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Waste Disposal

Panama - Waste Disposal

Recycling is not as advanced as it is in the US or the UK, but there are some facilities. At this moment there are no household collections for recyclable materials. There are some companies which will pay for items such as paper and metals so you can separate your recycling yourself and take it along, although the remuneration is low. If you do this you will often encounter homeless people and drunks who have rummaged through bins for enough materials to raise money for a bottle of spirits. Recycling is becoming an issue that is gaining ground as more people become environmentally aware and with this in mind a number of supermarkets have bins for items that can be recycled.

Refuse collections are carried out regularly in urban areas but the frequency of collections will depend on the local authority. Some area may have refuse collected on a weekly basis and some will collect on a fortnightly basis. These services are now overseen by the Urban and Household Sanitation Authority (AAUD) and your local authority can give you additional information on how often these collections take place in your area.

The AAUD is a recently created department of government that will report directly to the President’s office and will be overseeing just Panama City in the first instance.

The sewerage systems are managed by the Institute for Water Resources and the Institute of National Water Supply and Sewerage Systems. If you are in a rural area then your drainage systems will be to septic tanks, while urban areas are connected to a sewerage system. Waste is transported to treatment plants for disposal. In very remote areas these systems are often not in place and it may be that waste is drained into rivers.

Waste disposal is an area in which there is to be a large amount of investment over the next few years, ensuring that the country will have the latest facilities and technologies in place as the population continues to grow.

Useful Resources

ReAL Boquete (Recycling in Boquete)

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

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