Press "Enter" to skip to content

Holbox garbage problems increase with accumulation and no removal

Holbox, Q.R. — Garbage problems are increasing for the island of Holbox with continued accumulation and no removal. Quintana Roo deputy Édgar Gasca Arceo says that the solid waste collected from island residents is accumulating in the one and only transfer site, which he adds, is not being emptied.

He says after the closure of the garbage site by federal officials, the town was given permission to use it, but only as a transfer site.

Gasca Arceo says now, “we have reports from people from Holbox who say that they are refilling what is supposed to be a transfer site, which could complicate the situation. By voice of the islanders, they say that the garbage is no longer taken out.”

He estimates the problem has been ongoing for several months explaining that the municipality of Lázaro Cárdenas City Council had hired a company to remove the solid waste, but it withdrew months ago due to lack of payment.

After a brief contingency, the municipal government has been partially in charge of collecting the waste. He says in theory, there is an agreement with dump trucks to relocate the garbage to the mainland, but in reality, it is not being done.

In January, there was an announcement that the secretary of Ecology and Environment was analyzing the prospect of converting the island’s waste into energy since island waste removal was costly.

In June, the Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (Profepa) closed the site after more than 70,000 tons of garbage was allegedly buried in mangrove, however, municipal president Nivardo Mena Villanueva, assured authorities that the garbage was burned with thermovaluation. An investigation ensued.

Days later, Profepa agreed to allow Holbox to use the land, but only as a transfer site. Garbage was to be removed from the site to the mainland dumping area, but Holbox officials have said that a lack of resources due to the Covid pandemic has seen islanders stop paying the monthly garbage collection fees, which is turn, has left them without resources to pay trucks to remove it from the island.