Crisis in Solid Waste Management: Is Puerto Rico Doing Enough to Solve the Problem?

Date of Award


Document Type

Capstone Project


Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Degree Name

Master of Applied Science


Environmental Policy & Mgmt


John Hill


garbage; incineration; island; management; Puerto Rico; recycling; solid waste; source reduction; waste


Puerto Rico has a serious solid waste disposal problem. It is an intensive producer of solid waste, but has limited economic resources and areas for proper solid waste management. This project investigated the status of the solid waste management crisis through a review of existing studies, site visits, and a survey in the cities of MayagÌez and Cabo Rojo. Key findings include: (1) recycling rate is very low, (2) carelessness about proper solid waste management is present, (3) there is a need for solid waste management education, (4) solid waste disposal processes and technologies should be upgraded, and (5) source reduction is needed. Possible solutions were analyzed by taking into consideration Puerto Rico's unique characteristics and success of the solutions implemented in similar situations.

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