Belize is one of 12 countries that is currently supported by the growing Recycle Organics program.
On the heels of the hottest week recorded in history, CCAP and the Recycle Organics team brought methane momentum to Belize to support the government in transitioning its waste sector and reach its climate goals through creating an action plan to implement best practices in waste management. We met with government officials, hosted workshops, observed the on-the-ground context of the country’s waste sector and visited operational facilities, such as small-scale composting sites.
Belize is one of 12 countries that is currently supported by the growing Recycle Organics program, which aims to facilitate conditions for a sustained expansion of organic waste management technologies and accelerate methane mitigation projects that bring significant environmental, economic and social benefits to the countries and regions it supports. Belize’s current challenges include the improper handling of organic waste, which, in addition to emitting greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, poses significant health risks for communities and threatens the country's delicate ecosystems.
Belize’s waste stream is composed of 47% organic waste, much of which ends up decomposing in landfills. Ultimately, this contributes to the country’s production of leachate and methane emissions. Fortunately, many of the new transfer stations that the team visited can accommodate the development of organic waste treatment technologies like composting and the capture of gas that can be converted to renewable energy. Treating the organic fraction of the waste at transfer stations means fewer trips to far-away landfills and reducing the rate at which the landfill is being filled, extending its useful lifespan.
The Recycle Organics program has a particular focus on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like Belize since they historically contribute the least to climate change but are typically hit the hardest by its cascading effects. From a climate risk perspective, Belize is vulnerable to hurricanes, storms and associated flooding, as well as wind damage and storm surge, due to the country’s low-lying terrain that exacerbates the effects of flooding and sea level rise. Belize is also at risk for extreme temperature events.
The forthcoming action plan will set the stage for effective interventions that will address Belize's waste management challenges, promote circular economy principles and safeguard the country’s natural heritage for generations to come.
The Recycle Organics Program aims to build on the success of the Global Methane Pledge to reach a 30% methane emissions reduction by 2030 and accelerate participating countries’ progress towards achieving a circular and carbon-neutral waste sector. The Program is currently funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada.
CCAP’s mission is to support every step of climate action, from ambition to implementation. A recognized world leader in climate policy and action, CCAP creates innovative, replicable climate solutions, strengthens capacities, and promotes best practices across the local, national, and international levels to accelerate the transition to a net-zero, climate resilient future. CCAP was founded in 1985 and is based in Washington, DC.