Submitted by Ministry of Environment, Brazil

(Note: The Ministry of Environment did not prioritize waste streams and areas of capacity-building)

Summary of information
Highest priority waste streams
Highest priority areas of capacity building
Narrative summary
The Ministry of Environment’s responses to the needs assessment survey suggest that insufficient technical capacity in waste management is an obstacle to the development and enforcement of policies and regulations. For many waste streams including in particular hazardous waste, statistics, standards and inventories of best practices must be developed. Technical understanding needs to feed into creating a consensus among different stakeholders, especially among policymakers, so that enforceable and comprehensive regulations and strategies for waste management can be developed.

Industrial waste
Brazil (Ministry of Environment)’s responses suggest that law enforcement and technical capacity-building are important needs in the country regarding industrial waste management. While industrial waste management laws exist, economic instruments are needed to support their enforcement. An inventory of best practices needs to be developed to enhance technical understanding of industrial waste management. However, law enforcement and technical guidance need to be supported by data and statistics on industrial waste. At the moment, this data is difficult to obtain, and is a key obstacle to addressing legislative and technical needs.

Municipal solid waste (MSW)
MSW policies are beginning to be implemented in Brazil; specific objectives have recently been established. However, law enforcement capacity has yet to be built. In particular, economic instruments to encourage environmentally-sound waste management are needed. Current financial resources are poorly managed by governmental institutions, due in part to poor coordination and the lack of clarity of institutional responsibilities. Technical capacity also needs to be built, as the country needs expert assistance to build and operate waste disposal systems, and to develop a set of waste management guidelines. Not only governmental institutions require capacity-building however, as it is also possible to undertake efforts to reduce waste generation among local communities, and to reduce incineration as a convenient way of disposal among these communities.

Hazardous waste, including healthcare waste and e-waste
Difficulties are being encountered in the development of hazardous waste policy in Brazil, including for healthcare and e-waste. A consensus on indicators and limits of hazardous substances in waste must first be reached, before policies and implementation strategies can be developed. Difficulties in policymaking thus reflect a lack of technical capacity. Methods of safe and efficient waste segregation, when dealing with hazardous wastes, need to be developed, including an inventory of best practices for e-waste management. Data on waste generation needs to be compiled, while preparation also needs to be made for the recovery of contaminated sites. An understanding of waste segregation – of hazardous waste from MSW – must also be created among the general public. The informal sector currently recycles some high-value e-waste; policies made should therefore involve and maximize the potential of the sector.

Organic waste and waste agricultural biomass (WAB)
Organic waste and WAB, such as waste from trees, is often incinerated or burnt in Brazil. It is necessary to raise awareness of the reuse potential of these waste streams among communities. However, implementing reuse of these waste streams will require financial investment. Equipment and initial funds need to be made available so that there is an economic incentive to undertake these activities.

Waste plastics
Difficulties are being encountered in the development of legislation on waste plastics. Data on waste plastics generation is difficult to obtain, while there is no consensus on solutions such as sharing costs and responsibilities among different stakeholders. Aside from regulatory difficulties, technical capacity also needs to be improved. The segregation of waste plastics, for example, is poorly conducted, necessitating safer and more efficient methods. Improvements in technical capacity can be best achieved by developing an inventory of best practices for the waste stream.