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New Waste Management Plan Offers a Solution to Trash Problems
Plan has a 5-year validity period and aims to minimize the environmental impact of waste disposal. 

By Wilberth Villalobos Castrillo

A responsible and adequate waste management process continues to be an unresolved issue for Nicoya. This is evidenced by the closing of the landfill, on three different occasions, and the lack of a comprehensive vision as to how to deal with waste management in the future.

In this context, on Thursday, March 22nd, at the National University's (Universidad Nacional) auditorium, the municipality presented Nicoya's Comprehensive Waste Management Plan  (Plan Cantonal de Gestión Integral de Residuos para Nicoya (PCGIR). The plan's primary goal is to provide a comprehensive solution for waste produced by each of the canton's residents.

Sixty-seven people from different community sectors attended the plan's presentation, such as businessmen, public officials, non-governmental organization (NGO) members, educational representatives, municipal employees and university students. 

The PCGIR, which will become effective this year and until 2017, includes five specific actions: citizen participation, the producer's extended responsibility, waste assessment, waste separation at home and manager's records.

Sergio González, director of the CEPRONA Foundation and coordinator for REDCICLA, stressed the importance of changing both the mentality and attitude of people towards waste, since most want to get rid of it or simply consider it to be trash. Sadly, nobody thinks of it in terms of future raw materials or resources.


Striking and alarming data provided by González showed that a monthly average of 362 tons of trash, which equals 4500 tons per year, are produced in the Nicoya canton. In addition, more than half the canton's population does not receive garbage collection service.

“These data shows that garbage collection service is not sustainable in the long run and therefore, it is urgent to regulate its quality in order to cover a greater number of people,” he affirmed.

Olman Mora, a sociologist and environmental manager, explained the need for citizen participation in order to meet the plan's objectives. “If there is no community involvement, no project can be successful,” he stated.

Mora noted that Law No. 8839 GIRS is in place since 2010 and, although various recycling measures have been implemented in Nicoya to select and classify waste, this has not been enough since there has been no cantonal policy that establishes what should be done with the waste.

Mayor Marco Antonio Jiménez, who also attended the meeting, noted, “It is very difficult for a local government to do things right without community involvement, making it necessary to build a set of intentions. In addition, university-based action is needed to carry out necessary changes.” 

Community Initiatives and Proposals

Marcos Carmona, representative of the Samara Tourism Board (CASATUR), emphasized the waste management initiatives that CASATUR has been implementing for over a year. For example, they hired a recyclable material's collection service for Samara, which is in charge of transporting these materials to Caimital where they are separated and made available to be reused by bottling companies. He added that last month an agreement was signed in order to transfer and handle used oil from community restaurants, hotels and repair shops.

Among Nosara's NGOs that were present at the meeting: Friends of Nosara, Nosara Civic Association, Nosara Development Association and the Nosara Recycling Association. 

Marcos Johanning, a Friends of Nosara representative, explained that they are currently in an advanced planning stage for the creation of a recycling center in Nosara. The lot where the recycling center would be located covers approximately 1800 meters and is adjacent to Nosara's garbage dump.

This center would have several spaces to be used for sorting waste, for environmental education and for companies to collect the selected materials.


More Regional News

Presidency Asks Representatives to Revise Law of Coastal Territories

After several members of the country’s coastal communities presented their case to the Legislative Assembly, the Presidency of the Republic convened on April 26 and with two days of extraordinary sessions remaining, to discuss in the Legislative Assembly the project of Bill Number 18.148, Law of Coastal Territory Communities.

San Jose – Nicoya Bus Fare to Increase 1335 colones

Travel to the capital will be more expensive for users of route 503 that connects San Jose with Nicoya. Currently the price per trip is 3445 ¢. However, it will go up to 4780 ¢ since the Autoridad Reguladora de Servicios Públicos (ARESEP) Public Services Regulatory Authority approved the increase on most routes of public transport sector in the country, including this trip.

Finishing the Montaña River Bridge is in the Controller’s hands

Although it was announced that the bridge over the Montaña River would be ready by the end of March, the General Controller of the Republic still hasn’t approved an increase in the budget presented by the ex-Vice Minister of Transportation and Public Works (MOPT), Maria Lorena Lopez. 

Security Vehicle Carrying More than $100,000 Flipped

Samara. On Tuesday, April 17th a little after 4 p.m. a VMA Valores security vehicle flipped while driving downhill about 2 kilometers north of Samara between the town and the gas station. The road was slick and slippery because of the rain, and apparently when the driver tried to break, the vehicle skidded and ended up on its side. 

Mel Gibson Has Not Paid Off Debt With Nicoya's Municipality

Although one of Mel Gibson's representatives visited the Municipality of Nicoya on March 30th in order to pay off property taxes, he still owes 27 million colones in unpaid taxes.

Samara Pays Homage to a Great Surfer and Friend

After burying his body in Carrillo in the morning on Thursday, April 12th, hundreds gathered on the beach in Samara in front of Choco’s Surf School at about 4:30 p.m. to pay their respects to surf instructor Jose Angel Lopez Castillo, known as “Shaggy.”

Police Apprehend Thieves with Help from Courageous Neighbor

On the evening of Tuesday, April 3rd, two thieves were detained by the tourist police of Guiones, thanks to the collaboration of a neighbor. Although a denunciation was filed with the Organism of Judicial Investigation of Nicoya, the next day the criminals were released pending trial since the 12 hours that someone can be legally held without a formal denunciation had expired. 

Urban Development Project
in Curime is Halted Due to
Possible Contamination

Nicoya's Municipalidad has halted progress on an urban development project in Curime. The main reason is the property's location, as it is adjacent to a stream that flows into the Potrero River.

Traffic Accidents Increase During “Dust Season” in Nosara

The excess of dust particles in the environment has not only affected the health of Nosara residents, but is also a determining factor when driving a vehicle as it influences visibility for drivers. 

Former Police Officer Imprisoned 16 Years After Trial

On Thursday, March 8th, Olman Perez Acevedo was arrested during a routine roadblock by the public force in Samara. A warrant was out for his arrest for a “simple homicide” that happened way back when Olman himself was working for the public force, but the case is far from simple.

A New Home for the Healthiest Elderly of the World

With a cost of around 150 million colones ($300,000) the Centro de Atención al Anciano y Minusválido (Center of Assistance for the Elderly and Disabled) will be built in the district of Nosara, which will be located on a 1,700-square-meter piece of land, purchased in Bocas de Nosara, 50 meters east of the EBAIS.

More Time Granted for Analyzing Proposed Regulatory Plan

Many voiced opposition to how little time was given for community members to review the proposed regulatory plan for the Canton of Nicoya and submit observations, just 10 working days after the plan was presented on Saturday, February 25th, and the municipal council on Monday, March 26th agreed to allow those who submitted comments during those ten days to have an additional 45 working days to continue reviewing the plan, beginning April 9th. 

Efforts to Protect Samara’s Water Source

The need to protect Samara and El Torito’s main water source, the Mala Noche water table located between Samara and El Torito, was one issue raised in response to the canton’s proposed regulatory plan (see article), which had the area zoned for tourism, although a technical report by the SENARA (National Service of Subterranean Waters, Irrigation and Drainage) specified that a zone of protection of natural resources should be implemented in the Municipality’s regulatory plan.

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