Revista Granito de Arena

MARN and Cementos Progreso work to clean up the Motagua River

Through Proverde, Cementos Progreso has collaborated since 2018 with the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MARN), for the cleaning of the Motagua River and the proper treatment of solid waste found in its waters. To date, more than 353 tons have been co-processed in this way as alternative fuels.

Floating solid waste represents one of the main problems for biodiversity and the environment in the Motagua River, the largest in the country. This 486 kilometer long body of water runs through 14 of the 22 departments of Guatemala and its waters flow into the border area with Honduras.

The alliance between Cementos Progreso (Proverde) and MARN has made it possible to carry out an orderly and strategic process of extracting this waste, in order to also convert it into alternative fuels that can be used in cement kilns, as an implementation of the Circular Economy concept.

To date, this inter-institutional alliance has allowed the extraction, classification and co-processing of 353.16 tons of waste. The methodology used is that MARN personnel extracts waste from the river, classifies it, and gets it dried using solar radiation, it is then compacted with hydraulic equipment that Proverde provided.

Once the waste is classified and compacted, it is sent to the San Miguel plant, where it is co-processed. This practice is done once a week.


The situation of the Motagua River is one of the most complex in the country due to its importance at a social and economic level, while it has high levels of contamination with solid waste. It is estimated that at least eight million people in the country depend on the water resource in its basin.

The cooperation agreement signed by both institutions since 2017 and launched a year later, has allowed innovative processes in the management of solid waste in the country.

«With the implementation of this cooperation agreement, we have implemented innovative processes in the management of classified solid waste, in addition to efficient and responsible solutions for their elimination,» said Carlos Roberto Escobar, Manager of Proverde.

With these efforts, Progreso reaffirms its commitment to improve the country’s environmental conditions.

United by the Motagua

In addition, Proverde has received from the international organization 4Ocean, a total of 170.81 tons of waste that they have removed from the river with their resources and technology. This project, also located at the mouth of the Motagua River, takes the waste to Proverde’s alternative fuel preparation plant for co-processing at the San Miguel Plant.

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