A “Greener” Mexico City

Mexico City is home to more than 8 million people and is the country’s center of culture, finance and education. But it is also home to one of the world’s largest landfills: the 927 acre Bordo Poniente Landfill. Now, in collaboration with the C40 and its partner the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) Cities program, the city is embarking on a project to close Bordo Poniente. The move will not only significantly reduce Mexico City’s greenhouse gas emissions, but it can also generate electricity for residents. It’s an innovative solution to a huge problem, and one that CCI has been developing for more than three years.

In today’s statement (also available in Spanish), President Clinton applauded the decision, which he said will “help the local economy and fight climate change.

C40 Chair New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg called the project “a bold step”:

The Bordo Poniente project is a bold step that serves as a shining example of the Impact C40 and the Clinton Climate Initiative can have in supporting cities’ efforts to green their environments and their economies. Through actions such as this, we can implement solutions on a local level that will truly make a difference globally.”

What’s next for the landfill? Bordo Poniente stopped taking in trash on this week, and in the future, it’s estimated that using methane captured at the site could generate more than 250 GWh of electricity, or enough power to serve approximately 35,000 homes. Methane capture at Bordo Poniente could also reduce the city’s GHG emissions by 25 million tons of C02 equivalent over the next 25 years. (Check out BBC News coverage of the announcement from Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard.)

Mayor Ebrard sees the project as important not just for the city, but the entire country of Mexico: “Closing Mexico City’s Bordo Poniente landfill is one of the most important environmental actions for the entire country. If it can be done here, it can be replicated elsewhere even if the solution is a complex one.”

Using waste as a resource is a win-win effort, and something that the C40-CCI is looking to support in cities around the world. Read our feature on the director of CCI’s Waste Management Program, Karen Luken, for more information.