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Closure of the Nosara Dump
Ministry of Heath Agrees on Two More Months for the Operation of Nosara Dump
Municipality and the Community Leaders of Nosara united to accomplish orders of the Ministry of Health

By Emiliana Garcia

Marcos Jimenez, mayor of Nicoya

“I promise not to close the dump as long as there are  efforts to improve it,” said Gabriel Sotelo González, inspector from the Nicoya Ministry of Health during a meeting on May 18th at Hotel L’acqua Viva.

Sotelo González added that the actions that the Ministry of Health demands from the Municipality of Nicoya and Nosara community associations "should be in concrete and rod, not only paperwork," he said.

He said the Ministry of Health agrees to grant one to two months suspension for the closure.
The Nosara Dump received a closure order the Ministry for “not meeting the conditions required to operate” and “for putting the public health at risk.” The closure action was supposed to be taken on May 10, 2011.

The meeting on Wednesday, May 18, was attended by members of the Nosara Civic Association, Nosara Development Association, Chamber of Tourism and Red Cross, all representing the Nosara community, and the Municipality of Nicoya, Nicoya Ministry of Health and the company Microsan, which is responsible for the garbage collection.

Elizabeth Fernández, the municipality’s environmental engineer


Municipality Pays, Community Works
In order to prevent the closure of the dump, Marcos Jimenez, mayor of Nicoya, with the City's Environmental Engineer, Elizabeth Hernandez, presented a proposal to create a Joint Economic Society, where the municipality would be responsible for collecting the garbage collection tax, and a new community association in Nosara would ensure that the service is provided.

The funds raised by the municipality will be delivered to this new partnership in order to cover their expenses. The proposal was unanimously accepted by those present at the meeting.

Some of the attendees at the meeting recommended that Microsan should continue to provide the trash collection service, but that has not been determined.
The proposal would comply with the Law on Integrated Waste Management, which states that "the municipalities will be responsible for the management of all the waste generated within their district."
Mayor Jimenez said that under the proposal, residents of Nosara won’t be able to avoid paying for the trash collection service, like many currently do, according to the owner of Microsan, Arnulfo Espinozo, who said, "the resources we generate are not enough to us to continue the service."

With the municipality of Nicoya in charge of collecting revenues, it should ensure that all property owners pay their share. “If the resident doesn’t pay, she or he will be warned twice and later the case will be passed to the court”, continued Jiminez, and if “the resident refuses to pay the court fee, the municipality will have right to take over the property.”

Immediate Improvements
However, creating the Joint Economic Society project will take at least several months, while the Ministry of Health has requested more immediate actions to improve sanitation.  At the meeting, the Nosara representatives insisted that the current dump needs new trenches, and that the municipality is responsible for paying for the heavy equipment necessary.

The mayor responded that, even with the city’s current deficit of 214 million colones, as well as a “cumbersome administrative process” to hire a contractor with a bulldozer to dig new trenches in the landfill, they will find a way to do it.

But Mayor Marcos Jimenez warned that "the budget presented, to hire the machinery, shouldn’t be too high," indicating that the city is belt tightening and closely monitoring each of its expenses. He guaranteed that next year "we will invest some resources in Nosara.”

Long-term Improvements
Elizabeth Fernández, the municipality’s environmental engineer, stated that it is important to understand how much more trash the dump can receive. Also, she said it needs to be considered if it is cheaper to have a technical closure of the existing dump while opening a new landfill, or continue spending money on improvements within the current disposal site.

Fernández insisted that any new landfill must come with a recycling center and education to the community to learn to separate all organic waste as well as plastics, aluminum and glass from other waste that cannot be recycled.  She also pointed out that the Ministry of Health must review and direct all actions and decisions made by the municipality as well as by the community.


More Regional News

Tsunami Alarm Tested!

On Thursday, on May 26th, 2011 at noon, the Tsunami Alarm, located in Lot 111 of Section A, below Villa Mango, was tested with the purpose of finding out the aerial coverage of the alarm system. It was only heard at Pelada Beach.

Tourist Found Dead at Pelada Beach

On Sunday, May 22nd, 2011, Donald Bruce Altieri, 54, was found dead on his bed at Condominios Las Palmas of Pelada Beach. Altieri, from the United States was on vacation with his son, Daniel Bruce Altieri.

Search Ends, Lost Surfer Not Found

“You don´t know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have,” said Margarita Durán, Alvaro Durán’s sister, on a Facebook status post on May 3, 2011.

Closure of Nosara Dump
Community Leaders Call for Municipal Equipment to Avoid Closure

Nosara's community leaders joined together to present a letter to the City of Nicoya asking that the municipality "bring in the equipment to make new trenches" in the dump in Nosara, which is subject to a March 22 closure order issued by the Ministry of Health.

San Vicente Ceramics Without Clay
Chorotegas' Millenniums-old Tradition Could Disappear

A few days from the start of winter, the hands of the artisans of San Vicente of Nicoya are idle due to the lack of clay and their families are distressed from not having resources.

Mel Gibson's Property Still Facing Trouble with Nicoya's Town Council
Rumors in the area indicate the estate would be bought by Lady Gaga

Problems continue to plague Mel Gibson's property on Playa Barrigona, in the Costa Rican province of Guanacaste. In a report issued March 29th, Nicoya's Municipalidad (town council), where the property is located, has stated that the five buildings constructed over 10 years ago never acquired the proper municipal permits.

Ministry of Health Order Closing the Dump Could Bring Local Groups Together
Finding Solutions, Immediate and Long-term, is the Community's Challenge

Trash is not something pleasant to see, to smell or to talk about. Yet, it is certainly a reality of life. As human beings, the only creatures on earth to create inorganic trash, dealing with garbage is an inevitable reality for us. By May 10th, Nosara, a paradise to the visitors, will lose its only dump because of a decision taken by the Ministry of Health. According to the notification sent to the Nicoya municipality, the Nosara's dump "puts the public health at risk."

Conflict Over Municipal Council Members' Stipends

The Stipend is a compensation that is the right of a functionary, in this case of Municipal Council members. According to the Municipal Code a Council member is entitled to a stipend for attending a paid session of the Council of which he or she is a member.

Attention Guiones and Pelada: Tsunami Alarm Will Be Tested in May

The Tsunami Alarm located in Lot 111 of Section A below Villa Mango, will be tested on May 26th, 2011 at noon. There are five sirens for different purposes: general, radioactivity, chemical, water and fire alarms. They will be tested in the same order they are listed.

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