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Bogota’s Waste to Resource Journey: Phase 1 Legislation Addendum 

Niyireth Torres's picture
urban Planner , Renewable energy enthusiast

I help cities, towns, and communities achieve sustainable practices by providing strategic planning using my knowledge of green building practices, renewable energy, architecture, and the retail...

  • Member since 2019
  • 20 items added with 13,656 views
  • May 24, 2021

Colombia has set as a priority the implementation and solidification of the circular economy. It arises from: 


  1. The explosive demand for natural resources to sustain the needs of the growing population.  

  2. The dependence among countries for supplies.

  3. The connection of efficiency of the use of resources and climate change. 

  4. The squandering of materials as waste and the contamination that it produces in the ecosystems. 


It is a strategy for developing sustainable and competitive ways to produce new businesses and new jobs. There are 35 policies from a national to a local level and 7 in discussion for implementation. The project would use the following:


  1. Circular economy 


  • Tax for plastic bags: A consumer tax is implemented for plastic bags to reduce demand and incentivize customers to bring their bags.  

  • Compensation for municipalities for the accommodation of sanitary landfills: It promotes the localization of sanitary landfills. 

  • The incentive to use solid waste: It promotes utilization after the first use. President Ivan Duque signed the Decree 2412 of 2018 to create a stimulus of about 1.80 dollars per ton to increase the recycling and treatment of solid waste.

  • Materials Cycle Plan: Development of projects of circularization of materials.

  • Assessment of a material cycle:  It analyzes the air, water, land, and energy use consequences of a product or process and possible alternatives on the environmental impact and the impact on human health; done for the facilitation of use during the life cycle of a material.

  • Rate methodology: To open the market to a circular economy. 

  • Extended responsibility of the manufacturer, including a refundable deposit: Approved to open the market to the circular economy.


B. Renewable Energy


  • Observation of energy: To facilitate the market for renewable energy. 

  • New regulation for FNCER (Fuentes No Convencionales de Energía Renovable): To open up the market and make it consistent with other energy sources.

  • Exemption of the rent for renewable energy for 15 years (since January of 2018): To promote the use of renewable energy.


Another action plan to follow is the National Strategy of Circular Economy. It was developed by the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism, as a pact to the commitment to advance a circular economy. It states the potential of 11.7 billion dollars in annual savings in materials and the opportunity costs of new businesses for the country. These include the creation and strengthening of supply chains. 


The project will be using two models from the types of innovative initiatives for the circular economy, which include:


  • Model 1: Waste valuation models where residues have different applications, such as energy use of waste, recycling of packaging, and composting of organic waste. 

  • Model 3: Models to extend the useful life by redesigning products and processes of less impact, such as reusable packaging, renewable energy sources, and clean production. 


Plans are already in place to advance the circular economy. For example, in the Multi-year investment Plan of 2018-2022, a featured project is building refineries for solid waste in the Central Region of Colombia. The region includes Bogota and four more areas, relevant as the center of production and residence where the refinery would be 90 miles from Bogota. 

The legal basis for the development of “Bogota Waste to Resource Journey” is set. With the push of renewable energy and post-consumer products, it is the perfect environment to advance biogas technology.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on May 24, 2021

Really interesting to see the approach Colombia is taking. Is Bogota looking to be a leader in the South American market, or are there other countries implementing similar measures (and can offer areas for lessons to be learned already)?

Niyireth Torres's picture
Niyireth Torres on May 24, 2021

Chile is implementing similar measures ( I am not sure of any other Latin American country. Most of the references used for creating a legal framework were from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the European Union.  

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on May 25, 2021

Thanks, Niyireth-- forging a new path in this way makes Colombia's commitment even that much more impressive and important

Niyireth Torres's picture
Thank Niyireth for the Post!
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