.By Marisol Arias .Photo by: Rodolfo Tinoco LSD
• Planned activities: weekly Feria and other cultural events.
• Agreement with the Municipality of Santa Cruz will take advantage of unused land.
• Green Point to continue and strengthen the recycling program in Tamarindo.
Since the time of classical civilizations like Greece and Rome, city public spaces have been considered a social necessity for meeting and well-being.
Nowadays, having public places for open and daily co-existence continues to be a constant aspiration one that is becoming increasingly difficult for individuals and communities to achieve due to the limited space from urban pressure and population growth, among other reasons.
Aware of this reality, the Tamarindo Integral Development Association (ADIT) asked the Municipality of Santa Cruz for a space for the community, and was able to achieve a loan agreement for the use of two lands located in Tamarindo that will ultimately benefit its people.
“At last, Tamarindo will have a public place to carry out activities and events as well as becoming a collection center for the recycling projects that take place in town,” said Ismene Arroyo, one of the promoters of ADIT on this issue.
“For years, these lands have been in disuse and now we can make them a destination of positive impact in Tamarindo by transforming the spot into a social meeting place and area of environmental protection,” Arroyo added.
The agreement signed by the Municipality of Santa Cruz and ADIT will allow the community to take advantage of the two properties for a period of 20 years. It will be developed for multiple activities such as the weekly Feria of products that has been taking place for the last two years and other cultural and community integration activities.
“This marks an important achievement for the community. It is the first time that an agreement of this type has been reached for Tamarindo. It is excellent news,” said Architect Rodolfo Tinoco, another member of ADIT that promotes this initiative. A Green Point in Tamarindo The agreement provides for the development of an ADIT project, a “Center for Activities and Collection of Recycling” known as Green Point, which was declared of Municipal Interest.
Tinoco explained that Green Point will utilize a multipurpose space with many possibilities to realize various activities. It will also create the conditions for the recycling program that must be strengthened in order to meet the demands of the community. In town, day after day there is an increase in reusable waste materials that could eventually be recycled.
With recycling, the community reduces the risk that garbage will end up contaminating rivers, beaches and vacant lots.
For a year, ADIT and committed people of the community, with the support of the Municipality of Santa Cruz, have been working on the monthly recycling program, by collecting, classifying and giving the materials their appropriate treatment.
Due to the community’s growth —more residents and businesses— the available resources for the program are too limited to guarantee its present and future sustainability.
“A more adequate, larger and more suitable place is needed to get more participation from businesses and people who cannot store their recyclable waste for a month. The community needs more information about this issue, so this effort should also include educational campaigns that invite neighbors to separate reusable waste, wash, prepare and finally take it to the collection center,” Tinoco explained.
With this project, ADIT aims to improve recycling management and thereby contribute to the reduction of the carbon footprint and global warming. In addition, the Association is eager to collaborate with Costa Rica’s carbon neutral goals and work towards obtaining the ecological Blue Flag.
With the program strengthened and fully operational, ADIT and the project’s promoters estimate that the allocated Municipal expenses and resources may be reduced, because having a primary storage center in the community for reusable waste collection can be planned for the maximum capacity of the garbage truck.
This process will also require the implementation of educational programs about the responsibility that people and companies have for the waste they generate.
This is an opportunity for ADIT to develop the Green Point project as well as to organize educational workshops in schools and with private organizations such as Kimberly Clark. Actions undertaken in this regard have a legal framework: Law 8839 for the comprehensive waste management, the Municipal Plan for Comprehensive Waste Management, the Regulation of Valuable Waste Recovery Centers and the Municipal Code.
This is positive because the institutions and the Municipality have a legal obligation to support the community efforts and the public-private alliances to obtain resources for the project.
Green Point will have an ideal professionally designed space: a building with stations to collect recycling materials, health services, a meeting lounge, a staff room, green areas and a parking lot, among other facilities. Architect Tinoco of LSD Laboratory Sustaining Design has designed this multipurpose facility and collection center.
“The project is planned to be developed in three stages. In the first, the construction will be focused on basic works and, as funds are being raised, progress will continue,” Tinoco explained.
Another advantage of this initiative is the possibility that ADIT could have a permanent office located in the building, but this and all plans will require great efforts on the part of the Association as well as of the entire community. It will be necessary to actively participate in the management and use of funds and thus create awareness of the big investment this project requires.
It is estimated that in its first phase, an investment of $30,000 will be needed, but the following work will need financial support from Municipal and public institutions, private companies, environmental organizations and the entire Tamarindo population.
According to ADIT, in addition to covering the expenses of the buildings´ construction, the equipment of the work areas as well as the multipurpose and storage centers, Green Point will need at least one fixed employee to take care of the site, receive, and wash and prepare the material.
The expenses related to electricity, internet and water are also to be considered.
“The Municipality will have to collect the stored material at least twice a week and give it the appropriate treatment. The benefit generated by the implementation of the ‘cleanliness of roads’ for the payment of the required staff in the future has been contemplated. The project will continue to develop and its maintenance managed as provided in Article 74 of the Municipal Code,” Ismene Arroyo said.
ADIT is hoping to receive funds from the sale of recyclable material by the Municipality, and, certainly, from the voluntary contributions of the population that makes use of the service.
“The collection center shows the evolution in the ecological awareness of Tamarindo´s residents, especially nowadays with how climate change has been demonstrated to affect us directly. This awareness is not positive solely for the town´s inhabitants, but also we create a positive impact on our tourist positioning, given that Costa Rica is committed to be carbon neutral in a few years,” Arroyo explained.
“This project will generate employment sources as well,” she added.