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Buenos Aires: recycling, environmental education, LED lights, parks and bikes all make it more a sustainable city

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The development of a sustainable and modern metropolises that promote growth without neglecting the environment is one of today’s most important challenges. With small and large-scale recycling, environmental education programs, energy savings, the sustained increase in woodland and parked hectares, and the boost to bicycle use, the Government of Buenos Aires is working to make Buenos Aires a city every day cleaner and greener.

Learn to recycle more and efficiently

Thanks to the recycling programs already developed, 80% of the garbage produced is already being processed. In 2017, the city’s first fully automated dry waste treatment plant was opened at the Villa Soldati Recycling Center, fully automated and with the ability to recover up to 10 tonnes per hour of materials such as paper, cardboard, plastic, glass or metal. The technology it uses, called MRF, allows 66% more waste to be processed than manual green centres and at the same time it is done with a better quality.

Recycling centre

With the goal of making all neighbours, especially the smaller ones (children), learn about environmental issues and experience new ways of linking with the environment, the 2018 Southern Environmental Walk was developed.

Located in the Environmental Information and Training Center of Villa Soldati, it is divided into stations that deal with topics such as renewable energies, biodiversity and urban agriculture. It has a wetland of 460 m2, an orchard of 1,200 linear meters, four greenhouses with native plants, a shaman, a composter and a wind turbine that can be explored with free guided tours.

Less rubbish on the street

At the end of 2015 there were only 30 Green Spots throughout Buenos Aires. Today there are more than 300, of which 4 are mobile. Its large-scale multiplication has a direct impact on the environmental quality of the city because they are spaces located in parks and squares where all kinds of recyclables are received, from paper to used vegetable oil. The figures show that the proposal was widely accepted by neighbours: while in 2016, 2,301 litres of oil and 105.06 tonnes of electronics were received, in 2018 the figures were 46,765 liters and 267.76 tonnes.

In addition, two strategies were implemented to reduce plastic waste: in 2017 the delivery of plastic bags in hypermarkets, supermarkets and self-service stores was prohibited, and from November this year the delivery of plastic straws single-use in hotels, shopping and shops. The measures involve 500 million fewer bags and 1.7 tonnes less straws per month in shopping malls alone.

A city that is 100% LED

In the last four years, between street lights, sidewalks and squares were installed 93,000 LED lights, which illuminate better and are more durable and sustainable, to total 160,000 lights of this type throughout the city. Thanks to this, since 2019 Buenos Aires is 100% LED, which saves 85,000 MW of energy per year, equivalent to the annual consumption of 25,300 households, and reduce CO2 emissions by 42,000 tons.

In addition, with the launch in 2018 of the Program Pass to LED, the neighbors have 56 points to replace their incandescent, halogen or energy-efficient lamps for free. Since the proposal began, in 2018, more than 770,000 lamps have been delivered.

More trees and parks

The city’s parks and trees continue to grow. In the last four years 75 hectares of green spaces were added to total 1,882.5 hectares. And to take care of all those spaces, 221 park rangers were incorporated to ensure their infrastructure and the safety of the neighbours who enjoy them. The first five-year plan was also launched with the aim of maintaining and increasing the number of trees in the city: between 2015 and 2019 17,362 specimens were added to the porteño woodland.

Lezama Park

The bikes have proved popular

The bike is already the new classic of porteño, for short, or long distances, for its recognized benefits for health and the environment. The inauguration of the New EcoBici system doubled the number of stations to 400, increased by more than 50 the number of bicycles to 4,000, and marked a before and after in pedal trips in the city: in a few months, orange bikes completed more than two million jorneyies.

Buenos Aires bicycles

Stimulating the use of bicycles in a metropolis such as Buenos Aires improves the quality of life and reduces emissions. With this goal, between 2017 and 2019, 65 new kilometers were added to the Network of Cycleways and Protected Bikes that already has 234 km, so that more and more porteños can travel on two wheels. Its design favors connectivity with the nerve sites, the Transfer Centers and those points that concentrate a large number of companies, universities and schools in the city.

Source: La Nacion (translated )

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