North Coast February 4, 2024 | 8:41 am

Landfills, a pending task for the new mayors of Puerto Plata

Puerto Plata—Three weeks before the municipal elections, one of the main issues of 4 years ago continues to impact the province’s communities, without the current mayors having made any progress in solving it: open dumps that continue to cause problems.

The situation is becoming critical, and most incumbents seeking reelection have no real prospects of solving the problem.

Such is the case of the landfill used jointly by the municipalities of Imbert, Altamira, and Guananico, as well as the District Board of Rio Grande, located on the Imbert-Guananico highway, which frequently catches fire, in addition to the fact that the lack of maintenance of the access road prevents the access of the trucks when it rains, which are forced to throw the waste almost at the edge of the road, as is currently the case.

In the municipality of El Mamey, Los Hidalgos is located on a slope that is difficult to access, causing difficulties for trucks, especially during the rainy season. Frequent fires there also cause dense smoke that reaches the main sectors of the municipality.

Of the municipalities in the western part, Villa Isabela is the one that, at the moment, is facing the most minor difficulties, although it is also an actual open pit.

In the municipality of Luperón, the landfill situation is also a recurring problem for its citizens and nearby people.
To the east, the shared landfill of the municipalities of Sosúa and Montellano, located in the community of La Unión, is a permanent headache for the residents of La Unión, Villa Liberación, and other nearby sectors, as well as for the Gregorio Luperón International Airport, given the dense smoke generated by the frequent fires that sometimes become a worrying factor for the terminal operations.

The most paradigmatic case is that of the head municipality, San Felipe de Puerto Plata, where multiple attempts have been made to relocate a garbage dump located almost on the edge of the road in the community of Maggiolo, Cofresí.
In the previous municipal administration, the Dominicana Limpia program made an economic contribution of which 198 million remained after purchasing a piece of land that the Ministry of the Environment determined could not be used because it was not under the environmental law.

Despite having these resources, the current administration, which has held several public hearings to learn about proposed solutions, still needs to be able to implement them.

On April 23 of last year, Mayor Roquelito Garcia announced that in the next few days, the bidding process for the solution of the Puerto Plata sanitary landfill would begin through a trust fund. Still, nothing concrete has been reported concerning whether this bidding process has been carried out.
Mayors seek to repeat.

Most of the mayors of the province are seeking reelection, as is the case of Roquelito García, of the PRM, in the head municipality; Wilfredo Olivence, El Chamo, of the PRSC, in Sosúa; José Héctor Rojas, El Chino, of the PLD, in Montellano; María Elena Ramos, Chiquita, elected initially on the PLD ticket and recently sworn into the PRM; Germania González Nuñez, of the PRM, in Guananico; Héctor Radhamés Francisco, El Árabe, of the PRM in Los Hidalgos and Ruddy Leandro Gómez, of the PRSC in Villa Isabela.

Hidalgos and Ruddy Leandro Gómez, of the PRSC in Villa Isabela.
The only ones not running for reelection are Adalberto Ramírez of the PRM in Altamira and Douglas Ramón Pichardo, who was elected on the PLD ticket and switched a few months ago to the PRM.

The opposition candidates have yet to mention the issue of the landfills, while the mayors refrain from mentioning it in the context of their proposals in the media.

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February 5, 2024 12:41 am

I don’t know which makes me sadder – seeing all the garbage strewn across the land or people with bags rummaging for what they can find. 🙁 Here it is 2024 and in some way, shape or form, this scene, along with others, still plays out in many counties each day.

We still have a long way to go…