Machu Picchu Pueblo has become the first city in Latin America to be 100 percent sustainable.
The achievement was announced by Inkaterra, a hotel group focused on sustainable tourism and hotel development. Working in partnership with beverage distribution company AJE Group, Inkaterra has succeeded in helping the pueblo manage 100 percent of its solid waste.
“Continuing their initiatives for the conservation and environmental care of Machu Picchu, AJE Group and Inkaterra presented the first organic waste treatment plant to the city,” according to a statement issued by Inkaterra.
“Through the process of pyrolysis, in which the waste is decomposed at high temperatures without oxygen, seven tons of trash is processed per day, generating bio-coal, a natural fertilizer that will be used to restore the Andean cloud forest and contribute to the agricultural productivity of Machu Picchu.”
In addition to the organic waste treatment plant, Inkaterra and the AJE Group previously delivered a plastic compactor plant, which will be used to recycle trash found along the Inca Trail, the most famous trekking route in South America.
The plant was donated in 2017 and helped ensure that the ruins of Machu Picchu were not added to UNESCO's list of Heritage at Risk. The facility processes about 14 tons of polyester plastic each day.
What’s more, in 2018, a biodiesel and glycerin plant was brought online at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. By processing used vegetable oil from Machu Picchu's homes, lodges, hotels and restaurants, 20 gallons of biodiesel are produced daily from nearly 6,000 liters of used oil each month.
The glycerin obtained as part of the process is also used by the municipality to clean stone floors, thus replacing chemical products.
This long list of efforts to turn Machu Picchu into a model of global sustainability is being applauded around the world. Already the work has received the Peruvian "Líderes + 1" prize and, in Germany, the prestigious "Die Goldene Palme" award in the category of Responsible Tourism.
"The strategic alliance between Inkaterra, the AJE Group and the Municipality of Machu Picchu aims to change the perception of our wonderful city into a sustainable destination and become an example of management for ecotourism worldwide,” said aJosé Joechlin, Inkaterra's Founder and CEO. “We have managed to awaken the ecological conscience of the local community, which now segregates waste from homes and establishments."
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