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Improving Waste Management in El Salvador

German public development financing organisation (KfW) El Salvador, Central America 
El Salvador has vowed to combat illegal dumps in the country, and passed a national plan to improve waste management. CDM Smith is supporting those responsible for the implementation of this plan.

El Salvador has a variety of problems, and one of them is its waste problem – about 25% of the waste is still disposed of, untreated, into rivers or elsewhere in the natural environment. The remaining waste is transported over long distances across the country and distributed amongst the country’s sixteen landfills, driving up the cost of waste disposal.

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collection rate for household waste

So, the government approved a national waste management improvement plan. The country plans to introduce a decen­tralised and econom­i­cally viable waste management system to include three extended landfills and build one facility for transfer, composting and waste separation. The Federal Republic of Germany through the German public development financing organ­i­sa­tion (KfW) is involved in imple­ment­ing the plan by investing in the waste disposal infra­struc­ture.

CDM Smith is working with GOPA Consultants and a local partner (Ambientec) on supporting the competent authority in the imple­men­ta­tion of the national waste plan. Our respon­si­bil­i­ties include technical planning and tendering as well as construc­tion supervision on three extensions to existing landfills and one transfer stations. Apart from technical imple­men­ta­tion, managing the project success­fully and convinc­ingly while applying inter­cul­tural competence in an inter­na­tional team has been a special challenge.

The construction of new landfills and expansions on existing facilities will improve El Salvador’s infrastructure towards a sustainable disposal and recycling of waste.
Dr. Abdelaziz Belherazem, Project Manager

The project area encompasses the entire country with 262 munic­i­pal­i­ties and an area of about 21,000 km². Landfills extensions were construc­ted and are decen­tralised across the country to serve as many munic­i­pal­i­ties as possible with an organised waste disposal and recycling system while also cutting transport costs. Local staff and organ­i­sa­tions are to be trained to ensure a sustainable waste management in the future. The project also plans to raise envi­ron­men­tal awareness in the wider population.

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In this project we reduced the number of illegal dumps to protect the environment and climate.

Did you know? 

The Central American country El Salvador has been working on reforming its economy and opening its markets since the end of the civil war in 1992. The country’s major exports include coffee, sugar, gold, chemicals and textiles. Apart from environmental policy, El Salvador suffers from high crime rates, which is why many foreign firms still shy away from investing there.

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