A team of Swedish experts reviewed the current situation of waste management in the city of Bogotá and presented guidelines on how to enhance sorting at source and increase recycling.

Colombia updated the National Determined Contributions recently and announced the ambitious goal to decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 51 % by 2030, compared to 2020. Waste management and diversification of the energy matrix are a part of the plan to achieve the targeted reduction. Smart City Sweden has received several delegations from Colombia in the previous year where Swedish experts presented best practices in waste management. The virtual visits led to the project where Swedish experts have analysed the local situation in Colombia and provided guidelines on how to improve the system.

The study provides short-, medium- and long-term recommendations for solid waste management focused on source separation and recycling. The suggested action plan also emphasizes the importance of waste-to-energy technologies and presents different financing possibilities for the proposed options. These recommendations are based on the experiences from Sweden and international projects.

– Awareness raising and citizen engagement are crucial to increase sorting at source, and we are happy to share our experiences in developing effective communication materials so that the message is conveyed successfully to the citizens, says Aditi Bhasin, project manager at IVL and Smart City Sweden.

Bogotá was selected among the applicants as the first of the interesting Colombian cities to receive the Smart City Sweden co-funding for a waste management study. The guidelines were presented by Aditi Bhasin, Project Manager at IVL/Smart City Sweden and were received by the Secretary of Housing, Nadya Rangel, and the Director of the Administrative Entity for Public Service (UAESP), Luz Amanda Camacho, during a virtual meeting opened by Helena Storm, the Swedish Ambassador to Colombia, as well as Álvaro Parra Erazo, the Resource Utilization Deputy Director at UAESP.

– In Bogota, we have chosen food waste as one of the prioritized streams because of the huge opportunity there to limit the climate impact of this waste is treated properly. We feel confident that the Swedish team supports this decision and has given us further suggestions on how we can achieve the desired results, says Javier Baquero, Deputy Secretary for Planning and Policy in Bogota.

This study is a collaborative effort between the Secretariat of Housing and UAESP on behalf of the city of Bogotá and Smart City Sweden together with other participating Swedish organisations. The project was carried out by a team of experts from IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Borlänge Energy, RISE, SWECO, and Business Sweden, and supported by the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth.

For more information, contact Aditi Bhasin, Smart City Sweden East

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