Guanacaste’s Forgotten Trash

By Amanda Zúñiga|| 10/01/2017

In Guanacaste trash is a common problem: Some 122,000 residents must figure out what to do with their garbage, because none of the 11 municipalities offer garbage collection to all of their communities.

Collection for Everyone?

Before beginning her route to collect garbage in La Cruz, Ana, who works on a garbage truck, prepares for her day on the job.

In La Cruz, the same thing happens…

The mayor, Junnier Salazar, said the amount of trash has increased by 30 percent due to the arrival of more than 3,000 migrants in the region.

La Cruz and Bagaces transport waste to informal dumps. The dumps are prone to the spreading of disease by mosquitoes and rats. The dumps also contaminate the soil and water and contribute to climate change.

Look at all that trash!

If the technology exists, and even the financing, why isn’t there a solution for garbage collection?
According to Juan José Lao, an attorney and doctorate in environmental economy, the problem stems from a lack of political will and disobedience and impunity regarding the law.

Cañas, Abangares and Liberia transport their garbage to a landfill in Miramar, Puntarenas. That entails a travel distance of between 50 and 120 kilometers.

Watch video

A Garbage Dump for Half the Province

Santa Cruz Landfill.

Here we receive garbage from Carrillo, Santa Cruz, Nicoya, Nandayure and Hojancha. About half of Guanacaste, in other words.

Cantonal percentage of garbage collection service coverage.

Watch video

As a solution to municipal budget limitations, IFAM says it can finance the purchasing of equipment or the building of a transfer center or landfill, as well as technical assistance for infrastructure design or an updating of rates.

Read full
as PDF