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The Solid Waste Management Group of the Water and Sanitation Initiative is conducting various cooperation activities with internationally recognized institutions.

 Under the Water and Sanitation Initiative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), the Solid Waste Management Group has established cooperation agreements and ties with an array of international waste management institutions. These partnerships are creating synergies and maximizing the impact of each organization’s individual efforts, while the resulting transfer of knowledge benefits not only to institutional partners, but also to the Bank’s borrowing countries. These cooperation activities have taken several forms, such as technical training, specific and general waste management studies, dissemination of information, and development of investment projects.


In 2009, the IADB’s Water and Sanitation Initiative signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA). Activities carried out since then include training courses and the development of knowledge products. Furthermore, the ISWA Annual Congress has been chosen as the venue for the IADB and the FEMSA Foundation to present the Water and Sanitation Prize for “good practices in municipal solid waste management in Latin America and the Caribbean.” The first time the Prize was awarded (2009), the municipality of Londrina (Paraná state, Brazil) was recognized for using an innovative approach to incorporate informal waste pickers into the formal waste management system. The second year the prize was awarded (2010), the Council of Mayors of Renca was recognized for its Comprehensive and Joint Solid Waste Management policy, which had been implemented in 16 municipalities of Santiago, Chile by 2009; this program is also credited with helping develop the sector over the past decade.


Additionally, since 2009 the Water and Sanitation Initiative has been working in close collaboration with the Global Methane Initiative of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), to provide technical assistance and training in solid waste management and climate change. During this period, various activities have been conducted in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, and other countries of the region. US EPA and the IADB hope to establish a formal, joint working mechanism in the first half of 2011.


The Water and Sanitation Initiative has also been working since 2009 with the Inter-American Association of Sanitary and Environmental Engineering (AIDIS) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) on the 2010 Regional Evaluation of Municipal Solid Waste Management in Latin America and the Caribbean. This study, which will conclude in April 2011, seeks to provide a region-wide diagnosis of the sector by collecting data from 20 countries in the region. The main findings of the study can be found on the Evaluation’s website.

Columbia University, Earth Engineering Center

In 2010, the Water and Sanitation Initiative established a cooperation framework with the Earth Engineering Center of Columbia University to conduct an economic and technical pre-feasibility study on the application of waste-to-energy technologies on solid waste in Latin America and the Caribbean. The study, which will provide the state of the art of waste-to-energy technologies in the world, will be available during the second half of 2011.

SWANA, Basel Convention, UN-HABITAT

There are plans for the signing of specific cooperation and technical assistance agreements in 2011 with the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), UN-Habitat, and the Basel Convention. These agreements will provide a framework for the cooperation activities that have already been underway with these institutions since 2010.


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