USAID Program Signs Agreement with Municipalities of Samaná and Las Terrenas to Strengthen Waste Management Planning and Recycling Systems
Translated and cross posted from U.S. Embassy Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo, D.N. The United States government, through its Agency for International Development (USAID) Clean Cities, Blue Ocean program, signed a memorandum of understanding with the municipalities of Samaná and Las Terrenas to strengthen the cities solid waste management planning and recycling systems, in support of the country’s ongoing mission to improve solid waste management at the national level and reduce ocean plastic pollution.
Since November 2020, the USAID program has supported the Dominican government to improve solid waste management in the province of Samaná, including closing and cleaning up open landfills, developing regional landfills, and implementing improved solid waste management programs.
Since 2021, the USAID program provided technical assistance in the remediation of two of the four landfills in the province of Samaná in collaboration with the General Directorate of Strategic and Special Projects of the Presidency (PROPEEP), which has resulted in the safe management of more than 357,000 metric tons of waste, including more than 47,000 metric tons of plastic. This effort has resulted in the capture and destruction of more than 62.4 million pounds of CO2e (equivalent to the annual emissions from burning 3.2 million gallons of gasoline) and improved community conditions for more than 85,000 people, including informal waste workers who sort and manage waste on site.
Together with the municipalities of Samaná and Las Terrenas, USAID will continue to support the establishment of a new regional waste model with the Ministry of the Environment, the Public-Private Trust for the Integral Management of Solid Waste, PROPEEP, members of the Tourism Cluster of the Province of Samaná and the Dominican Municipal League. To that end, on January 17, 2023, the USAID program organized a workshop for local officials and technicians with international experts from the United States and Peru to share best practices and recommendations to advance a new vision for solid waste management in the Dominican Republic.
“USAID appreciates PROPEEP’s cooperation and leadership and the commitment of municipalities to improve their solid waste management systems and prevent plastic waste from entering local waters,” said Rebecca Latorraca, USAID director at the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo. “The work being done together in the province of Samaná has not only had a significant local impact, but has already been introduced internationally as a new approach to solid waste management planning, to improve the health and safety of its citizens, safeguard the environment and promote overall economic security.”
ABOUT USAID’S CLEAN CITIES BLUE OCEAN PROGRAM
USAID’s Clean Cities, Blue Ocean program launched in August 2019 as the Agency’s flagship program to respond to the global ocean plastic pollution crisis. The five-year, $53 million global program works in ten priority countries to tackle ocean plastic pollution directly at its source. In the Dominican Republic, the program aims to support the national government in advancing solid waste management and is participating in the province of Samaná to implement and test scalable waste and recycling solutions, addressing climate change through methane reduction activities. For more information, visit: www.urban-links.org/ccbo.