Brazilian Ministry of Environment opens Public Consultation on the National Plan for Solid Waste

The draft of the National Plan for Solid Waste (“Planares”) has been opened for public consultation until September 30, 2020, managed by the Ministry of the Environment (Ministério do Meio Ambiente – “MMA) through the MMA website.

The drafting of Planares is provided for in Federal Law No. 12,305/2010, which establishes the National Policy for Solid Waste (Política Nacional de Resíduos Sólidos – “PNRS”, in the Brazilian acronym) and sets forth the main guidelines, objectives and responsibilities in what concerns the integrated management and disposal of solid waste.

A preliminary version of the Planares was already published in 2011 by the MMA.

The new document, consisting of 186 pages, provides information on:

The assessment of municipal solid waste, civil construction waste, health services waste, industrial waste, basic sanitation waste, transport services waste, mining waste, and agrosilvopastoral waste;

Goals related to municipal solid waste, civil construction waste, and health services waste;

Guidelines and strategies for waste management;

Programs, projects and actions to meet the established targets;

Technical standards and conditions to access to Federal Government resources;

Standards and guidelines for the final disposal of tailings and, when applicable, waste; and

Means of control and inspection that ensure social control in the implementation and operation of Planares.

As for the regulations on municipal solid waste, Planares also includes the following goals:

To increase the economic and financial sustainability of waste management by municipalities;

To increase the management capacity of the municipalities;

To eliminate inappropriate final disposal practices and to close down controlled dumps and landfills;

To reduce the amount of waste and tailings sent to final disposal;

To promote social inclusion and economic empowerment for collectors of reusable and recyclable materials;

To increase the recycling of the dry and organic fraction of municipal solid waste;

Increase the recovery and energy use of municipal solid waste – from biogas and through thermal treatment.

Federal Law No. 14.026/2020, which updates the legal framework of basic sanitation in Brazil, changed part of the National Policy on Solid Waste, introducing new deadlines for municipalities to ensure an environmentally appropriate and adequate final disposal of solid waste, to be carried out in a staggered manner, with a final target deadline of August 2, 2024.

Demarest’s Environmental Law team is available to provide further information or clarification on this and other matters.