The Dominican Republic is one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America, but its solid waste management systems must be strengthened to enable continued growth and to address mounting environmental, economic, and human impacts that have resulted from the island’s growing waste volumes and insufficient waste infrastructure.

In Samaná Province, solid waste from the Samaná Peninsula enters the Samaná Bay and Atlantic Ocean from multiple point sources within and outside the peninsula. Plastic from rice production along the Yuna River flows into Samaná Bay; household waste is often deposited directly into streams and rivers; heavy rains carry trash from the hilltops to low-lying areas; and trash left by beachgoers is captured by high tides. Samaná Bay hosts more than 1,500 humpback whales between December and March and the Province’s burgeoning tourism sector is a significant economic driver.

Engagement Sites

In Samaná Province, Clean Cities, Blue Ocean is:


  • Providing technical guidance to remediate and take steps toward closure of two open dumps in Las Terrenas and Santa Bárbara de Samaná and design, develop, and open a new regional sanitary landfill.
  • Advancing social and behavior change for more sustainable waste practices among households, communities, and businesses. Together with its grantee, the Center for the Conservation and Eco-Development of Samaná Bay and its Surroundings (CEBSE) Consortium, Clean Cities, Blue Ocean has completed research to uncover community waste practices and beliefs for practical, effective potential interventions.
  • Providing technical guidance to landfill operators on safety protocols and equipment to improve the livelihood and safety of those working in the waste sector. Clean Cities, Blue Ocean has also completed research on women’s roles throughout the waste value chain to advance sectoral women’s economic empowerment and gender equality.

Impacts and Results

The program’s activities and impacts in the Dominican Republic (to date) include:

  • Prevented and secured over 520,000 metric tons of waste (including over 70,000 tons of plastic–the equivalent of more than 7.6 billion plastic bottles) from entering into drainage canals, rivers, streams—and ultimately the ocean. 
  • Mobilized over $4 million in public investment for improved local solid waste management in Samaná Province.
  • Improved solid waste management services and waste-related air and water pollution for over 120,000 people in Samaná Province and neighboring communities.

Program Grantees