Belize will reduce environmental pollution by improving solid waste management practices in emerging tourism destinations with support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

A US$10 million IDB loan will finance investments to improve solid waste transport, recovery, and final disposal in towns and villages in Belize’s Northern (Orange Walk and Corozal) and Southern (Stann Creek and Toledo) Corridors as well as in Belmopan, the capital city.

The five-year programme is expected to provide all of Belize’s major tourist destinations with access to a sanitary landfill, up from 50 percent in 2015.

Additionally, the number of households whose solid waste is disposed in such facilities will more than double to 75,000, and the percentage of solid waste separated for recycling in Belize will rise up from two percent to five percent.

The project will include expanding the Mile 24 Regional Sanitary Landfill, including construction of a new cell for final disposal.

The regional landfill, located at Mile 24 of the George Price Highway connecting Belize City, Belmopan and San Ignacio to the border with Guatemala, is the country’s only operational sanitary landfill and was the main output of a previous solid waste management program completed with IDB support in 2015.

The funds will also help close six existing dump sites and replace them with transfer stations where waste will be temporarily deposited before being transported to Mile 24 for final disposal.

Additionally, the project will strengthen the Solid Waste Management Authority (SWaMA) as the lead agency in the waste management sector.