As recently declared by Buenos Aires’ Minister of Environment and Public Space, the main reason for the current administration’s change of vision towards a more sustainable future were the results published by the Siemens’ Green City Index in which the Argentinean capital was poorly ranked in comparison to many neighboring cities. This ranking provided the motivation to create a comprehensive plan in order to cope with the new demands for sustainable development in the region.
What is interesting about this new proposal is not the novelty of the recycling or the classification of wastes. What is amazing about this plan is how it was implemented, from 0% waste separation and classification in 2011, to 99% application of the plan by November 2012. This includes mandatory differentiation, bio-degradable plastic bags in Supermarkets, the introduction of new and clearly indicated bins in the entire Federal District, and collaboration with the public waste collection company.
However, the audacity and ambition of this plan is currently slowed by several problems.
- Collapse of the public disposal center;
- Lack of expansion of this plan to the greater metropolitan area of Buenos Aires.
But let’s say it’s a good start! The behavior of the citizens changed, which is especially difficult for the classic “Porteños” (Inhabitants of Buenos Aires) and, at least in the waste management sector, Buenos Aires is expected to surpass many of its Latin American neighbors.
So it is interesting to ask, will this “greening” be limited to garbage? What more can we expect from a city that, for the time being, seems serious about sustainability?