On April 12, President Mel Zelaya and dozens of government representatives showed up in Santos Guardiola to dedicate the commemorative plaque by Roatan’s second garbage dump in Punta Blanca. When in 2002 the dump opened in Mud Hole, on the West Side of the island, Santos Guardiola found itself dumping and burning garbage on unsecured, environmentally harmful sites. “We have the biggest tourist potential on the Bay islands, but we have been forgotten,” said Wally Bodden, a city councilman representing Santos Guardiola Municipality.
The six acre Punta Blanca garbage site and the 20,000 square meter garbage dump was paid for by the Inter American Development Bank (IDB) and its construction was supervised by PMAIB (Environmental Management Project for Bay Islands). According to PMAIB officials, the project will have a minimum lifespan of 20 years and a capacity to handle 107,000 cubic meter of garbage. According to Rene Echeverria, PMAIB project coordinator, the refuse on the site can be stacked and compacted to 14 meters.
“This project is here to help the development of tourism in the long term and to make it sustainable,” said Steven Stone, representative of IDB.
The project cost $1 million in site work and $600,000 in equipment. The equipment: two trucks, a tractor and a compactor are yet to be delivered. “We wanted to take advantage of the president being here for the Garifuna anniversary,” said Walter McNeil, PMAIB director. [/private]