Reworking municipal composting : expanding support for trash workers in Mexico City’s composting program
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As municipalities in the developing world are struggling to deal with the ever-increasing rate of residential trash generation, many have embraced the practice of diverting organic waste to composting plants. However, because most models for implanting new Solid Waste Management (SWM) programs have emerged from the experiences of municipalities in the industrialized world, they often gloss over the particular social, cultural and economic contexts that make SWM programming particularly challenging in the developing world. In Mexico City, the absence of curbside collection, and a trash workforce comprised of both formal and informal trash collectors, have created unique challenges for the municipality’s composting program that was initiated in 2004. This report attempts to highlight that the limited success of the program thus far might be rooted in the program’s design, which has largely ignored the needs of the trash workers who are largely held responsible for its implementation.