San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica showcases new drug incinerator

Costa Rican authorities inaugurated an incinerator Monday with the capacity to destroy up to 300 kilos of cocaine per hour.

The incinerator cost $70,000. The machine is located in San Joaquín de Flores, north of San José. It was donated by Holcim, a cement products manufacturer.

“After an analysis, the company decided to donate the incinerator,” said Jorge Vieto, sustainability manager at Holcim. “This is a way to prevent violent incidents from happening in the future.”

According to Costa Rican regulations, all drugs seized should be destroyed by police forces. In past years, Holcim loaned its own incinerators to local authorities to destroy the drugs.

Jorge Rojas, director of the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ), said that specially trained staff will be deployed in order to operate the new incinerator in a responsible and sustainable way. The chambers heat to more than 2372 degrees Fahrenheit to destroy the durgs.

“We now have a useful tool to fight drug trafficking,” Rojas said. “This equipment also possesses a special value in that it does not pollute at all. The burning chambers are designed in a way that all waste gases are eliminated.”

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