Prompted by the possibility of being blacklisted by UNESCO, the municipality of Machu Picchu has implemented environmentally safe procedures to manage and dispose waste produced by tourists. Aljazeera reports.
More than five tons of waste is produced daily just in Aguas Calientes and the surrounding Machu Picchu area. That number will only increase with the upcoming construction of the Chinchero airport.
As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Machu Picchu was under the organization’s radar for its poor waste management. Waste produced by tourists and the hospitality industry was either buried under ground, burnt, or thrown into the Urubamba River, threatening the area’s biodiversity and health of residents and visitors alike.
Not only has the municipality of Machu Picchu put into practice waste systems, it also aims to be Peru’s first “eco-friendly municipality,” states Aljazeera. The main source of water for the 1.6 million tourists that visit Machu Picchu yearly is bottled drinking water. This and other plastics are now recycled in a plant partly funded by a private organization.
Similarly, cooking oil used by the dozens of hotels in Aguas Calientes is now repurposed into bio diesel used for cleaning services.
Because of its protected area status, a large treatment site in the municipality Machu Picchu is prohibited, meaning all waste must be transported out by train. Organic residue, however, is being transformed into bio carbon thanks to a treatment plant provided by Inkaterra hotels.
To incentivize tourists to use reusable water bottles and reduce waste, the Machu Picchu municipality will build water dispensers in Aguas Calientes. Single use plastics are already prohibited within the Machu Picchu citadel.
Watch the video below for more info:
Cover photo: Andina
Now that you're here:
We're asking you, our reader, to make a contribution in support of our digital guide in order to keep informing, updating and inspiring people to visit Peru. Why now? In our near 20-year journey as the leading English-language source on travel in Peru, we've had our fair share of ups and downs-but nothing quite like the challenges brought forth in the first quarter of 2020.
By adapting to the changing face of the tourism and travel industry (on both local and international levels), we have no doubt we will come out stronger-especially with the support of our community. Because you will travel again, and we will be ready to show you the best of Peru.
Your financial support means we can keep sharing the best of Peru through high-quality stories, videos and insights provided by our dedicated team of contributors and editors based in Peru. And of course, We are here to answer your questions and help whenever you need us.
As well, it makes possible our commitment to support local and small businesses that make your visit an unforgettable one. Your support will help the people working in these industries get back on their feet once the world allows us to make our dream of enjoying everything Peru has to offer a reality again-from its mouthwatering gastronomy, thriving Amazon and archaeological wonders such as Machu Picchu.
Together, we will find a way through this. As a member of our community, your contribution, however big or small, is valuable.