Mountains of garbage strain the patience of Caribbean expats

Costa Rica serves up its share of little irritations. And on the Caribbean side residents are irritated because garbage pickup is a sometimes event.

In fact, residents are at the point of traveling to BriBri to stage some kind of demonstration at the Talamanca municipal building.  And, they point out, the piles of garbage are obvious enough to affect tourism on which many expats there depend.

The municipal garbage pick-up for the beach villages of Puerto Viejo is chronically late. That has been the case for at least five months.

When contacted by telephone, municipal workers say that the pickup date has been changed. From Monday to Wednesday to Tuesday. But never “today.”

Nearly a year ago residents began organizing to clean up the trash, and the problem has existed a long time, not just a year, But the situation seems to be getting worse.

Work is not easy for garbage crews when they have to pick up a couple of weeks worth of plastic bags at the same time. The workers on the trash truck are at least as vague as those in the municipal building.

Once when confronted by a resident, a trash collector said that the pickup day was Monday. “But this is Wednesday,” the resident replied.

“There is only one truck, and it comes from Limón,” said the worker. “The truck breaks down a lot.”

There was no garbage pickup in the Puerto Viejo area last week and it appears that there will be no pickup this week.

People are concerned about disease, too.

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