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Markets for Recycling: Waste Management in the Transportation Sector

The project promotes the recycling and treatment of waste (tires, lead-acid, scrap metal and motor-oil) generated by the transport sector in Bolivia by supporting recycling companies in developing new business models to reuse these waste products and reduce their environmental and public health impact.

In Bolivia rapid urbanisation has been accompanied by an exponential growth of the transport sector. The growing vehicle fleet generates an increasing amount of waste, which is difficult to process due to the complex and often toxic nature of their components. Today only a small amount of these waste materials is recycled or adequately treated for their final disposal. Depending on the waste type, they are classified as special or hazardous and are cause for multiple environmental and public health problems.

The Project

The Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a policy that seeks to compensate for environmental costs of waste and ensure its integral management focusing on the waste reduction and recycling. The producers and importers of the vehicle products are responsible to assume the costs for their waste management. The EPR concept has been widely implemented in Europe and is now included in the new solid waste legislation in Bolivia (2015). However, the law has not yet been operationalised for waste generated by the transport sector. Thanks to Swisscontacts’ previous experience in sustainable urban waste management we have a trustful relationship to the relevant public entities and private recycling companies. This offers a unique opportunity to support them in operationalising the EPR legislation, raising awareness among the actors along the value chain of the transportation sector to properly handle the waste and support the recycling companies to develop new business models and generate jobs to recycle the waste materials.


Based on our experience in previous projects to achieve sustainable urban waste management in Bolivia, we will intervene at three levels:

  • We will support the development of standards and regulations needed to apply the Extended Producer Responsibility for vehicles and their parts during and at the end of their life cycle. Pilot models to implement the regulations will be realised and national and regional governments will be strengthened to apply these models on their territory.
  • Awareness will be raised among all actors along the value chain on the problematic of inadequate handling of the four waste types. Together with relevant ministries and universities studies are carried out to determine the environmental and health impacts of improper handling of the four waste types.
  • Market studies are carried out to explore the economic potential to recycle tires, lead-batteries and scrap-metal. Based on these studies, recycling companies are supported to develop new business models in close collaboration with local universities and training institutes to bring in new technologies and skilled labour. Thanks to this, new jobs are generated, working conditions in recycling companies are improved and their income increases.

Project countries

  • Bolivia

Project duration

2019 - 2022


  • SDC
  • Kuoni and Hugentobler Foundation

Working area


Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@STOP-SPAM.swisscontact.org