Despite a much vaunted grand opening on April 12, 2008, Santos Guardiola dump remains one of the cleanest places in Roatan’s eastern municipality nearly a year later. The 20,000 square meter Punta Blanca facility is fenced in and safe from the illegal garbage dumping that Santos Guardiola residents may have resorted to. The dump’s expensive membrane which covers the dump is exposed to the elements and may already be damaged.
The Punta Blanca project was funded by Inter American Development Bank (IDB) funds at a cost of $1.6 million. The equipment – two trucks, a tractor and a compactor – are yet to be
delivered. The compactor and mover have been delivered, but sit in the sun gathering dust. The dump awaits delivery of the two dump trucks, but according to Governor Arlie Thompson, “this is not an excuse for the dump to remain unused.”
The old SG dump trucks are being used to pick up and drop garbage in the temporary Diamond Rock dump, but have not been using the new purpose-built dump. Meanwhile the temporary dump is rapidly growing in size. Situated just 100 meters from main road in Diamond Rock Aggregates, the dump leaks toxic chemicals from car batteries into the aquifer while dogs scour the dump in search of food. The one ray of hope comes from the promise of Paola Bonilla, Vice Minister of Tourism, that two new dump trucks will arrive on the island in late March. [/private]