The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) announced it has been awarded a two-year grant from the United States Department of State to identify regulatory gaps, offer landfill training and provide capacity building relating to solid waste disposal in the country of Colombia.
“This grant award marks an important step forward for SWANA, as we expand our efforts to provide opportunities for our members in developing countries,” said David Biderman, SWANA’s executive director and CEO, in a statement. “The goal of this project is to improve landfill operations and the regulatory structure in Colombia, which will benefit the environment and public health for millions of Colombians. We are very excited to have this opportunity.”
SWANA will lead a two-year project to match the technical expertise of the United States solid waste management industry with the needs of the Colombian waste sector, national, provincial and local government officials and other participants.
In 2019, a Colombian delegation will attend WASTECON, followed by landfill visits and meetings with a variety of state and federal regulators and equipment providers.
In 2020, SWANA will conduct a Colombian Landfill Training Center that reflects Colombian-specific needs and draws on SWANA’s Manager of Landfill Operations (MOLO), Leachate Management and Landfill Gas Systems Basics courses. A limited number of attendees from other Latin American countries will also be invited to participate, with the intent that the training may be provided in other locations in the future.
In addition, SWANA said it will work closely with the leading Colombian solid waste association, Asociacion Andina de Residuos (Asoresiduos), on this project.
“The members of SWANA are world leaders in siting, operating and managing state-of-art landfills, as a resource,” said Frank Caponi, SWANA’s international president and division engineer for Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, in a statement. “We hope this propject will help Colombia build upon their existing waste management programs as we work to begin an exciting future of sharing resources.”
SWANA noted it looks forward to working with stakeholders in the United States, Latin America and other developing nations to continue promoting safe and sustainable solid waste management in all areas.