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Bordo Poniente, World's Largest Trash Dump, Closing In Mexico City

First Posted: 12/19/11 03:13 PM ET Updated: 12/19/11 04:11 PM ET

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico City will close one of the world's largest dumps by Dec. 31 and will instead turn the garbage from millions of people into reusable materials and energy, Mayor Marcelo Ebrard announced Monday.

Some 700 trucks that carry garbage to the Bordo Poniente will no longer be admitted as of Monday and all operations will cease by the end of the year, Ebrard said.

Trucks will still enter the recycling separation plant and a composting plant already on the premises.

The city that once dumped 12,700 tons of garbage daily already has cut the amount in half this year through recycling and composting, said government undersecretary Juan Jose Garcia Ochoa.

The concrete giant Cemex SAB has agree to buy 3,000 tons daily to turn into energy, Garcia said. The city is seeking other locations to dump the remaining garbage in smaller amounts while it institutes a new recycling program in the new year.

Built on a dry lake bed partly to handle the rubble from the devastating 1985 earthquake, Bordo Poniente has taken in more than 76 million tons of trash.

Ebrard said the city is implementing strict measures to stop illegal dumping at the site and to process materials into compost.

He also said the city plans to open a new plant next year to recycle construction waste into building material.

The capital of Mexico itself has about 8.8 million residents but its metropolitan area holds more than 20 million.

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Filed by James Gerken  |