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The disposition of industrial waste in Mexico

The disposition of industrial waste in Mexico

Laws enacted in 1988 and 2003 govern the disposition of industrial waste in Mexico.

The principal law that governs the disposition of industrial waste in Mexico is the country’s Ley General para la Prevencion Integral de Residuos, or, translated to English, the General Law of Integral Prevention of Waste. This statute was signed in 2003, during Vicente Fox’s tenure as Mexico’s president.

Although most of what is set forth in the 2003 law is derived from Article 4 of the Mexican Constitution and 1988’s General Law of Ecological Balance and Environmental Balance, the 2003 measure includes expanded language that communicates Mexico’s commitment to the principle of  ecological sustainability. The Ley General para la Prevencion Integral de Residuos governs the disposition of industrial waste in Mexico in its geographic entirety, and it is imbued with a number of distinct principals that are meant to ensure its effectiveness in  the protection of the Mexican ecosystem from industrial and other contaminants. Among these are:

  • the establishment of comprehensive criteria to manage the technological, economic and social aspects related to the disposition of industrial waste in Mexico;
  • the sharing of responsibilities among the parties that handle waste, as well as those that are responsible for the enforcement of the rules that govern its handling;
  • the bearing of financial burdens related to the disposition of industrial waste in Mexico by the generator of the material or materials;
  • the detection and elimination of sources of contamination;
  • the establishment of industrial production processes that minimize the generation of industrial waste and industrial byproducts that can cause ecological damage.

Waste products in Mexico are classified into three distinct categories:

  • municipal solid waste and non-hazardous waste;
  • dangerous residues
  • waste requiring special management

SEMARNAT, the Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, which is Mexico’s equivalent of the EPA provides information on companies that have been certified to handle and conduct other activities that are related to the handling and disposition of industrial waste in Mexico.

Below are links to lists of companies that have been approved by SEMARNAT to conduct the following activities:

Recycling hazardous industrial waste

Repurposing industrial waste

Co-processing of industrial waste

Reuse of industrial waste

Confinement of industrial residuals

Incineration of industrial waste

Collection and transport


Treatment in-situ and ex-situ

Soil remediation

For the entire list of activities, and an enumeration and identification of the  companies approved to engage in the disposition of industrial waste in Mexico, it is advised that interested and responsible parties consult the SEMARNAT website.

For questions on issues related to environmental compliance in Mexico, contact the Tecma experts.

Remember, relevant and useful Mexico manufacturing content is available at one’s finger tips by downloading the Tecma Group mobile app from the Google Play Store, interested parties can also receive Mexico manufacturing information on a weekly basis by SMS Texting the word Tecma to 96000.


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