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Culebra launches Basura Cero solid waste management program

The island municipality of Culebra announced the start of the first phase of its Basura Cero (Zero Waste) program, which Mayor Edilberto Romero described as “a comprehensive plan to manage solid, non-hazardous waste.”

The program is backed by medical device manufacturer Medtronic, which will be sponsoring about 20 trips that will enable the removal some 10,000 cubic yards of debris that lie in the municipal landfill.

“All of these trips add up to more than $27,000. We have been on the island for more than 45 years, not only contributing to economic development, but also to social development through initiatives like these, among others related to the areas of health and education,” said Anthony Ruiz, Medtronic’s director of finance and philanthropy.

Through the program, the Municipality of Culebra seeks the “definitive and permanent implementation” of its public policy to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost non-hazardous solid waste generated on the island. The Municipality also plans to raise awareness and hold different sectors accountable about their commitment, as generators, to properly dispose of solid waste, the mayor said.

The strategy also calls for updating the Closure Plan for the Culebra municipal landfill, he said.

It is estimated that in Culebra some 15,000 cubic yards of non-hazardous solid waste is generated each year. Of these, approximately 6,500 cubic yards are household waste, 7,700 cubic yards are rubble and 800 cubic yards are recovered and diverted for reuse and/or recycling,” Romero said.

In the first 10 months of the current municipal administration, it has removed 4,300 tires, approximately 5,000 gallons of used oil, 77,000 pounds of ferrous metals and appliances, 83,000 pounds of debris from the island. The materials have been transported to authorized management facilities, he said.

Carlos Contreras, president of ConWaste, said that 14 trips have already been completed in this first stage, which has resulted in the collection of 77,000 pounds of metal and 84,000 pounds of debris.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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