Programme Index Listing

Main implementer
SDC (50%) & other donors
2009 - 2018 (3 phases)
Total budget
USD $4.5 million
Annual budget
average USD $466,666
Sara Pauli
External links
Kiosco verde
ISWA report

Project description / objective

Establish a market for solid waste and waste water recycling in Bolivia in order to improve the environment and citizens’ health.

See also the Markets 4 Recycling programme (2019 - 2024)

Market system focus

1: Recyclable solid waste (2009 – 2016)

An average of 660 tons/day of solid waste (paper, paperboard, plastic) is generated in Bolivia. It is disposed of in the streets, rivers and open-air dumps. There is a lack of differentiated waste collection systems organised by municipalities and enterprises. There is also a lack of education and information for citizens. As a result, waste collection is performed informally and in unhealthy conditions. 

2: Electrical and electronic equipment wastes (from 2013 - 2017)

Almost 2,000 tons of waste is generated by public and private enterprises per year. The absence of recycling results in the pollution of air, soil and water bodies. An informal market for waste metal has been identified, but enterprises that are devoted to electrical and electronic equipment dismantling do not have the necessary tools and their staff has not been trained. 

From 2017 - 2018
This third project phase focused on the differentiated recollection and recycling of e-waste - Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) - and used vegetable oil from both public and private emitters in three major Bolivian cities of La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.

The project also supported environmentally friendly business models in special waste:

  • Companies and households were sensitised to the handling of special waste
  • Authorities and companies were given technical advice on the implementation and improvement of their services. Support was given in organising the collection, recycling and disposal of special waste efficiently and in cooperation with the public sector.

Programme interventions

1. Recyclable solid waste

  • Awareness raising and information provision for citizens on waste separation at source and subsequent delivery
  • Institutional capacity strengthening to establish a system of differentiated collection of recyclable solid waste (including the regulatory framework) and training for municipality staff
  • Strengthening of the capacity of waste collectors. Formalisation of green businesses in order to improve working conditions. Training for businesses devoted to recycling and collection of solid waste.

2. Electrical and electronic equipment waste

  • Information, education and communication
    Awareness raising and information provision for citizens on the risks and the proper ways to separate and deliver this type of waste
  • Institutional strengthening
    Institutional capacity strengthening with a view to establishing a system of special waste recycling (including the regulatory framework). It includes the collection, recycling and trading of different electrical and electronic equipment components.
  • Improving private and public services
    Capacity building of recycling operators (training, equipment and infrastructure). Support for their formalisation and certification as authorised operators.
    Note: the cost of equipment and infrastructure is financed by the project (almost 50 per cent) and public and private stakeholders (almost 50 per cent) - for example, by municipalities. The project does not finance expensive equipment and infrastructure, just the basic work required for implementing activities.

Notable results (systemic change, poverty impact)

1. Recyclable solid waste (2009 – 2016)

  • Linkages and coordination between stakeholders that generate waste, operators and public/private institutions
  • Participation and implementation of differentiated collection systems in 11 Bolivian municipalities
  • Information and awareness raising in 519,226 households, 170,029 of which separate recyclable waste
  • Collection and valorisation of 24,000 tons of recyclable waste
  • Formalisation and social inclusion of women who collect recyclable waste (known as 'eco-collectors')
  • Generation of the first National Law of Solid Waste, in coordination with the Ministry of Environment and Water. This includes recognition of the responsibilities of waste generators and waste separators, at source.
  • Creation of three inter-mediation networks within local Chambers of Industry and Trade: Cierva (Cochabamba), Kiosko Verde (La Paz) and Fundare (Santa Cruz). These networks link suppliers with stakeholders that require solid waste. They also offer advisory services to green businesses and organise business meetings with solid waste sector stakeholders.
  • Strengthening of 38 green businesses that collect, treat, use and/or recycle solid and organic waste, generating 79 jobs (28 per cent involves the participation of women).
  • Municipalities and green businesses have co-financed initiatives related to integral solid waste management costing more than USD 10 million.

2. Electrical and electronic equipment waste (from 2013 - 2017)

  • Development of an integral management system for electrical and electronic equipment waste, including separation at source, treatment and/or usage
  • Development of management systems at municipal level for this waste
  • Development and approval of a regulation for authorised operators allowing them to manage larger amounts of solid waste
  • Five operators of this type of waste have been trained and promoted. They improved the service they offered for recycling of this type of waste. 
  • Collection of 603 tons of this type of waste at national level

From 2017 - 2018

  • Information, education and communication
    Integral solid waste:
    - 53,662 households were informed about WEEE and waste vegetable oil, of which 22,402 households already undertook separation and 4,783 began regular separation.
    - 2,917 institutions were informed about WEEE, of which 1,261 already conformed tor WEEE and 292 began regular separation and delivery.
    Integral wastewater management:
    - 14,446 wastewater generators were informed about water, sanitation and good practices, of which 3,836 homes and 36 companies have implemented good practices.
  • Institutional strengthening
    Integral solid waste management:
    - 1 technical norm elaborated and promulgated for the registration and authorisation of waste operators.
    - 3 proposed regulations for the operational management of used tyres, WEEE and waste generated by construction and demolition.
    - public and private institution strengthening of 104 technicians on electronic waste and used vegetable oil management.
    Integral wastewater management:
    - public and private institutions strengthened involving 44 technicians.
  • Improving private and public services
    Integral solid waste management:
    - 12 operators of recollection, treatment and/or recycling strengthened.
    - 14 new jobs generated and 16 jobs with improved working conditions.
    - collection of 529 tons of WEEE and 212 m3 of used vegetable oil, and management of 380 tons of WEEE and 211 m3 of used vegetable oil.
    - reduction of 1,380 tons of CO2eq.
    Integral wastewater management:
    - 1 operator designed strengthened wastewater treatment technology, and 2 sludge treatment operators improved their processes.
    - 2 new jobs generated, and 55 jobs with improved working conditions.
    - treatment of 98,218 m3 of wastewater, with 7 per cent reused for plant irrigation.

[updated April 2019]