Naco, Sonora, Mexico

Comprehensive Municipal Solid Waste Management in Naco,Sonora

Status: Completed


The Department of Public Services for the municipality of Naco is responsible for managing the city’s solid waste management system. Garbage collection services are provided six days a week using three dump trucks and two pickups, most of which have surpassed their useful life. Municipal authorities estimate that 95% of the waste generated each day is collected and the remaining 5% is deposited in unauthorized garbage dumps or sites.

The current open-air disposal site, which is located about a mile east of Naco and about 175 yards south of the U.S. border, does not comply with existing norms and regulations. The dumpsite frequently catches fire, primarily during the winter months because of bonfires started by garbage recycling pickers and the concentration of flammable gases. The flames generate carbon and other toxic gases that are not only unhealthy but disrupt everyday activities, such as border crossings and school classes.

In 1999, the city of Naco received funding from the Sonora's environmental agency, SIUE, to conduct a comprehensive solid waste management study to design the project for a new sanitary landfill in Naco. The study evaluated the conditions of the city's solid waste management system and identified the necessary work to provide an efficient and timely service to domestic, commercial and industrial users who generate non-hazardous waste.


The project covers all aspects of providing solid waste management and
disposal services to the entire population of Naco.

The main components of the project are:

  • Construction of a new landfill, including: 
    • acquisition of a piece of land located 3 miles south of the city limits;
    • installation of a geo-membrane to prevent leachate soil infiltration; and
    • construction of the first macro-cell, a gatehouse, an access road, and perimeter fence.
  • Purchase of new equipment:
    • covered garbage truck with compactor; and
    • bulldozer for spreading, compacting and covering trash in the landfill
  • Closure of the current open-air dumpsite.


The closure of the existing dumpsite and the relocation of the new landfill south of the city limits, will greatly improve environmental and human health conditions for residents in Naco, Sonora, and Naco, Arizona. In addition, modernizing the solid waste system with new equipment will allow the Municipality to provide garbage collection and street sweeping services in a more efficient and timely manner. Similarly, the construction of the sanitary landfill will help eliminate uncontrolled open-air sites for waste disposal.

Project Financing

Total Project Cost US 0.6M
NADBank Funding US 0.3M - NADBank Grant: SWEP