According to a report by the Auditor General of the City of Buenos Aires (AGCBA, for its acronym in Spanish) in 2005, only 11 of the 33 public hospitals in the City Capital obtained certificates of environmental suitability for medical waste. Which means that of the 2148 tons of waste the health centers produce, 78% were not registered because the entities had a “pending” authorization.
The irregularities in the management of waste are not limited to the field of public hospitals. The watchdog concluded that areas of the Buenos Aires City Government involved in waste management do not know the total number of establishments that generate pathogenic waste in the City. Therefore, compliance with Law 154 that regulates the treatment of such waste was "low" during the period analyzed and, therefore, constituted a "serious flaw". In addition, the AGCBA found that of the 1,245 establishments that transacted an admission to log pathogenic waste, 83 worked without authorization showing a "lack of coordination" in the areas of permits and certification.
Buenos Aires is one of the cities that produce more waste in the entire country. Only in 2005, it generated 1,534,121.71 tons, more than 4000 tons per day. That year, the City invested $435,419,018 for waste treatment programs. That number represented 6.93 percent of the budget execution. Despite the "quantitative importance" paid, the audit noted that "a system of comprehensive waste management is not fully developed" to give "the most appropriate global destination according to the rules" when it has to do with the phases of generation, collection, treatment, and disposal. These shortcomings, combined with what the watchdog called a "minimization" of citizen behavior, "prevent the creation of a good evaluation to demonstrate that the environmental performance (of the audited units) is correct", says the report.
Moreover, the work of the AGCBA detected that the City Government failed to launch two projects specifically designed for waste management: a strategic plan for interaction with the Province of Buenos Aires, which is the jurisdiction where the City’s waste ends up, and an urban environmental plan, which aims to perceive waste as a recyclable resource.
In the year of the report, the progress of waste control was "null" because, according to the watchdog, just this year they began the tasks of studying the characteristics of this type of waste. In addition, the AGCBA detected another irregularity in relation to the transport of pathogenic waste: an executive decree eliminated the requirement to install satellite search systems (GPS) in the trucks, so therefore "there isn’t, from the City, a specific tracking of the final destination of the medical waste", the study concludes.
The City Capital did not have, until the enactment of Law 2214, of 2006, "active policies on hazardous waste," states the AGCBA, and adds: "they also didn’t carry out integration actions or have any knowledge of the checks performed from the Federal Government”.