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IDB and FEMSA Foundation give recognition to La Pintana

The IDB and the FEMSA Foundation awarded the Water and Sanitation Prize for Latin America and the Caribbean in the category of Solid Waste Management to the La Pintana Municipality of Santiago, Chile, for its strategy of source separation, selective collection, and treatment.

At the International Conference on Waste Minimization and Recycling of the International Solid Waste Management Association (ISWA), Horacio Terraza, IDB Representative, and Guillermo Casanova, Director of Coca-Cola FEMSA in Argentina, on behalf of the FEMSA Foundation, recognized the Municipality of La Pintana in Santiago, Chile for its good practices in managing waste. La Pintana was awarded the Water and Sanitation Prize for Latin America and the Caribbean in the category of Solid Waste Management.

The Water and Sanitation Prize was instituted by the FEMSA Foundation and the Inter-American Development Bank in 2009. It recognizes best practices in the region in the categories of Solid Waste Management, Water Management, and Sanitation Management. The winners receive the “Drop of Silver” sculpture designed by the renowned Latin American artist Gerardo Azcúnaga, as well as scholarships to take specialized training classes at the Water Center for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Manuel Valencia Guzmán, Director of Environmental Management for the municipality, received the award on behalf of Mayor Jaime Pavez Moreno. This is the third year the award has been given, and it was granted for excellent results with the municipality’s strategy of source separation, selective collection, and treatment in the community of just over 200,000. La Pintana uses integrated solid waste management, starting with prevention and minimization, to reduce waste production. Then, through a program of source separation and selective collection, composting and vermi-composting techniques are applied, which allow to reduce the solid waste sent to sanitary landfills. The community also seeks to achieve energy savings through special waste treatment programs and by obtaining biodiesel, among other interesting initiatives.

Federico Basañes, head of the Water and Sanitation Initiative of the IDB, had the following to say about the award: “It is a way to tell the municipalities of the region that it is possible to achieve sustainable improvements in solid waste management by adopting creative and low-cost solutions.” Horacio Terraza, the Bank’s lead specialist in Water and Sanitation, added that “the progress made at La Pintana is even more noteworthy once you learn how this community worked with very limited economic resources, which is true of the overwhelming majority of municipalities in the region.”

For further information please see the official press release  (only in Spanish) and interview of Horacio Terraza and Manuel Valencia Guzmán (only in Spanish).

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