Costa Rica

Ministry bans Rio Azul private waste collection

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, July 01, 2003
Costa Rican landfill concessionaire Fedemur (Federacion de Municipalidades del Este) has been ordered by the health ministry to stop private waste collection companies from depositing waste in the Rio Azul landfill, La Prensa Libre reported. Fedemur objects the decision, as it will nearly bankrupt the company and cause complications with the landfill's shutdown later this year (although Fedemur is asking the government allow it to continue operating until 2005). Some 100t/d of domestic waste from private companies is deposited at Rio Azul. The technical closure is estimated to cost a total 1.2bn colones (US$3mn). Alternative solutions to a shutdown have been offered such as a waste-energy project presented by company IWT. This technology would raise costs to 12.000 colones (US$30)/tonne from 5.000 (US$12.50)/tonne. Local waste management company WPP Continental is contracted by Fedemur to operate the 30-year old landfill, which takes in some 1,200tpd of waste. Rio Azul was declared full over a decade ago and there have been several previous motions for a complete shutdown. Alternative dumpsites include the Los Navarro landfill in Cartago province and Los Mangos in Alajuela province.

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