Latin America News – Colombia’s Lingering Garbage Crisis

colombia-garbage-crisis
People walk past a pile of uncollected trash on a street of Bogota, during a strike by garbage collectors on February 5, 2018. Bogota's mayor Enrique Penalosa, declared last Thursday an environmental and sanitary emergency in the Colombian capital due to a protest by garbage collectors that has prevented the lifting of tons of waste. / AFP PHOTO / Raul Arboleda (Photo credit should read RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)

News Americas, BOGOTA, Colombia, Fri. Mar. 8, 2018: A lingering garbage crisis in the Colombian capital of Bogota has prompted mounting health concerns among the public.

Garbage has been piling up in the approximately 2,100 neighborhoods of Bogota since the local trash collecting system broke down over a dispute between the mayor and the 3,200 trash collectors more than four weeks ago.

According to reports, Bogota produces more than 6,000 tons of trash every day, but currently only 48 percent of them are treated.

Earlier this month, the municipal government declared an environmental and health emergency for more than 20 districts in the city.

The rotting garbage piles have been attracting flies and rats in many affected neighborhoods, leading to fears there might be outbreaks of epidemic diseases and a long-term impact on the environment.

“There is trash everywhere and it’s affecting both the environment and people’s health. This is terrible for this city,” said a local resident.

“Apparently the environment has been polluted and many people have shown flu symptoms. This is a problem,” said another local.

The local government has reportedly stepped up efforts to collect trash, but currently it is still unable to guarantee the service in much of the city.

With monsoon season approaching, the residents are increasingly worried that a public health crisis might follow. (SOURCE: CCTV)