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Garbage & the Zika Virus in Costa Rica

San Fernando, just two kilometers from Samara, has never been serviced by a garbage truck. They have no choice but to burn all their garbage, including recyclables.

zika virus mosquito 1Matapalo faces the same trouble because, while they are supposed to have garbage pickup, it often doesn’t show up or comes on the wrong day leaving garbage all over.

Residents fear zika because the first indigenous case of it in the country was in this zone. Piles of garbage collect water and make great breeding sites for the mosquitos that spread viruses.

Some residents take care to maintain their properties clean but complain that their neighbors don’t care to do the same. Old tires, cans, bottles, paper waste and containers used to feed animals are all over collecting water and mosquitos.

A study revealed that 53% of Costa Rican households burn or bury their waste. Local government must step up to fix the issue of solid waste management. Either this or a national plan must be executed so that diseases don’t get out of control.

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