Court Rejected Appeal that Impeded Nosara Dump Closure

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The Constitutional Court rejected the appeal filed by the Nosara Civic Association (NCA) against the Ministry of Health and the Municipality of Nicoya to prevent the closure of the garbage dump in Nosara, which could take place at any time if the ministry orders it.

The appeal, which was filed on October 7, was in response to the closure order issued by the Ministry of Health on August 26 due to mismanagement of waste in the Nosara landfill, causing damage to health and the environment.

However, in the document, the NCA argued that the subject of waste management in the district of Nosara has been omitted and neglected by government entities, without taking into account the needs and problems of the inhabitants of the district.

However, on November 21 the court rejected the appeal by the NCA on the grounds that the issue is too technical to be resolved by them and therefore is the responsibility of the Contentious Administrative Court to determine how to protect, guarantee and preserve the right to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment.

Likewise, the Regional Office of the Ministry of Health rejected the appeal by the NCA based on having received notice 36 days after the appeal was filed, which exceeded the period of 10 business days.

Municipality Proposes Plan

Facing this situation, Marco Jimenez, municipal mayor, reported that they would implement a plan for solid waste management in Nosara, which will be presented during the first six months of 2015.

“We are developing a definite plan. At this time, we are making a draft for discussion with community players to dialogue, discuss it and improve it with community players in Nosara. We could be talking about having a draft ready between March and April, so that before June 30 we have a real community project for taking care of solid waste, complimented by recycling in Nosara,” Jimenez explained.

Nevertheless, Alvaro Quesada, NCA lawyer, stated that the Nosara Civic Association has not received recent communications from the Municipality regarding the garbage dump.

In addition, Quesada explained that the NCA “is willing to continue working on solutions to the issue of solid waste disposal in the district of Nosara.

With this court ruling, the technical closure of the Nosara dump by the Ministry of Health remains valid, explained Quesada.

However, the NCA has argued that a possible closure of the dump would mean greater damage to the environment and the health of Nosara residents. “We recognize that there is an environmental risk currently with the dump, but this is a controlled risk. However, the closure of the dump would generate an uncontrolled environmental risk since all of the residents of Nosara would leave their trash anywhere,” Quesada explained.