Bogota interim mayor to tackle garbage that spurred former mayor’s dismissal

Posted on Mar 28 2014 - 10:53am by Rico
(Photo: Diario ADN)

Interim Mayor of Bogota Rafael Pardo released 10 proposals Thursday to reform the garbage collection system in Colombia’s capital, the very issue that led to the dismissal of former mayor Gustavo Petro earlier this month.

Pardo’s proposal came after a meeting with four private trash collection businesses and the public trash collection system leaders.

The full list — which can be found at the bottom of this article — will seek collaboration between private operators and public services and impose stricter sanctions on those who litter, disobedient advertisers, and those who seek demolition contracts. There are also specific measures concerning recycling and tree debris.

Earlier this month, former Mayor Petro was dismissed following a December decision by the inspector general to remove and ban him from political office over alleged “irregularities” in the mayor’s garbage reform. In 2012, Petro had attempted to convert the city’s private waste management contracts to a public function, claiming that a corrupt ring of contractors were overcharging for a poor quality of service.

In the first three days following the switch, some 9,000 tons of garbage accumulated on the streets of the Colombian capital. Petro alleged that the contractors had arranged to sabotage his reform efforts, but the initial fiasco stuck with the then-mayor, and ultimately provided the grounds for his dismissal.

As interim mayor, Pardo has offered the following still-to-be defined 10-point plan for the system.

Pardo’s Garbage Reform Plan

  • The garbage collection service of one-three cubic meters will continue being serviced by [private] operators, but the biggest services will be coordinated between the operators and the local mayors in order to guarantee the same benefit.
  • A series of rules will be issued creating a summons for citizens that affect public spaces with garbage.
  • Special cleaning brigades will be created tasked with maintaining public spaces.
  • The Secretary of the Environment will eliminate exterior visual advertising in unauthorized areas and will impose sanctions on advertisers who fail to comply.
  • Licensing Bureaus will be asked to make conditional the distribution of demolition licenses, which would guarantee on the part of applicants the collection and disposal of garbage that they produce.
  • The mayor will propose to the National Federation of Traders a strategic alliance inorder to make sure that the commercial sectors are kept clean.
  • The directives of the mayor’s office will lay out a plan that amplifies the spreading out of zones in the city where there are recycling routes, in order to guarantee that the recycling-collectors have the necessary time to collect recycling before the garbage collectors come.
  • The regulation of trash bins will be revised so that they do not become critical points of disposal.
  • The management of mobile vendors will be run by the mobile vendors themselves.
  • The botanical gardens will be responsible for the collection of tree and garden debris.

Sources

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