Viña del Mar, Chile, June 2016: About 12 organizations attended the Roundtable discussion on ‘Sustainable Resource Management – Urban Mining’ held on 9 June in Viña del Mar, Chile, in conjunction with 5th Seminar of the Iberoamerican Life Cycle Network. The Ministry of Environment of Chile and recycling companies such as Gerdau (steel recycler), Chilenter (e-waste recycler) and TriCiclos (waste recycler) were among the participants. The discussion was timely as only in June 2016, the Chilean law on Extended Producer Responsibility (REP) had been issued. This regulation defines six groups of waste to be focused on including e-waste.

Following challenges were identified in the implementation of waste practices in Chile: insufficient recovery capacity; focus on collection and preparation of waste rather than on recovery which would increase the value of metal recovered; predominance of the informal sector; lack of incentives for informal activities to formalize (i.e. payment of VAT); competing options which have tax advantages (disposal sites).

Participants converged on the following measures to improve the recovery of materials from waste: clearly define what is ‘informal trading’; support informal workers in the setting up associations with the aim to reduce the levels of intermediaries; provide training and technical advisory services to recyclers; introduce tax incentives to promote the collection and recovery; improve communications between the central and local Government for a consistent implementation of the laws and regulations; develop and inform about business models that create value.