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From an environmental and public health point of view, proper waste management in the stages that follow its generation allows mitigating the negative impacts on the environment, health and reducing pressure on natural resources. Reuse and recycling of materials are essential to reduce pressure on ecosystems and other sources of resources from which they are extracted. In parallel, the use of energy and water necessary for its extraction and processing is reduced, as is the need for space to finally dispose of waste.

Recycling aims to convert some of the materials that make up the waste (among the most important are paper and cardboard, glass, some metals and plastic) into reusable materials in production processes. From the point of view of waste management, recycling has the advantage of reducing the volume of materials that need to be collected, transported and disposed of at appropriate sites. The revaluation of waste also decreases the consumption of raw materials, electricity and water, among other inputs, which would be necessary for the extraction and processing of new materials.

 

Handling and management of urban and recyclable solid waste

In Mexico, the generation of urban solid waste reached 53.1 million tons per year and currently the figures continue to rise, according to the most recent figure published in 2015 in the Report on the situation of the environment in Mexico. The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) promotes at the federal level the integral management of waste, starting with the generation until the final disposal through the phases or intermediate stages of collection, transport, collection – transfer, use, treatment and final disposition through plans, programs and regulatory framework, complemented with strategies of education, training, communication and strengthening of the legal and administrative framework, among others. Within this framework, the Secretariat of Sustainability (SS) of the UANL, through the Directorate of Environmental Management and Operational Safety (DGASO), carries out the implementation of a management plan for the different types of waste generated in the campus of the Autonomous University of Nuevo León (UANL), with the objective of eliminating and / or minimizing the impacts caused by improper management of them, thus complying with current environmental regulations and promoting the culture of environmental care among the community University

 

Solid Urban Waste (RSU)

The solid urban waste (RSU) that is generated in all the UANL campuses is collected by different authorized companies which transfer the waste to a transfer station, to later take them to the sanitary landfill of the Integral System for Ecological Management and Processing of Waste (SIMEPRODE), which is located in the Municipality of Salinas Victoria and is administered by the government of the state of Nuevo León.

In accordance with the provisions of the General Law for the Prevention and Integral Management of Waste (LGPGIR), a sanitary landfill must incorporate particular engineering works and methods that allow the control of leachate leaks and the proper management of the generated gases for waste confined in order to avoid contamination of the subsoil and aquifer. In Nuevo León, this place has a sorting plant, where recyclable waste (glass, aluminum, cardboard, paper, plastics and steel) is separated and the rest is taken to the landfill cells where the waste is deposited and compacted to reduce its volume and subsequently covered with layers of clay. One way of using organic waste in the landfill is to use the methane gas produced as energy, the biogas produced by the decomposition of the garbage is used to generate energy in the landfill of the municipality of Salinas Victoria, being Nuevo León pioneer in The implementation of this process. The biogas is conducted through a system of special pipes to a bioenergy plant where it is converted into electrical energy, which is used to power the public lighting network of seven municipalities in the metropolitan area of ​​the City of Monterrey, five units of the state government, the Fundidora Park, in addition to providing energy to the collective transport system Metrorrey (urban electric train), which makes it a unique project of its kind, within the mitigation actions carried out in Mexico to avoid production of gases that cause global warming.

A very important part of the success of PROSER lies in the commitment of the university community to adopt sustainable practices within their daily activities and thereby support the care of the environment. An example is the “Uni Uni in the Culture of Recycling” program conducted by the Directorate of Social Service and Professional Practices in which students who are performing their community social service, collect recyclable urban solid waste, being their own or others , such as plastic (PET), cardboard, paper and aluminum. With the objective of encouraging the culture of recycling within the student community of UANL and reducing the generation of waste. Within the achievements of this activity, it can be counted that during the period January 2017 to December 2018, 178.08 tons of recyclable material were collected.

Technical guidelines for waste management and management

The UANL Secretariat of Sustainability, through the Directorate of Environmental Management and Operational Safety, formulated technical guidelines for the management and management of urban solid waste, recyclable, special handling, hazardous waste of chemical and biological-infectious origin, that are generated within the different university campuses.