The mass arrival of visitors to the district of Nosara for the year-end holidays has not only brought large amounts of revenue to area businesses as well as water shortages, but also a large trail of garbage and litter that has been piling up along the entrance to the garbage dump.
The open-air landfill began operating in Nosara in 1992 and little has been invested to improve and expand it since then. Therefore, available space is continuously diminishing. In addition, the Nicoya Ministry of Health has already warned that they will proceed to close the Nosara dump if improvements are not made.
Added to this, wastes should be separated but this doesn’t get done very well, so most items arrive jumbled together, generating even more accumulation of items.
Arnulfo Espinoza, manager of Microempresa para el Saneamiento Ambiental (Microsan- Environmental Sanitation Microbusiness), the organization in charge of the dump, recognized this fact and added that in the last weeks of December, neighbors have thrown away a large amount of cardboard boxes and plastic waste, which is blocking the entrance to the dump.
“Since [December] 24 onwards, there has been too much garbage and it looks ugly. Many [neighbors] treat us like thieves because they say we do not do anything, but instead of helping us separate the garbage, they throw plastic and cardboard in the entrance. They are harming the town,” Espinoza said.
Alvaro Camacho, manager of the Nosara Recycling Center and Environmental Classroom, agrees, noting that more than 50% of the waste arriving at the center is not separated.
“A culture of waste separation still doesn’t exist. Fifty percent of the garbage that comes here is organic waste, 30% is recyclable and the rest isn’t. However, more than half of the waste that arrives hasn’t been separated,” he pointed out.
Camacho said they have had discussions with the administrators of the area hardware store so that the discarded cardboard boxes arrive separated, clean and folded so they can be reused.
In addition, Camacho lamented the neglect from the authorities of the Municipality of Nicoya, who have repeatedly denied them support to take care of waste management, claiming that they don’t have the ability to manage it.
“The problem is the lack of presence of the municipality. Three times, we have presented the recycling center project and budget and each time, both the mayor and the council tell us they don’t have the resources,” he affirmed.
Camacho said there is a possibility of taking the garbage to the Santa Cruz dump in a trailer from the company Transportes Carrillo. The Municipality of Nicoya has been taking their waste there since the end of 2012 since the canton’s dump is closed.
The transportation company makes several trips per day between Nicoya and Nosara and could take part of the garbage on the trip back and continue on the way to Santa Cruz. However, he said that the recycling center does not have the needed resources to pay for the trip to Santa Cruz.
For his part, Espinoza reported that the problem of the accumulation of garbage at the entrance to the dump will be resolved during the first few days of January by hiring a tractor to collect and compact the garbage.
“We have already hired a tractor, provided by Enrique Vega, to remove the garbage from the entrance. The tractor will come on January 2nd at the latest,” he said.