project will serve as a model for integrating greenhouse gas control measures in solid waste management programs in other Mexican municipalities.
The main project activities include:
- Designing and building a landfill gas collection system and a 7 megawatt power plant at a 44 hectares closed cell at the Sistema Metropolitano de Procesamiento de Desechos Solidos landfill in Monterrey, through a public-private partnership.
- Building the capacity of federal, state and local government entities, as well as private contractors, to promote and manage this kind of project.
- Funding technical studies in order to include biogas management in national legislation.
- Execution of regional dissemination program.
- Development of national replication strategy.
- Operation of the Monterrey plant will result in the capture of 214 million cubic meters of methane.
- Energy produced by the plant will also substitute other energy sources that use fossil fuels, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions from these sources.
- If the demonstration project is successful, it will encourage the construction of more plants in Mexico and Latin America.
Progress to date
The plant started operation in September 2003 and has resulted in the destruction of nearly 600,000 tons equivalent of CO2 (as of March 30, 2006) and the generation of about 150,000 GWh. The replication strategy has resulted in the development of at least three more sites, supported through carbon finance under the Kyoto Protocol.
Total cost: US$13.25 million
Global Environment Facility Grant: US$6.27 million
United Mexican States, Banobras: US$0.4 million
Other private commercial sources: US$6.58 million
Implementation period: Expected May 2001 - June 2006
Geographical area: Monterrey metropolitan area
Implementing agencies: Sistema Metropolitano de Procesamiento de Desechos Sólidos (Monterrey), Federal Secretary of Social Development (SEDESOL)
Full project information & documents
PLANT - The methane gas capture plant in Monterrey.