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“Big decisions for big problems” says Cancun mayor regarding the city’s garbage collection

Cancun, Q.R. — Cancun mayor Mara Lezama says that big decisions must be made for big problems, referring to the ongoing issue with the city’s garbage collection. In a videoed social media release, Lezama explained that for decades, the people of Cancun have faced the deficient collection of garbage due to the existence of debts, work stoppages, dismissals of workers and non-compliance of the company in charge of the service.

She said that in view of the emergency she faced, city council made the urgent decision to change companies and solve the root of the problem adding, “we must banish old practices and acts of corruption.”

During her broadcast, Lezama also said that she and her family have been the subject of threats as a result of her decision to bring order to the garbage collection service by changing companies.

“They thought that because I was a woman, they were going to intimidate me,” she underlined in her message.

Lezama said that for decades, the municipality has suffered from garbage collection problems that had not been addressed.

“Historically, there was poor garbage collection. The common landscape was to see accumulations of waste in the streets, which became a source of infection,” she said acknowledging that municipal governments have always faced the breaching of contracts, leonine agreements with the concessionaire company that, in addition, did not comply with the payment of its obligations with its workers who, for the same reason, carried out work stoppages and constantly faced dismissals.

“All this happened while the inhabitants of the city lived exposed to contamination and accumulations of garbage,” she said. “That is why our challenge and commitment was to clean Cancun, do it in a forceful way, retaking control, command and reinstate the service,” she added.

“In short, do what had never been done, which was to solve the problem at its roots,” she emphasized.

“I received personal threats against me, against my family. They thought that because I was a woman they would intimidate me, but I, like everyone else, love this city and am committed to it,” she stressed.

She said that the ongoing failure of the concessionaire Inteligencia México caused an environmental emergency, so on December 17, Cancun city council declared the suspension of that company and hired another that had the capacity to fully comply with the task.

“Why do we temporarily contract another company? Because every day 1,400 tons of garbage is generated which must be collected with at least 60 trucks that must travel 112 routes,” she explained. “We want a clean city, and for this, we must banish old practices,” she stressed.

In the meantime, the city’s current garbage collection company Red Ambiental says they will file a criminal complaint against Inteligencia México after the company used scores of trucks to block the landfill roadway Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning, approximately 40 Inteligencia México garbage trucks, along with workers, blocked the road that leads to Cancun’s landfill site. The vehicles were lined up, ensuring no passage.

Red Ambiental said they are preparing a criminal complaint against whomever is responsible for the Wednesday blockade that was carried out by more than 40 operators of the Inteligencia México concessionaire.

Jorge Guzmán, director of institutional relations at Red Ambiental said they found out about the landfill road blockade at around five in the morning. Guzmán said to avoid potential issues, staff were told to avoid the area.

While garbage was collected in Cancun Wednesday, Red Ambiental was left without a place to deposit the collected waste.