Keeping La Isla Bonita clean is something that the San Pedro Town Council has been arduously working on. There has been a massive cleanup campaign taken into effect to target specific areas of the island in different time periods so as to effectively cover the entire island and educated the people and maintain the island as clean as possible.
The collection of garbage has always been the responsibility of the Town Council and the disposal of the garbage has been in the southern side of the island in the dumpsite where all solid waste is disposed and burnt. But the disposal of the island’s garbage will change once the Solid Waste Management Project comes into effect.
The Government of Belize has proposed to implement a project to improve solid waste management practices in four municipalities of the Western Corridor of Belize (San Pedro Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Belize City and San Ignacio/Santa Elena) that will support the goals of environmental protection, natural resource conservation, and protection of public health, safety and welfare.
This project will contribute to improving the environment and protecting the public health. In addition, it will enhance the image of Belize in the eco-tourism market and strengthen the Solid Waste Management Authority of Belize as the entity responsible for improving solid waste management in the country.
A public consultation took place on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, and the project plan was presented by Mr. Gilroy Lewis, Project Director at Belize Solid Waste Management Authority. In his presentation he stated all the reasons why the project is important, including environmental protection, natural resource conservation, and protection of public health, safety and welfare.
Mr. Lewis also shared that an average household on island of San Pedro throws out 0.43Kg/Day and businesses throw out 0.60Kg/Day. A total of daily waste collected in San Pedro is 23.7 tons. This number was gathered in a survey conducted by Hydroplan in 2011 and also revealed that 52% of garbage collected was biodegradable, 38% of people questioned stated that they do not sort out their garbage, 75% of the people stated that they are satisfied with the garbage collection process on the island and 46% of the people agreed that we should pay a fee for garbage collection, 38% of which agreed to a $10-15 cost and 27% agreed to a $16 – 20 cost.
Mr. Lewis also presented the design build cost of the project which is $8,971,739.02 US. The project for the island of San Pedro stands at $991,680US. This project will be paid off by the Solid Waste Management Program, funded by the IDB, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Fund for International Development (OFID) and the Government of Belize.
Residents will also have to pay for the services and the cost will be at 16.85 per household/month and a social rate at $3.68/month. The bill will be sent out along with your water bill but will not affect your water bill.
The San Pedro Town Council will be in charge of the garbage collection, The Solid Waste Management Authority will oversee the project and the collecting agent (BWS) will give out bills and collect on a monthly basis.
The entire system for solid waste management in the Western Corridor, comprising the new infrastructure will be implemented under a Design-Build-Operate (DBO) contract, which will be required to meet both operational and environmental performance standards. The access road from Mile 24 Western Highway to the Sanitary Landfill is not part of the DBO contract.
This project specifically includes the design, construction and operation of the infrastructure works as follows:
*Closure of dumpsites at San Pedro Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Belize City and San Ignacio/Santa Elena;
*Design, build and operate transfer stations at San Pedro Ambergris Caye, Caye Caulker, Belize City and San Ignacio/Santa Elena;
*Incorporation of recyclable material “drop-off areas” and designated areas for white goods/bulky waste and HHW at the transfer stations;
*Transportation between transfer stations and the Mile 24 Regional Sanitary Landfill; and barging of waste from San Pedro Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker to the Belize Port for long haul to the Mile 24 Regional Sanitary Landfill.