Image Esteban Soler

(Q COSTA RICA By Amanda Zúñiga, Vozdeguanacaste.com) Yolanda Gutiérrez lives in Nosara, and like many in this Nicoyan district, she has no garbage collection.

Without any other option besides burning or burying her trash, at least her family first separates it in the house by removing all recyclable materials such as plastic, glass, aluminum and paper. Later, she takes the recyclable materials to a collection center about 1 kilometer from her home.

She also reuses all organic products in her garden.

According to Juan José Lao, an attorney, doctorate in environmental economy and founder of the companies WPP Coriclean and Non-traditional Environmental Waste Solutions, if all homes practiced composting, it would eliminate between 55 and 60 percent of all waste. Recyclable materials account for between 15 and 20 percent of all garbage. In other words, up to 80 percent of accumulated garbage could be avoided.

Following are some tips to better manage your garbage:

  • Reduce. This step is extremely important. The less you consume, the less trash you’ll end up with. That will make the recycling process easier, as well as the process of eliminating trash.
  • Use composting. It enriches the soil and can be used in mini-gardens in the home.
  • Separate recyclable trash and make an effort to send it to collection centers in the canton.
  • Avoid burning trash. In addition to causing pollution, it’s also a dangerous practice.
  • Speak out. You can communicate your ideas to the municipalities or development associations in order to find solutions together.

Article originally appeared on Vozdeguanacaste.com and is republished here with permission.