A startup called Energy and Environmental Sustainability is taking cactus waste from the Milpa Alta neighborhood of the capital and turning it into biogas…

The pilot project was launched in May at Milpa Alta’s sprawling cactus market.

The far-flung neighborhood is a splash of green amid the smog and concrete of this Latin American mega-city, thanks in part to its more than 2,800 hectares (some 7,000 acres) of fields of prickly pear cactus, known in Spanish as “nopal.”

Farmers in straw sombreros trickle into these fields every morning at dawn to work the long rows of cactus that flow from the lower flanks of the dormant Teuhtli volcano.

The area produces 200,000 tons a year

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