Projet Zéro Déchet (angl.)

The project seeks to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gases in the waste sub-sector and the preservation of ecosystems through the promotion of management models with a circular economy approach. It will boost the dissemination of circular solid waste management models, formulating public initiatives at local and national level, as well as private initiatives.
Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Oruro
Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de La Paz 
Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Uriondo, Bolivia
Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de San Lorenzo, Bolivia
Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Cercado, Tarija
Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Camiri, El Chaco
Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Cuevo, El Chaco
Gobierno Autónomo Municipal de Boyuibe, Bolivia
Durée du projet
2020 - 2026
Financé par
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)

Le projet

From 2020 to 2022, the project has worked with municipal waste in all stages of operational management according to the needs of each territory. In addition, it has incorporated relevant actors and promoted dialogue with local governments for the construction of integrated waste management models. The project's impact results focus on the reduction of greenhouse gases by optimiaing cleaning services, the use of organic waste and the emissions avoided by the use of inorganic waste through a calculation tool that establishes the sector's carbon footprint. Finally, three management models have been developed that incorporate systems for differentiated collection of recyclable organic and inorganic waste for storage and subsequent use, with the participation of recyclers, the private sector and universities, among others.

Key achievements of the first project phase (2020-2022):

  • Municipal waste management regulations were developed and updated, as well as municipal programmes, information systems, tariff updating systems, five-year environmental education plan, which allow for the monitoring, planning and implementation of actions aimed at achieving sustainability and social inclusion in the optimised services.
  • Differentiated collection systems have been consolidated in nine municipalities in the country. In La Paz, 100% geographical coverage of the differentiated collection system has been achieved.
  • The inclusion of waste pickers in inorganic waste recovery systems was promoted. They were trained on soft skills and organisation. More than 170 people were involved in this model, 98% of whom are women.
  • At least four green businesses contributing to organic and inorganic waste management were strengthened and inserted into the value chain. Marketing relationships with the private sector have been optimised, especially for inorganic waste.
  • The inorganic waste cycle has been closed, using at least 1,600 tons of waste.
  • It was possible to implement organic waste recovery models through municipal systems (5 composting plants and 8 inorganic municipal waste recovery centres), neighbourhood, institutional, community and household systems; managing to treat more than 70 tonnes of organic waste per day in the targeted territories.
  • Strengthened the local capacities of more than 80 technical experts from at least 35 municipalities in waste management through short technical courses, postgraduate training, exchange of experiences, among others.

In 2022, the project carried out an analysis that revealed, among other results, a national waste generation of 8,285 tonnes per day, equivalent to 3,024,025 tonnes/year. Compared to the 2022 results, this is a 73% increase in generation, with a per capita production (PPC) of 0.69 kg/inhabitant/day. The composition: 59.5% corresponds to organic waste; 20.60% to recyclable inorganic waste and 17.5% to non-recyclable waste; 1.5% to special waste and 0.9% to hazardous waste. In view of the predominance of the organic fraction, there continues to be a challenge to promote the separation of organic material at source, treatment on site or through differentiated collection systems and improvements in final disposal.

With regard to recovery, only 0.62% of the waste generated in the country is managed at the municipal level. This figure is well below regional data and shows how little progress has been made in municipal waste management in the country since the approval of Law 755 in 2015.

The management models developed in the first phase of the project confirm that the strengthening of municipal governments in their waste management services with a focus on co-responsibility and the involvement of private actors is the path towards an integral improvement of waste management. Strengthening the use of waste and, thus, obtaining environmental benefits, creates opportunities for vulnerable groups such as waste pickers, motivates entrepreneurship and associativity, and involves the participation of the inhabitants through behavioural change and the set-up of governance.

The second project phase 

Support at the national level will focus on the development of a regulatory framework. Having consolidated circular models at three municipal scales, the project seeks to replicate these in other areas. Based on the implementation of circular models, the project will strengthen the public sector in the management of organic and inorganic waste, as well as the private sector, reducing the amount of waste in final disposal and increasing the use of waste. 

Thus, the second phase of the Zero Waste project (2023-2026) works on scaling up the models for cities of different sizes, articulated with investments in current and projected infrastructure. In this way, the change towards circular integrated waste management systems will have been achieved, with full capacity of the municipalities and co-responsibility of their actors. The focus is linking the strengthened local experience of the project implementation team to planning and actions at the national level, thereby validating and replicating the models through comprehensive and collaborative interventions, strategically and operationally articulated with national policies and programmes.

Stakeholders for the development of the project are the Ministry of Environment and Water, the Municipal Government of Oruro and the private sector linked to waste disposal and the local authorities. The beneficiaries of the project are the inhabitants of the municipal government of Oruro as well as those of the municipal governments of La Paz, Cercado, San Lorenzo and Uriondo (Tarija), Camiri, Cuevo, Lagunillas, Boyuibe (El Chaco).

Main project activities:

  1. The Ministry of Environment and Water — the highest environmental authority in the country — will have strategic instruments.
  2. Municipalities will implement circular models.
  3. Consolidation of models

Objectifs du projet

  • Strengthening the waste sector on the national level, through direct collaboration with General Directorate of Integrated Solid Waste Management (lead: Helvetas).
  • Circular models will be disseminated at the local level, carried out in Oruro municipality based on the leveraging of national investment in order to capacitate municipalities, articulate public, private and civil society actors, generating sustainable operable management models.
  • Knowledge management, systematising the good practices and lessons learned in the targeted municipalities, with the prospect of validating models and leveraging greater resources for reproducing the experiences.

Partenaires du projet

  • Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation
  • Aguatuya Foundation

Résultats attendus

  • The Ministry of Environment and Water, in particular the National Directorate of Solid Waste, will be strengthened through planning instruments, and processes for technical assistance will be implemented for other Bolivian municipalities. The central level of the state will develop normative instruments that contribute to the implementation of circular models.
  • The municipality of Oruro will develop and implement a circular model of integrated solid waste management, instrumented with regulations, mechanisms for the optimisation of the sanitation fee, among others.
  • The municipality and the private sector will implement systems for the use of organic and inorganic waste, promoting green businesses that are linked to the circular model.
  • Raising awareness of waste management and creating a co-responsibility among citizens who become active participants in the circular model.
  • The institutional capacities of the municipality of Oruro will be strengthened, and urban waste management and final disposal services will be optimised.
  • Consolidation of the circular models, systematising and capitalising on the experiences and lessons learned to be reproduced at the national level.