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Smart plant sets marker for Mexico’s recycling future

Natalya Duarte believes Stadler's solutions will help advance Mexico's recycling industry.

On a global scale it is yet another recycling line. But for Mexico, a new facility to recover plastics and paper from Mexico City’s household waste may well herald major changes in waste treatment across the country.   

At 44 million tonnes a year, Mexico is among the world’s ten biggest producers of municipal solid waste. The country has seen waste and scrap volumes increase between 3-16% due to the pandemic, spurring on the need for innovative recycling solutions.

Proof of this trend is a new sorting plant to recover plastics, paper and other materials operated by the Operadora de Ferrocarril y Manejo de Rellenos recycling and waste management firm.

With facilities covering 3 800 m2, and a maximum output of 640-700 tonnes per day, OFMR sorts, classifies, and sells recovered materials including cardboard, paper, plastics, glass, and ferrous and non-ferrous materials. Biogas is recovered from organic waste feeding power generators. It handles the household waste for 16 municipalities in and around Mexico City.

Tech boost for change

Crisóforo Arroyo

To set up the new sorting line, the company joined forces with German sorting technology provider Stadler. ‘Stadler wants to be a driver in the change that Mexico needs to achieve a green economy standard shaped by technological innovations and business models,’ comments Stadler’s sales manager for Mexico Natalya Duarte. ‘Both will undoubtedly bring environmental, social and economic benefits.’

Plant manager Crisóforo Arroyo says the facility fulfils OFMR’s objectives on many levels: ‘Generating pure biogas; reducing the carbon footprint; strategic alliances with firms that recycle to transform input materials into green packaging; re-distribution of recycled input materials within a circular economy; and the creation of shared value based on sustainability and quality.’

Helping Mexico move forward

Duarte believes the new facility may well be a starting point for Stadler towards new developments across Mexico. ‘Our aim is to turn this project into a knowledge exchange platform for the various parties involved in the recycling chain and an ongoing laboratory where new waste management processes can be tested across the country,’ she explains.

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