Solid Waste in Puerto Rico
The management and disposal of solid waste--more commonly called trash or garbage--in Puerto Rico has long been a challenge. The problem is intensified by the limited disposal space available on an island community and Puerto Rico's delicately balanced ecosystem. Puerto Rico residents generate more waste than people living on the mainland, and recycling rates in the Commonwealth are lower. Much of Puerto Rico's solid waste ends up in one of island's 32 landfills, most of which do not comply with Commonwealth and federal landfill requirements. The solution is a comprehensive and integrated solid waste management plan that calls for a reduction in the amount of solid waste generated, an increase in the recycling rate, the use of waste to produce energy, and the proper and efficient management of all landfills.
Two Commonwealth agencies--the Puerto Rico Solid Waste Management Authority
and the Environmental Quality Board
--have local responsibility for managing the island's solid waste. (Note: Puerto Rico agency sites are in Spanish only.)