Although Córdoba in 2007 received 86% of the entire national money for the treatment of solid waste, the General Audit Office (AGN, for its acronym in Spanish) detected that there are still municipalities in the province that have open dumps (BCA).

The initiative in question is the National Strategy for Integrated Solid Waste Management (ENGIRSU, for its acronym in Spanish), which between January 2007 and February 2008 had $8,890,593 of the Department of Environment for Sustainable Municipality Finance Program’s funds. The program’s objective was to eliminate open dumps, train personnel, and to purchase machinery. Of that total, "$7,766,276 went to the province of Córdoba," says the report.

To evaluate the compliance with ENGIRSU’s objectives the AGN went to seven of Cordoba’s municipalities: Unquillo, Saldán, Villa General Belgrano, La Granja, La Cumbre, Capilla del Monte, and Villa Giardino, and found that three of those districts "not had complied "with the closure of the open landfills, all located nearly "3.6 kilometers away from the nearest town" and in the most precarious conditions," without perimeter fences to prevent wanderers and the presence of animals" that could become disease vectors, considering that "the fumigation was not effective." The municipalities are: La Granja, La Cumbre, and Capilla del Monte.

The report, approved last year on 2008 data, indicates that "the amounts transferred by the program to municipalities was not enough to meet all the established objectives", due to an increase in inputs.

This is the case of Capilla del Monte. The municipality deposits the waste in an open landfill and makes no separation with household collection of waste, i.e. no recycling. The AGN said the project funded by Environment managed "equipment for a separation waste plant" and "machinery was installed, but it did not work" because, as reported by the district itself, "the plant was not completed and had no budget to finish it.”

Open Landfills

In the municipality of La Granja, where waste collection is undifferentiated and final disposal is in an open landfill, a project for the construction of sorting and treatment of waste is financed. The auditors noted that "the Secretariat transferred the funds to eradicate open landfills and build a plant without having a prior municipal land available for this purpose."

Garden Waste and Fire Hazards

Moreover, the Federal Watchdog says that while "the audited municipalities are in a high risk area for forest fires and all have in common the problem of pruning waste", only two relevant actions were performed, Unquillo and Villa Giardino. "This shows that the Ministry of Environment has no formal guidelines for the management of garden waste in fire risk areas in Argentina."