Maybe President Bush can learn a thing or two about environmental policy during his visit today to Monterrey, Mexico’s third-largest city and home to an innovative program to turn rotting garbage into electricity. The city government is working with a local energy company to construct an electricity plant at the Salinas Victoria Landfill; the plant will turn methane produced by decomposing organic waste into energy, which will then be sold to local municipalities at 10 to 15 percent below the market rate. The project will be the first of its kind in Latin America, and its proponents say it has tremendous promise for impoverished and off-the-grid regions. Such regions are prime candidates for methane-based electricity generation, because the majority of trash from these areas is organic.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.