Waste management “one of the biggest environmental problems”, says Costa Rica:

The Costa Rican government on Wednesday called poor solid waste management “one of the biggest environmental problems” the country faces today.

In this context, the Presidency presented an action plan for waste management, focusing on reducing waste and improving treatment and disposal infrastructure.

“This plan aims to promote solutions at the regional level, through the inter-institutional coordination of the entities involved, from central government to local governments, passing through various sectors with the capacity to transform and reintegrate waste into the economy”, declared the Presidency. said.

The Institute for Rural Development (INDER) is investing $ 2.1 million to improve waste management through the following efforts:

  • A solid waste management project in Cartago and Desamparados.
  • Support the environmental technology parks in Siquirres / Guácimo and Santa Cruz.
  • Creation of a factory to manufacture recycled plastic blocks in the canton of Mora.
  • Construction of a waste transfer center.

What’s more National composting plan would aim to eliminate organic matter in Costa Rican landfills by 2030.

Other strategies discussed by Costa Rican leaders this week included “Clean Rivers,” a program designed to manage the reclamation of urban rivers to improve ecosystems and the lives of city dwellers.

Another effort aims to reduce dependence on single-use plastics and promote community environmental programs.

Waste management in Costa Rica has long been an environmental problem.

The Inter-American Association for the Defense of the Environment called the river Tárcoles “The most contaminated river in Central America” ​​and notes that thousands of gallons of untreated sewage are dumped there daily.

Fed by the Río Virilla, which runs through the metropolitan area of ​​San José, the Tárcoles River also collects waste from all over the Central Valley.

Efforts have been made to clean up the Tárcoles river. More specifically, the Los Tajos wastewater treatment plant, inaugurated in 2016, reduces the environmental impact of wastewater discharges into the Rivera, Torres, María Aguilar and Tiribí rivers.

But Los Tajos is operating well below its expected maximum capacity “due to the collapses and the lack of interconnection of sanitary sewer works”, according to the Comptroller General.

Ministry of Health data indicate Costa Rica produces 564 tonnes of plastic per day. Less than 2% (14 metric tonnes) is recycled; the rest goes to landfills, sewers, rivers and seas.


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