Mexico City, is the capital of Mexico and the most populous city in North America. Mexico City is one of the most important cultural and financial centers in the Americas. It is located in the Valley of Mexico, a large valley in the high plateaus in the center of Mexico, at an altitude of 2,240 meters. The city has a population of approximately nine million people on a land area of 1,485 square kilometers. The population of Greater Mexico City is 21.3 million, which makes it the largest metropolitan area of the Western Hemisphere and the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world.

Mexico City landscape aerial view, Drowning in Waste - WOIMA Corporation

Mexico City is both the oldest capital city in the Americas and one of two founded by Native Americans, the other being Quito, Ecuador. The city was originally built on an island of Lake Texcoco by the Aztecs in 1325 as Tenochtitlan, which was almost completely destroyed in the 1521 siege of Tenochtitlan and subsequently redesigned and rebuilt in accordance with the Spanish urban standards. In 1524, the municipality of Mexico City was established, known as México Tenochtitlán, and as of 1585, it was officially known as Ciudad de México (Mexico City). Mexico City was the political, administrative, and financial center of a major part of the Spanish colonial empire and became the capital of Mexico after independence from Spain in 1821.

Mexico City ranks as the second biggest producer of waste among the world’s megacities, behind New York City, generating 20,000 tons of garbage every day, enough to fill the Azteca Stadium, the largest in the country weekly. Half of this waste is produced at homes and almost 90% ends up in landfills, severely impacting the health of the people and the environment in the city and the region. Landfills also emit methane, a potent greenhouse gas, accounting for 10% of global emissions. Waste collection is a system that emits a lot of greenhouse gases by itself: 2,400 diesel-powered garbage trucks circulate the city every day, each collecting four tons of waste daily. The vehicle fleet is inefficient and obsolete; 70% are more than 15 years old.

Waste collection, Mexico city, Drowning in Waste - WOIMA Corporation

The “official” system relies on some 10,000 “volunteers”, who receive tips from people to take their garbage away and who sell the recyclables they pick out of the waste. Thousands of waste-pickers, known as pepenadores, make a living from picking through the waste in the city.

Pepenadores, case Mexico city, Drowning in waste - WOIMA Corporation

Mexico City is making an effort to recycle more. To that end, it closed its biggest landfill site, Bordo Poniente, in 2011. But doing so caused chaos, with waste piling up at illegal dump sites and on the streets, revealing the extent of disorganization within the current waste system. Only one in 20 citizens currently separates their waste, with only 300 tons being recycled daily. As much as 43% of waste is organic, contaminating the rest of the waste and emitting more methane as it decomposes. Despite a new waste separation law, and fresh investment in new waste management infrastructure, household behavior around recycling and reusing still lags behind. As a result, a lot of poorly sorted, underutilized and excessive waste remains.

WOIMA has the perfect solution to resolve the Mexico City waste challenge. We have developed a decentralized waste management and power generation solution named “WOIMA Ecosystem” that helps countries and cities to cope with the increasing waste challenges that they are facing. WOIMA Ecosystem recycles the waste into raw materials and energy in the most efficient manner reducing the waste quantity by over 95%. The small-to-medium size WOIMA Ecosystems are distributed close to where the waste is generated, thus offering significant waste logistics and power distribution savings in addition to solving the waste problem.

Read more: Woima decentralized W2E power generation – case study Nairobi Kenya

Contact WOIMA, if you see yourself as collaboration partner in saving the planet. Ask more about turning waste into wellbeing with WOIMA Circular Economy Solutions.

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