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#515854 - 07/10/16 10:09 AM San Mateo residents object to fire refuse as landfill
Marty Online   happy


After San Pedro’s big fire on Sunday, June 26th, The San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) and numerous volunteers did a marvelous job of cleaning up the debris. In less than a week, the remains of the fire had been completely cleared out. However, shortly after, residents of the San Mateo community began complaining that the fire debris had been dumped in their neighborhood.

According to the Department of Environment (DOE), the improper dumping of garbage is unacceptable throughout the country. “We are not fully aware of the matter, but in general, we don’t encourage or promote improper disposal of garbage, especially since the DOE does not know what kind of chemicals were released into the air. Chemicals can pose a safety hazard, and affect the environment. In the case of using this debris as landfill, it poses the risk to pollute the water,” said Environmental Officer of the DOE, Celi Cho.

Since the SPTC regulates the disposal of garbage in San Pedro, The San Pedro Sun contacted Mayor Daniel Guerrero to get his insight on the matter. Mayor Guerrero stated that although the trash is a concern for the residents, there is a purpose for the garbage being there. According to the Mayor, San Pedro does not have a barge to transport the debris off the island, so the SPTC is utilizing the trash to compact roads and build new streets in the area. This is despite DOE’s concerns over the health risks such a move poses.

“It’s an old method San Pedro has been using, and I am aware that this is not the best option. I do understand the concern of the people, but it was not done intentionally or because it is San Mateo. We are trying to help San Mateo by opening roads, allowing Belize Electricity Limited to put in electricity, and have the neighborhood lighted. We are trying to do our best, and asking for patience. When they see what we are doing, they will be extremely happy,” said Mayor Guerrero.

With no knowledge of the toxicity levels of the debris, or any public consultation, the SPTC plans to send their bulldozer to San Mateo to bury the trash, and compact the streets on Monday, July 11th. After that task is completed, they will proceed to place stones, and white marl on top to make the road more accessible.

“There’s a lot of complaints about garbage on the island. Our main concern is the lack of equipment. San Pedro is large, and we collect garbage from way down south to north as far as Las Terrazas. We have our downfalls with trash, but that is due to requirement failure. Our trash compactor had mechanical issues, and was sent to Spanish Lookout to be fixed, but we hope to overcome the excessive trash on the island,” said Mayor Guerrero.

In addition, Mayor Guerrero confirmed that he hired a new person that will alleviate the on-going trash issue in San Pedro, as well to come up with sustainable ideas that will improve the sanitation of the island. Also, the SPTC is looking to invest in buying two additional trash compactors, and one dump truck.

The DOE has indicated that it is taking action by working alongside Solid Waste Management to have a set of inspectors to evaluate the site before taking further action. If you have any complaints, the DOE states that you are rightfully permitted to file a report by calling 822-2542 or emailing enforcement@enviroment.gov.bz.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun


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#515858 - 07/10/16 10:47 AM Re: San Mateo residents object to fire refuse as landfill [Re: Marty]
larrypied Offline
I hate to say this but here goes. It doesn't look any different then a lot of places in San Mateo. Me and a friend drove into the area a few months ago but turn around after a few hundred yards. The smell was incredible. It also look as if the people living there just threw their trash out their windows. Standing water is a huge problem in the area. Maybe the neighborhood should conduct a massive cleanup. I think the mayor could help them out disposing of the real trash and compacting the useable materials into fill. Your thoughts on this!

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#515867 - 07/10/16 02:49 PM Re: San Mateo residents object to fire refuse as landfill [Re: Marty]
Diane Campbell Offline
Tossing trash is huge issue.
We need to educate our residents and especially the children so they don't grow up to be litterbugs.
I can't tell you how many styrofoam plates from lunches I see (and pick up) along the new road north. Also water and soda bottles. Ridiculous.

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#515868 - 07/10/16 02:55 PM Re: San Mateo residents object to fire refuse as landfill [Re: Diane Campbell]
larrypied Offline
When I move down, maybe in December, I will personally place a trash receptacle every 1/4 mile so people can dispose the trash! This is a promise!!!

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#515869 - 07/10/16 03:11 PM Re: San Mateo residents object to fire refuse as landfill [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
Larrypied, That's a nice gesture but it's education and not the lack of reciprocals that will correct the problem. Litterbug is a word invented by a campaign to educate children about litter in America and in Belize the slogan is 'Betta No Litta'. You can line the beaches and streets of the island to no avail but educate the children and they will correct their parents. Shame is extremely effective and especially so when it comes from your child. Focus on the elementary school children with coloring books on the subject.
http://www.roundvalleyschools.org/pages/uploaded_files/KCB-LBUG.pdf http://www.roundvalleyschools.org/pages/uploaded_files/KCB-LBUG.pdf
_________________________
The Dive Shops Daily Blog
http://scubalessonsbelize.blogspot.com/

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#515870 - 07/10/16 03:18 PM Re: San Mateo residents object to fire refuse as landfill [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
Diane, The Styrofoam lunch plates/box is a different strategy. They need to be against the law. Our Mayor who is big on anti litter could stop sales and imports to the island with legislation.
_________________________
The Dive Shops Daily Blog
http://scubalessonsbelize.blogspot.com/

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#515872 - 07/10/16 04:41 PM Re: San Mateo residents object to fire refuse as landfill [Re: elbert]
Diane Campbell Offline
Originally Posted By elbert
Diane, The Styrofoam lunch plates/box is a different strategy. They need to be against the law. Our Mayor who is big on anti litter could stop sales and imports to the island with legislation.


Agree. In the interim, there are biodegradable ones being sold in Belize. Given the hot-cooked-lunch tradition here, it is hard to break the habitual need for take-away plates. The tamale man has banana leaves ..... but the rice and beans lady has styrofoam ad infinitum.
Would love to see importation of the edible spoons and forks that are now being made in India. Those are truly wonderful.

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#515873 - 07/10/16 09:55 PM Re: San Mateo residents object to fire refuse as landfill [Re: Diane Campbell]
klcman Offline
Originally Posted By Diane Campbell
Originally Posted By elbert
Diane, The Styrofoam lunch plates/box is a different strategy. They need to be against the law. Our Mayor who is big on anti litter could stop sales and imports to the island with legislation.


Agree. In the interim, there are biodegradable ones being sold in Belize. Given the hot-cooked-lunch tradition here, it is hard to break the habitual need for take-away plates. The tamale man has banana leaves ..... but the rice and beans lady has styrofoam ad infinitum.
Would love to see importation of the edible spoons and forks that are now being made in India. Those are truly wonderful.


What obstacles/bureaucracy would someone of an entrepreneurial nature face in making such things happen?
_________________________
_ _ _ _ _ _ _________________ _ _ _ _ _ _
But then what do I know, I am but a mere caveman

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#515874 - 07/11/16 01:30 AM Re: San Mateo residents object to fire refuse as landfill [Re: Marty]
Flyingwaldo Offline
"so the SPTC is utilizing the trash to compact roads and build new streets in the area. "
As a builder and engineering graduate I find this statement absolutely ridiculous. Now wonder the roads don't last.
I get the distinct impression this Mayor is a serious problem.


Edited by Flyingwaldo (07/11/16 01:31 AM)

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#515875 - 07/11/16 07:32 AM Re: San Mateo residents object to fire refuse as landfill [Re: Flyingwaldo]
larrypied Offline
As an engineering student you should know that there is a stadium in the USA (can't remember its name) built on a landfill!

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