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A Publication of The League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham

Published June 2007

Puerto Rico Faces Recycling Challenges

Leonette Slay recently went to Puerto Rico on a business trip and discovered that the island faces a solid waste problem.  Although over 100 private companies collect and process recyclable materials, the rate of recycling is only 8.8%, and only 3% is recycled into new materials or products in Puerto Rico, so the recycling companies are operating under capacity.  If the solid waste authority (SWA) does not find ways to increase this percentage, the landfills will be full in 12 years.  To manage waste, the SWA has unveiled a $2 billion plan which includes expanding existing landfills, recycling centers, and the development of two waste-to-energy projects (which activists there have vowed to oppose).  The plan also calls for boosting the recycling rate to 35% by 2016--a goal that the government had hoped to meet in 1996. (from The San Juan Star, April 22, 2007)

Editor’s note:  Many of you travel, and we are always interested in issues that you encounter that apply to the issues that concern us at the League such as transit, the environment and voting.  Please forward your travel observations on to the Voter editor, and we can all learn from your travels.
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