News | August 18, 2000

Toxic waste from Mexico on the rise

Toxic waste produced in Mexico by assembly plants along the border (maquiladoras) and shipped to the United States for disposal has increased 300% in the past two years, said environmental protection officials from both nations in a meeting in El Paso, TX on Thursday.

Representatives of the Texas environmental protection agency made public the conclusions of a bilateral meeting on the handling of toxic waste. The large quantity of toxic waste generated by the maquiladoras is attributable to the fact that they neglect to apply adequate waste management measures.

Texas waste disposal sites are full of such toxic waste and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said the capacity to store toxic waste from Mexico would be exhausted within the next two years.

Jesus Reynoso, the spokesman for the El Paso area environmental protection entity, said that border plants should invest in toxic waste management technology. Some 70% of Mexico's 4,500 maquiladoras are on the border.

Texas Environmental Protection Agency figures show that almost 7,000 tons of toxic waste came into the United States from the 300 or so Ciudad Juarez area assembly plants in the first half of the year, 80% of which was industrial waste and the rest, oil and grease.

Some 53% of this waste was buried in Texan toxic waste dumps, while the remainder was sent to other states.

Delegations from both countries plan to meet in September to discuss the problem.

Source: Agencia EFE S.A.
Edited by Kate Goff
Managing Editor, Solid Waste Online