With a diagnosis of the current situation of electronic waste management and the areas of opportunity for improvement, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Mexico and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (Semarnat) develop a special program for the management of waste containing persistent organic pollutants (POPs) present in electronic waste.
Ives Gómez Salas, from UNDP in Mexico, reported that the new program would be ready in the coming months and that it is being prepared together with the General Directorate of Protection and Management of the State Environment Secretariat.
“The objective is to minimize negative impacts on the environment through proper handling and management of chemical substances, in particular, reducing emissions of persistent organic pollutants that are present in electronic waste,” he said.
For his part, the general director of Comprehensive Management of Material and Risky Activities of Semarnat, Ricardo Ortiz Conde, commented that the process does not include the construction of recycling plants; although a pre-feasibility study was carried out to determine profitability, investment needs of public resources, financing options and operating costs
Ortiz Conde explained that Jalisco has the characteristic of being one of the main generators of electronic waste and having infrastructure of companies dedicated to recycling and maquila of electronics. In Mexico there are 153 companies dedicated to the processing of electronic waste. Of the total, in Jalisco there are 38 companies of this type installed, which represents 24% of the capacity to process this waste nationwide.
“The electronic waste management programs by governments are intermittent and a permanent scheme is needed so that the population has the opportunity at any time to have a place to channel their electronic waste,” he argued.
He added that at the national level reforms are required to include the responsibility of electronics producers and promote a change in the classification of this type of materials so that they are considered hazardous waste, currently they are referred to as special handling waste.
The project “Proper management of waste containing persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in Mexico” began in 2016 and ends in March next year.