Locale : Global (English)
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Waste scattered across all of the street in one of Colombia's isolated municipalities

Cleaning up the streets

Guapi and Nuquí are isolated municipalities on Colombia’s Pacific coast with very limited to non-existent waste collection infrastructure, landfill capacity and recycling facilities.

ClientUK Foreign & Commonwealth Office
ExpertiseWaste management, lenders' technical advisor, feasibility


Waste is mostly disposed of in streets, canals and the ocean, causing significant public health and environmental hazards. The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office commissioned us to provide technical advisory services that would address the urgent need for waste management solutions in Guapi and Nuquí and create a toolkit that could be used by other municipalities in Colombia facing similar issues.


Introducing sustainable solutions involved identifying safe disposal options, developing recycling activities and considering the views of local waste management stakeholders. We established a baseline on local aspects of waste management including current operations and practices, and environmental conditions at illegal disposal sites. Our feasibility study identified options for organised waste collection, resource recovery, treatment solutions and residual waste disposal.

We produced a cost model for each option, which aided Colombia’s Ministry of Housing, Cities & Territories to understand the feasibility and financial viability of different solutions. The guide and cost assessment toolkit we developed was shared by the ministry with Colombia’s key waste management institutions.


Project outcomes were presented at a workshop held at the Ministry of Housing, Cities & Territories in Colombia’s capital, Bogota, and attended by the minister of housing and the British ambassador. Introducing sustainable waste management systems in Guapi and Nuquí will improve public health, safeguard the local environment and boost economic prosperity for local communities.

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