The Metropolitan Ordinance on a System for Handling Non-hazardous Waste Services (Official Gazette 37, 543 of October 7 2002) aims to conserve natural resources and minimize adverse environmental impact.

The provisions cover the performance of all activities involved in non-hazardous waste management (eg, inspection, handling, supervision, control and examination).

The key points of the ordinance are summarized below:

  • The Office of the Caracas Metropolitan Mayor is the authoritative body for waste-handling and disposal services. However, its duties may be delegated to public or private institutes, companies or entities.
  • Waste must be handled and transported only by those who are expressly authorized to do so.
  • The relevant municipalities are obliged to collect and transport waste that is left in public areas to the appropriate disposal site.
  • The tasks of classifying and organizing recyclable material should be carried out in treatment plants.
  • Caracas Metropolitan Council will establish rates for the maintenance and provision of such services.
  • Refuse dumps, landfills, incinerating plants and other waste-disposal facilities shall be subject to regular environmental audits with a view to recommending corrective measures, if deemed necessary. Where a facility is found not to comply with operational requirements, steps will be taken to shut it down.
  • Where environmental damage is found to be a consequence of the operator's negligent behaviour, the operator will be disqualified and a substitute appointed.
  • The ordinance will take effect within 60 days of publication in the Official Gazette.

For further information on this topic please contact Maria Isabel Ponce or Angela C Antakly Heredia at Benson, Perez Matos, Antakly & Watts by telephone (+58 212 265 3801) or by fax (+58 212 265 9252) or by email ([email protected] or [email protected]).