Border 2012: Unique Challenges in Managing Waste

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Waste—whether it is hazardous or nonhazardous, liquid or solid—has no respect for state or national borders, and this can present unique challenges for waste management in areas like the U.S.–Mexico border region. The Border 2012 program, which was developed in 2002 as a result of a partnership among federal, state, and local governments in the United States and Mexico, aims to address some of these challenges. One of the major successes of the program to date has been the implementation of a large-scale scrap tire cleanup program. The U.S.–Mexico border region has a history of health and environmental problems concerning the management and disposal of scrap tires—the origin of the scrap tire piles is a complex issue, with some tires generated in the region and some brought in for resale from other areas. The way in which these environmental problems are being addressed is a good example of how the border communities are dealing with the unique challenges of waste management in this region.

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