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The Vice-presidency of Sustainability through the Department of Environmental Management and Operational Safety presents to the university community the Institutional Program for Waste Management. This program promotes sustainable practices for the benefit of the university community.

Urban Solid Waste

This type of waste is produced in homes, work centers, and establishments. Consumption products, packaging, containers, are examples of these wastes.

According to the Ministry of Environment (SEMARNAT) Environmental Situation Report for 2015, the production of solid urban waste reached 53.1 million tons. This represented an increase of 61.2% with respect to 2003 when 10.24 million tons were collected. This is a total of 1.2 kilograms per inhabitant per year.

Figure 1. Generation of MSW, gross domestic product (GDP) and private final consumption expenditure in Mexico, 2003-2015

In 2013 UANL started the waste separation and recycling program. This program consists of each unit separating its waste into special containers. The waste is then recycled. This activity promotes the use of resources and prevents the impact on the environment.

From February 2013 to June 2020, 1,103.21 tons of waste have been collected, including aluminum, plastic, paper, and cardboard. This represents 15,416 non-felled trees, 3,946 tons of CO2 not emitted into the atmosphere, and 3,243 square meters of unused landfill.


Special Handling Waste

1. Electronic waste

Special handling waste (RME) is generated in service production processes. An example of this type of waste is electronic waste: televisions, cell phones, computers, and household appliances. These wastes may contain valuable materials such as gold, silver, palladium, and copper. On the other hand, some materials can be very dangerous to the environment, for example: lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic, when these materials are released without proper care, they can represent a danger to human health.

UANL and the Vice-presidency of Sustainability carries out campaigns to collect electronic equipment. This promotes good sustainable practices within the university community.

During collection campaigns in June and October 2019 a total of 44.9 tons of electronic waste was collected. This resulted in 1,059,555 kWh of savings in electrical energy and 166 tons of Co2 not emitted into the atmosphere.


2. Organic waste

The Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources indicates that organic waste constitutes a little more than 52.4% of the total urban waste in the country. Organic waste is used in the form of biogas, a useful fuel for industry, as well as liquid and semi-solid by-products used in agriculture.The treatment of organic waste becomes more important because of the size it represents. Organic waste could also replace chemical fertilizers which generate environmental damage and are more expensive.

For 15 years,The Faculty of Agronomy of the UANL has been carrying out a project for the use of livestock waste (manure) and the use of pruning. These residues are treated to obtain humus and worm compost. These products are used to fertilize the experimental crops and the gardens of the campus.

Each year 1.5 tons of organic waste is processed which produces a total of 700kg of humus, and 1000 liters of leachate.


3. Waste Oil

Oils used in food preparation are the main source of Surface and groundwater contamination. Just 1 liter of oil can contaminate from 1,000 to 10,000 liters of water. This causes blockages in pipes, and unpleasant odors. Fertility of the soil can also be affected due to biological and chemical alteration of the ground. SONNE energéticos S.A. de C.V. a company specialized in the field, is responsible for collecting the oil used in the university canteens.

From January 2019 to June 2020, 2.5 tons of vegetable oil were collected from university cafeterias. After being recycled, it is used to make environmentally friendly products..


4. Hazardous Waste

A hazardous waste (RP) has the following characteristics: it can be in a solid or semi-solid state, liquid or gas. It must be treated before final disposal. It can be a corrosive, reactive, explosive, toxic, flammable, biological-infectious material.

According to the Register of hazardous waste (RP) Generators, a total of 2.19 million tons were generated between 2004 and 2014. It is important to note that the amount of waste in the country may be greater, as this list does not include all waste generators.

The Vicepresidency of Sustainability has created a program for the management and disposal of hazardous waste in UANL facilities. This units have information to prepare manual son the correct environmental management of waste. A total of 21 departments of UANL have adopted these practices, and during the period from January 2019 to June 2020, 322.7 tons of waste were treated and the remaining 18% was treated as chemical hazardous waste.