Santo Domingo, D.N. The United States Government through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), under its 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 nation-wide solid waste management and reduce ocean plastic pollution. Since November 2020, USAID has supported the Dominican Government to improve the management of solid waste in Samaná province, including the closure and cleanup of open dumpsites, the development of regional sanitary landfills, and implementation of improved solid waste management programs.
Since 2021, USAID’s Clean Cities, Blue Ocean provided technical assistance in the remediation of two dumpsites in Samaná province in collaboration with the Directorate General for Strategic and Special Projects of the Presidency (PROPEEP), resulting in the safe management of more than 357,000 metric tons of waste–including over 47,000 metric tons of plastic. This effort has resulted in capturing and destroying more than 62.4 million pounds of CO2e (equivalent to the annual emissions of burning 3.2 million gallons of gasoline), and improving community conditions for over 85,000 people—including the 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 Comprehensive Management of Solid Waste, PROPEEP, members of the Samaná Province Tourism Cluster, and the Municipal League. Toward that goal, on January 17, 2023, Clean Cities, Blue Ocean organized a workshop for local officials and 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 is grateful for the cooperation and leadership of PROPEEP and the Samaná and Las Terrenas municipalities commitment to improve their solid waste management systems and prevent plastic waste from entering local waters,” said Rebecca Latorraca, Director of USAID at the United States Embassy in Santo Domingo. “The work being done together in Samaná Province has not only had significant local impact, but is already 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 economic security across.”
ABOUT USAID’S CLEAN CITIES, BLUE OCEAN PROGRAM
The USAID Clean Cities, Blue Ocean program was launched in August 2019 as the Agency’s flagship program to respond to the global crisis of ocean plastic pollution. The five-year, $53 million global program works in ten priority countries to target 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 engaging in Samaná Province to implement and test scalable waste and recycling solutions, addressing climate change through methane reduction activities. For more information, please visit www.urban-links.org/ccbo.