At the very entrance to Playa Iguanita National Wildlife Refuge in Liberia, an open-pit trash dump harms the natural beauty and pollutes the beach.
The Voice of Guanacaste visited the area and was able to verify that the waste creates an excessive presence of flies and ants.
“Since March of this year, the city stopped picking up trash” said refuge administrator Erick Fonseca.
The trash, in large part, consists of plastic bags that people left behind after visiting the beach.
According to Liberia Mayor Julio Viales, city hall stopped providing trash collection services because the central government’s National System of Conservation Areas (Sinac) is in charge of area.
“We aren’t going to invest city funds picking up trash because the refuge is administered by Sinac,” Viales said.
In response, Fonseca explained that the waste is within the 150 meter Maritime Land Zone (a restricted zone) and that, by law, it belongs to Liberia.
Health Ministry Will Issue Sanitary Order
Dr. Mario Calvo, the head of the health ministry’s Liberia office, said that city hall is responsible for collecting trash within the Maritime Land Zone (ZMT)
Article 34 of the Maritime Land Zone law requires cities to take direct responsibility for the care and conservation of the ZMT and its natural resources.
Calvo said that they will perform an inspection at the refuge and issue a sanitary order requiring the city to collect the trash.
“In case there is a formal complaint we have to issue orders to the mayor,” Calvo said.