Bogotá receives new garbage fleet as part of collection modernization

Bogotá mayor Enrique Peñalosa received a new fleet of garbage collection trucks as part of a $US58 million investment by private contractors to modernize the city’s trash collection.

The arrival of 437 vehicles, including compactors, dump trucks, sweepers and skid steer loaders will “radically improve the cleanliness of Bogotá,” said Peñalosa, highlighting that the new compactors will be able to collect 190,000 tons of garbage per month, and new sweepers, clear 280,000 km of city roads. Until August 12 when the new equipment was inaugurated, Bogotá only had six sweepers, and now counts with 17. The mayor also noted that the new vehicles not only reduce collection times but gas emissions as they are equipped with Euro V standards for Heavy Duty Vehicles.

Beatriz Elena Cárdenas, director of the Special Administrative Unit of Public Services (Uaesp), said the new vehicles will also be able to enter neighborhoods with narrow roads, thereby increasing the overall coverage of trash collection in the city. Other benefits this new fleet incorporates is route optimization by satellite monitoring and enhanced compaction technology.

Mayor Peñalosa also took advantage of the launch to announce that by the end of October 10,000 containers will be installed across the city to improve the disposal of waste. Of the 10,000 containers, 5,000 are destined for recyclables and 5,000 for ordinary waste. The district will also embark on a public awareness campaign to promote the practice of recycling at home and in public areas.

In September a massive clean-up effort gets underway in parks and heavily transited areas, that includes the installation of recyclable tanks for citizens to deposit glass, plastics and organic materials. The tanks will be installed along secondary roads and in public areas. “We are going to go from having 18,000 trash cans in poor condition to 80,000 new ones with bags installed in order to make garbage collection easier, more efficient, more dignified,” said the mayor.

To include the recycling population in these initiatives, the district will deliver 1,000 uniforms to recycling depots in order for workers to have comfortable and suitable clothing. By the end of the year, 10,000 uniformed recyclers will contribute to the collection effort in Bogotá.

The mayor also called on Bogotanos to do their part in keeping streets clean by using a white bag for recyclables and a black bag for ordinary waste. By pre-separating the trash, recyclers will save time, be more efficient, and can increase their income, stated the mayor.

Here’s a reminder of what to put in the white bag: clean and dry materials such as paper, cardboard, glass, and plastic, among other usable materials that can be handed over to the recycler.

In the black bag: food waste, toilet paper, diapers, cigarette butts.

Call the 110 number to request a special collection service of heavy debris, such as mattresses, tires, window frames and other large volume waste.