The Association of the Northern Zone of the State of Guerrero (AMZNEG), a group of eight municipalities, has developed a coalition to develop new ways of dealing with waste disposal in the northern region of Guerrero. Its general mission was to establish new legislation to create a sustainable system for the intermunicipal disposal of solid waste. The specific objectives of this Regional System for the Relocation and Final Disposal of Garbage were: first, to extend and improve garbage collection service in the participating municipalities; second, to eliminate garbage pickers operating in open-air dumps and landfills throughout the region; and, third, to promote governmental and non-governmental cooperation in finding new solutions for garbage handling challenges. AMZNEG proposed the formation of citizen committees to monitor garbage disposal practices.
In 2003, the Intermunicipal Council of AMZNEG commissioned a study of common problems affecting the efficiency of garbage collection in the region. After identifying specific challenges, the Council delineated a program to lessen the environmental impact and improve systems of garbage disposal.
Thus far, primary participants in the initative have been city council members as well as civil contractors competing for waste disposal contracts. The government of the State of Guerrero and the federal government have also provided aid, as has the National Institute of Social Development (INDESOL). The degree of support and assesment given to the prohect by the French-Mexican Program of Municipal Cooperation has also been remarkable.
The System has been singled out for recognition for several reasons: first, it provides an excellent example of an intermunicipal initiative to solve a common service delivery problem. Reformers were able to coordinate efforts despite political differences among the cities. By networking across municipalities, project planners gained access to economic resources and to technical consultation that a single municipal government could not have obtained. Innovators were able to find the resources and materials for a complete overhaul of legislation dealing with garbage removal, thus consolidating work that had, until then, only been achieved through multiple amendements and decrees of stakeholders such as citizens and the local Congress. The project was able to develop projects in line with technical and legal requirements at the federal level. The System provides a model for future intermunicipal development programs and projects.