Mick Lorusso

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Information on Waste, Mexico City, Central de Abasto – for About Location


The Central de Abasto, in the southern part of Mexico City, is the largest market in Mexico, and has been referred to as the stomach of the city. Fruit, vegetables, meat, and seafood all come into the market in giant quantities, totaling 30,000 tonnes of produce daily. Much of the food that arrives also rots or has inedible parts, and as a result the Central de Abasto daily produces 500 tonnes of organic waste, which mainly end up in the Bordo Poniente, Mexico City’s giant landfill.


The urban areas that constitute Mexico City contain nearly 30 million inhabitants, making it one of the most populous cities in the world. Like many megacities, it produces giant quantities of waste, 12,500 tonnes of which are discarded daily in the Bordo Poniente landfill.  Despite some efforts in the city to separate biodegradable waste from inorganic waste, most of the organic waste ends up mixed with everything in the dump, where it eventually decomposes and forms methane that seeps into the atmosphere and can build up in pockets that explode, as it did in 2010 (Rosas).  Methane also aggravates global warming much more than Carbon Dioxide, so burning it as fuel or converting biomass to energy via other methods would significantly reduce the impact of its decomposition on the atmosphere. After extracting methane for fuel from the organic waste, the resultant biomass can be used as compost.