Bloomberg Law
March 22, 2019, 9:00 AM

Mexico’s ‘Zero Waste’ Plan May Crash Into Informal Trash Economy

A government proposal to overhaul Mexico’s waste collection system could be a direct challenge to the underground economy that scours the trash for items of value.

The proposal—issued by the Environmental Ministry in mid-February—aims to turn Mexico’s mountains of garbage piled in open pit trash sites into a “zero waste” circular economy by establishing destinations where garbage could go to be reused, recycled, or turned into energy or compost.

Environmentalists are applauding the plan, but how to implement it is an open question: The proposal potentially disrupts powerful informal interests that have benefited from Mexico’s current system ...

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