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#408083 - 05/18/11 11:57 AM Plastic Garbage Everywhere  
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 5
ottonbrown Offline
ottonbrown  Offline
I've returned from my first visit to Belize with major concerns about the amount of plastic garbage in the waters. I've written to the local government but had no replies. What is being done to deal with this problem? My resort manager said it is being used to fill in the mangrove swamps and the rest is being burned? Is this correct?
I know the refuse is not from Belize, but from other sources - but it IS a problem for Belize.
Does anyone know how this is being addressed on Ambergris Caye?

#408086 - 05/18/11 12:57 PM Re: Plastic Garbage Everywhere [Re: ottonbrown]  
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 914
ckocian Offline
ckocian  Offline
One flip flop at a time. It's a problem up and down the coastline to where the currents carry the garbage to the beaches and in the water.

It's usually taken care of on AC and the mainland by the hotels that have beach front and by concerned citizens who rally to have an occasional clean-up day. Little to no government participation 'cause there's no money to fund any day-to-day cleaning.

#408088 - 05/18/11 01:12 PM Re: Plastic Garbage Everywhere [Re: ckocian]  
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 5
ottonbrown Offline
ottonbrown  Offline
I saw great efforts begin made to "pick it up" - what concerns me is "where it goes". I know it is expensive to properly deal with plastics, but it is a concern for the entire world.
Burning it or burying it is not a solution. Recycling it is brilliant. What about looking for a small company who could recycle all of this found plastic and create "plastic lumber" for building in Belize - or for creating new recycled plastic beach furniture - something usefull out of garbage. I know the money is an issue - but is this a venture worth exploring?

#408089 - 05/18/11 01:14 PM Re: Plastic Garbage Everywhere [Re: ottonbrown]  
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 5
ottonbrown Offline
ottonbrown  Offline

#408104 - 05/18/11 04:02 PM Re: Plastic Garbage Everywhere [Re: ottonbrown]  
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 39
hansen Offline
hansen  Offline
I think the problem is that there is no big money in recycling. Especially at the scale you are talking about.. You would be hard pressed even coming close to breaking even if you started something like that on this island. And with fuel costs how they are, barging trash away to another bigger recycling facility would be too expensive.

So it burns.

#408113 - 05/18/11 04:45 PM Re: Plastic Garbage Everywhere [Re: ottonbrown]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 3,292
tacogirl Offline
tacogirl  Offline
It seems like a never ending thing on the to do list.

Sometimes people will organize official clean up days and get as many people as they can to help on garbage pick up. Tammy recently organizes one north of the bridge for beach and road.

Or friend Cindy occasionally gets us to bring extra bags on Sunday beach walks down south and we all pick up trash along the way. We do not do it as often as we should though. frown

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#408122 - 05/18/11 05:31 PM Re: Plastic Garbage Everywhere [Re: tacogirl]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 480
hazzyy Offline
hazzyy  Offline
It is a shame. I spend a lot of time out on the reef and the tiny bits of plastic seem to steadily be increasing. I'm amazed at how much of it is in the water.
#408133 - 05/18/11 07:18 PM Re: Plastic Garbage Everywhere [Re: ottonbrown]  
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 41
blueyz44 Offline
blueyz44  Offline
How about adopt a section of the road......looks like home owners take care of their peice of property. I notice alot of it on the ocean side and the worst of it so far that I have seen is up north on the lagoon side...makes me sad to see all the garbage. I guess if we all brought garbage bags with us everytime we go out for a bike ride or stroll we could all help clean it up...piece by piece.

#408138 - 05/18/11 09:06 PM Re: Plastic Garbage Everywhere [Re: blueyz44]  
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 5
ottonbrown Offline
ottonbrown  Offline
"Picking up" the garbage is brilliant - but the REAL issue, is WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE PLASTIC GARBAGE?
This is a HUGE problem for Belize and all of the Caribbean.
I hate to see it happening and I've contacted recycling companies throughout the U.S. today and left email messages to ask how they feel it might be handled.
What a beautiful country Belize is - and what saddness I feel that it is being destroyed.

I envision a young entrepreneur setting something up and looking for grants from anywhere - getting sponsorship from a recycling firm and rolling.

#408150 - 05/19/11 05:45 AM Re: Plastic Garbage Everywhere [Re: ottonbrown]  
Joined: Apr 2011
Posts: 35
kmsqrd Offline
kmsqrd  Offline
Many years ago I had looked into a business in the US which was based on recycling tires and plastics. The US (as do others, I'm sure) buys these products, once processed, to incorporate into asphalt road materials. The business was gathering and processing the materials (shredding and bundling/packaging) and shipping to highway depts. around the United States. At that time, a processing machine and business start-up was around $600,000 US. The "machine" takes up a medium sized warehouse space. My snag was the required area for storage of materials prior to processing. Here in the US several acres were required; I expect regulations would be different in Belize. This would go great on the mainland or even in Mexico provided there is still a market. The beauty of this business is that people pay for tire disposal so the owner of this business gets paid at both ends of the transaction. Just a thought.

"Earth is an insane asylum, to which other planets deport their lunatics" Voltaire
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