Inkaterra, Peru 's leader in ecotourism and sustainable development, in alliance with AJE Group and the Municipality of Machu Picchu Pueblo, succeeded in making Machu Picchu the first destination in Peru and Latin America to manage most of its solid waste sustainably. Continuing with the initiatives for the conservation and environmental care of Machu Picchu, the public-private partnership presented the first Organic Waste Treatment Plant. Through pyrolysis (chemical decomposition at high temperatures in the absence of oxygen), this innovative technology processes seven tons of waste per day to generate bio-char, a natural fertiliser that will help with the reforestation of the Andean cloud forest and contribute to agricultural productivity in Machu Picchu.Lima, Peru - 5 April 2019:
"The strategic alliance between Inkaterra, the AJE Group and the Municipality of Machu Picchu aims to make our Wonder be perceived as a sustainable destination and to turn it into an example of sustainable management for ecotourism worldwide. We have achieved to raise ecological awareness in the local community, which now segregates almost all waste from homes and establishments at its origin. Today, we present an innovative technology that will contribute to improve high-mountain traditional agriculture and to help restore the Andean cloud forest in Machu Picchu," added José Koechlin, Inkaterra ́s Founder and CEO, who conceived these groundbreaking projects.
“Machu Picchu is established in a small, deep valley with access by foot or train,” stressed Mr. Koechlin. “Given that there is no space for traditional composting, we figured out an inventive solution for a reduced area, which will not generate any carbon emissions. Pyrolysis to treat organic waste is a process with local usefulness, avoiding costs of transportation. The initiative is not only sustainable but also profitable for the Municipality, as the production cost in situ is lower than Bio-char’s market value”. AJE/Inkaterra delivered a Plastic Compactor Plant to SERNANP, which will be used to clean and compact plastic waste generated along the Inca Trail, the most famous trekking route in South America.
The first initiative led by Inkaterra and AJE was carried out in 2017 when they donated and installed the first Plastic Waste Compactor Plant for the Municipality of Machu Picchu Pueblo. This action helped to prevent our World Wonder from entering UNESCO ́s Patrimony at Risk list. Currently, 14 tons of PET plastic are processed daily in this plant.
In 2018, a Biodiesel Production Plant opened at Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel. Through the collection of used cooking oil from Machu Picchu Pueblo ́s homes, lodges, hotels and restaurants, 20 gallons of biodiesel fuel are produced daily. Every month, six thousand litres of used oil are treated, preventing oil spillage into the Vilcanota River. It is estimated that one litre of oil pollutes one thousand litres of water. On the other hand, petro-chemical free glycerin obtained in this process is used by the Municipality of Machu Picchu to clean its sidewalks and stone floors.
"We are very happy to be part of this change in the city of Machu Picchu and to be able to announce that, with this new plant, the circle of sustainability for which we have been working for three years is closing. Machu Picchu officially becomes a model of sustainability for Latin America," said Mr. Jorge López Dóriga, AJE Group ́s Executive Communications and Sustainability Director.
In 2018, the project to turn the city of Machu Picchu into a model of global sustainability, won in Germany the prestigious “Die Goldene Palme” award in the "Responsible Tourism" category, as well as the Peruvian “Líderes + 1” prize.