Minister Neney Cabrera, in charge of Strategic and Special Projects of the Presidency of the Republic (Propeep), proposed the joining of efforts of the central government, municipalities, private sector companies and social and community leaders to seek a solution to the integral management and disposal of solid waste throughout the country.
Speaking at the opening of the Thirteenth Congress “Integral Management of Solid Waste”, at the Hard Rock Punta Cana hotel in Punta Cana, Cabrera considered that in order to face the problem in an integral manner and implement the virtuous circle of the circular economy, the active participation of the citizens, the business sector, the central government and, especially, the local governments is more than necessary.
At the event, which is organized by the Dominican Federation of Municipal Districts (Fedodim), Minister Cabrera considered that the country cannot continue without a differentiated collection system, which includes local industries integrated in the process of revaluation and transformation of solid waste into reusable products.
He said that when Law 225-20 on Integral Management and Co-processing of Solid Waste came into force a year ago, there were 356 open dumps operating, which are a threat to everyone’s health and generate greenhouse gases, as well as large fumes that deteriorate the quality of life of the inhabitants of the surrounding areas, causing respiratory problems, skin allergies, leptospirosis, sika, dengue and other diseases.
In his speech before mayors, councilors, authorities of the province of La Altagracia, international delegates and community and social leaders, Neney Cabrera recalled that the “Government of Change” inherited the current situation of abandonment and poor management of solid waste in the main cities and municipalities of the country.
He said that to this is added the millions of pathogenic microorganisms, insects and rodents, transmitters of diseases, that are produced there in these dumps. “This is the magnitude of the problem we face,” he proclaimed.
He said that under this scenario, on February 5 of this year, by means of decree 62-21, President Luis Abinader instructed Propeep to urgently intervene in the landfills of Santo Domingo East, Punta Cana, Puerto Plata, Haina, Las Terrenas, Nagua, Higüey and Samaná, for their sanitation and remediation.
In this regard, the official said that with this objective, Propeep launched the ECO5RD program, to achieve the environmental clean-up and normalization of the aforementioned landfills, so that they can serve as a reference model for a new integral system of solid waste management in the Dominican Republic, as required by the modern and updated legal framework.
He pointed out that Law 225-20 promises and demands the necessary change of the obsolete current system of waste management and control, from households, companies, industry and commerce, as well as the regulations, techniques and economic instruments to guarantee the operation of the Integral Model of Waste Management and the granting of the Green Bond to the related activities.
Municipalities are key
Neney Cabrera affirmed that in this new process the role of the city councils or municipal districts is fundamental for the management and final disposal of solid waste and, more specifically, urban waste, which is their direct and exclusive competence, since they are the central protagonists in this crusade for the protection of the environment and the natural resources of the country.
In order to fulfill this role, Minister Neney Cabrera emphasized that the city councils and municipal boards have and will have the effective support of the Government of President Luis Abinader, and must adopt the necessary institutional measures.
He urged the municipalities to adopt a tariff system that is fair and in accordance with the costs of collection, so that citizens and companies pay in relation to the costs they incur.