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Parintins, A City in the Amazonas State of Brazil, Struggles with Waste Disposal

During a visit to Parintins (a city in the far eastern region of the state of Amazonas), on May 31st to June 1st, Representative Luiz Castro (of the Popular Socialist Party or PPS), found the Municipality to have been negligent with regard to the critical situation of the city dump. The landfill, where all kinds of waste is carelessly dumped, attracts insects, animals and hundreds of vultures. Located in an area near the Julius Bethlehem airport, the open-air landfill attracts many vultures and as a result, poses risks to air traffic. The landfill has also been shown to cause damage to the environment from soil contamination and air pollution. Paul Archangel, a professor from the University of the State of Amazonas, who accompanied the visit, said that the City has recently invested R$2 million (US $890,590) for the development of the landfill, but so far no work has been carried out in the creation of a functional treatment system for waste disposal.

Luiz Castro visiting the landfill in Parintins, Brazil.

As Chairman of the Committee on Environment of Legislative Assembly of Amazonas (ALEAM), Luiz Castro also found the operating manager of the landfill to be guilty of creating inhumane working conditions and of exposing workers to the danger of disease. He also pointed out that the current municipal administration has been guilty of reducing the pay of the landfill employees and have utilized unsafe machines that were previously retired. "Parintins is a city and regional center of the lower Amazon, with a rich culture that attracts tourists from around the world and does not deserve this situation of total disregard for the environment through the disposal of waste," criticized Luiz Castro.

Another landfill in the state of Amazonas, Brazil.

The dump, according to the deputy, does not meet the minimum requirements for an approved landfill. He recognizes that the construction of a landfill is costly, but states that the City needs to take urgent measures to minimize the environmental impacts of trash. "Another measure is to support the practice of selective collection, which will help reduce the waste dumped in the landfill," argues the Representative.

What sort of waste disposal or recycling practices has your city developed?

Original article, originally published in Portuguese, can be found here.

Credits: Data and images linked to sources.