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Chile and Canada join forces to support sustainable development and a transition to low carbon economies through the launch of the Reciclo Orgánicos program
22 May 2018

SANTA JUANA

In the presence of government authorities from Chile and Canada and community members, the national Reciclo Orgánicos program was launched and its contribution to the composting plant of Santa Juana announced.

In 2016, Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (https://unfccc.int/) ratified the Paris Agreement, which established the commitment of many governments around the world to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. Chile is implementing a new national program, ‘Reciclo Orgánicos’, to reduce the emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas very harmful to the environment, that is generated by the decomposition of organic material in landfills and waste disposal sites.

The Canadian and Chilean governments share more than 20 years of environmental engagement through the Canada-Chile Agreement on Environmental Cooperation. This partnership resulted in the decision to develop a joint program to help Chile achieve its emission reduction goals in the waste management sector.

As a program, Reciclo Orgánicos has been envisioned to not only identify opportunities to capture landfill gas from existing waste disposal sites, but also to implement projects to divert organic residues from the municipal waste stream and utilize them beneficially in composting facilities or anaerobic digestion plants to produce compost and/or a source of clean energy.

Santa Juana is the first municipality to receive support from Reciclo Orgánicos. Located in the province of Concepción (Bío Bío Region), Santa Juana will soon commence operations at its new composting plant, where organic residues from the municipality will be managed. The key infrastructural components of the facility were financed with funds from the Sub-secretariat of Regional Development (SUBDERE) and had the support of the Regional Government (GORE) of Bío Bío and its advisors. The Government of Canada is providing, through Reciclo Orgánicos, financial and technical assistance for the operationalization of the plant as well as community engagement to raise awareness among the residents about the beneficial recovery and utilization of organic resources and how it can combat climate change.

The mayor of Santa Juana, Angel Castro, highlighted that “together with our neighbors we will position ourselves at the national level in the vanguard of the recycling of organic waste. This project was presented by the Municipality, we obtained the necessary financing and support and now we are very happy for the collaboration with the Reciclo Orgánicos program, which will allow us to be an example at the national level.”

Meanwhile, the Minister of the Environment in Chile, Marcela Cubillos, added that “the launching of this program marks a milestone in citizens’ engagement with environmental issues, as we aim to combat climate change, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and incorporating practices of recycling organic waste in Chile.”

Canada’s Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, said “the Government of Canada is pleased to help Chile meet its climate change goals under the Paris Accord through initiatives like this new Santa Juana composting facility.  It is exciting that Canada’s clean tech know-how is being put into action through a $7 million dollar Canada-Chile Program. Over the next three years, similar facilities will open in communities across Chile to reduce methane emissions while creating jobs and new market opportunities. Together, we are protecting our environment and strengthening the global economy today, and for future generations.”

With technical and financial support, Reciclo Orgánicos will continue to be deployed in other communities across Chile, further contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change.

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