Mexico’s hazardous waste keeps piling up


The North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta) was supposed to be Mexico’s big shot at joining the world’s club of industrialized nations. While that promise has yet to be fulfilled, the 14-year-old treaty has left one undeniable legacy: thousands—if not millions—of tons of untreated hazardous waste. Local opposition has blocked efforts to create a national network of hazardous-waste disposal centers to cope with the country’s Nafta-fueled boom in manufacturing. Currently, Mexico only has one such facility in operation, outside the northern industrial city of Monterrey. The high cost of shipping waste hundreds of miles to the site means many industrial plants resort instead to illegal dumping—in rivers, canyons, even Mexicans’ backyards. The 15-year-old facility, in the... [Log in to read more]

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