The Latin American waste management market is estimated to reach US$ 308 billion this year, new data from Research & Markets suggests, with the region’s industry projected to grow 6% this year.
Latin America presents an interesting case study for recyclers. It’s an emerging market with great potential, even though the region is facing several waste management problems. Analysts note recycling rates generally do not exceed 10% with many open-air dumps in operation. ‘Other issues include high levels of informality in the workplace and more than 40% of incorrectly managed waste,’ they note.
‘Finding a solution to these problems is imperative due to new transformative mega trends, such as calls for sustainable business models and legislation in line with the circular economy,’ the analysts state. ‘The waste management market in Latin America is expanding, as it seeks to improve efficiency, increase private participation to boost investment, and incorporate digital solutions.’
‘More sophisticated’ tech coming
Electroncis recycling is a niche showing significant promise. ‘Although our region is still dealing with the basics of e-scrap recycling in terms of setting up proper collection networks and environmentally sound facilities, I think modern waste streams like batteries and solar panels will be rapidly integrated in our processes,’ observes Jhoanna Rosales, founder of Vertmonde in Ecuador. ‘This may sound illogical — but it is not,’ she tells Recycling International.
‘There are two main reasons. The first is that decades ago, when the e-scrap industry started out, these products were not around, while our regional industry is born in a world in which they are already matured products. The second is that our region is a relevant player when it comes to lithium production and solar power generation.’
While small scale operations and manual disassembly are still common across Latin America, Rosales notes that recyclers in Brazil and Mexico have been able to install more ‘sophisticated technology’. This allows further classification of plastics, for example. She concludes: ‘The waste management sector in Latin America has been growing and developing steadily over the last few years.’
‘The waste management market in Latin America is expanding, as it seeks to improve efficiency, increase private participation to boost investment, and incorporate digital solutions,’ the analysts go on to state.
The new 70-page report by Research & Markets focuses on collection, transportation, sorting and separation, reuse and recycling as well as providing statistics on landfill disposal. It provides examples of R&D projects, revenue forecasts and forecast analysis and attempts (per country) to pinpoint key growth opportunities for market participants to leverage.
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