Ciudad Colón Landfill Permit Rejected

July 29, 2005

THE Mora Municipal Council hasdenied a location permit to the developersbehind a proposed landfill approximately15 km from Ciudad Colón,southwest of San José, the daily LaRepública reported.Council members of the Municipalityof Mora, which includes Ciudad Colón,said they oppose the project because theonly access roads to the proposed landfill,named Jateo Industrial Park, would bethrough Ciudad Colón.These sentiments have been echoedby some Ciudad Colón residents, whosay that in addition to affecting theirquality of life, the landfill could damagesurface and subterranean waters, airquality, and the wildlife of the nearby ElRodeo Protective Zone – approximately400 hectares of primary and secondaryforest (TT, April 8).The company behind the project,Lumar Investments, also failed to complywith certain legal aspects of landfill regulations,council president Marvin Rojastold La República. The developers canagain request permission once they fulfillthese obligations, he said.The proposed landfill, which wouldreceive trash from San José, Alajuela andHeredia, also lacks required approvalfrom the Technical Secretariat of theEnvironment Ministry (SETENA).Project developers Alberto Gonzálezand Ramiro Sánchez told The Tico Timesin March that they have made a “formalpromise” to the Municipality of Mora notto use roads through Ciudad Colón and ElRodeo as access routes, “under any circumstances.”Instead, other access routeswill be improved or built.The developers insist they have createda completely safe landfill that couldeventually encompass 236 hectares andlast 125 years, offering a long-term solutionto trash problems that have plaguedCosta Rica for years.A third or more of the country’sgarbage is not being disposed of properly,according to public health officials. Somegovernment officials say Costa Rica isreaching a critical moment where the trashproblem is becoming a crisis (TT, July 15).

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