Environmental law
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Entradas en "Environmental education"

Dominican Beaches: Current State and Sustainability

The degradation of the environmental quality of Dominican beaches has surfaced far more frequently than expected in the country’s tourism hotspots. Tourism and hotel operators are monitoring with concern the many changes in local beaches, especially in the coastal-marine structure, with results that can negatively impact the sustainability of the tourism business. (more…)

Solid Waste Management in the Dominican Republic

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources of the Dominican Republic issued Resolution No.1 of 2015, which established the Procedure for the Recovery of Recyclable Multi-materials with commercial value and which determines the obligation to segregate at the source the various types of waste resulting from extraction activities, processing of raw materials and consumption of goods and services.

Since its enactment in January 2015, all business entities, intermediaries, end users and the general public must initiate proper management of solid waste by separating the same into two blue containers and/or bags, one for inorganic and/or waste materials such as paper, plastic, cardboard, glass and metals and the other for the rest of the waste, such as kitchen and food waste, garden residue, among others.

The purpose of this norm is simply to promote the reuse of solid waste, which may be repurposed, thus avoiding the final disposition thereof in the country´s landfills. It also provides for separate recollection by the municipalities; and thus the latter are no longer allowed mixing multi-materials with the remaining waste so as to facilitate its recycling. Companies contracted by the municipalities, informal garbage diggers and intermediaries may also perform the separate waste recollection.

Regarding transportation, the approved procedure provides that once the waste is collected in a segregated manner, it is to be transported to an intermediate point, designated as a «clean or intermediate encounter point», for the treatment and management of solid waste or directly to the recycling company.

Assessment on how municipalities could implement this procedure for the selective collection of solid waste is outstanding. Indeed, deciding to undertake this major change in the field of solid waste management has been the challenge of cities in other parts of the world and their municipalities or councils. Although not explicitly established by the regulation, it is expected that the shift in paradigms will require the following:

  • Establishment of a period of time to adapt collection vehicles;
  • Renegotiation of contracts with solid waste collection enterprises;
  • Making agreements with recycling cooperatives for their incorporation to the management of waste;
  • Determining pre-established days for the collection of different types of waste –for example Tuesdays and Thursdays for recycling materials, and other days for organic waste–;
  • An awareness and information campaign by sector on solid waste management;
  • Imposition of sanctions upon infringement.

Until these issues are not defined, the implementation of the new system of selective collection may become more complex than expected.

Bill on solid waste management
Desechos sólidos

Desechos sólidos

The lower chamber of Congress of the Dominican Republic began the process of public consultation for a bill designated as the «Law on Solid Waste Management», which aims to prevent waste generation and promoting its reduction, management and recycling; establishing a legal framework for its application activities, processes and operations starting from waste generation up to its reuse and final disposal.

The ultimate goal of the project is to have a minimum amount of solid waste reach its final disposal; i. e., that ‘zero waste’ is achieved in the arrangement or end use of any product; all as a result of the implementation of different actions –which shall vary by industry and business sector–, which promote zero waste production, its minimum production or the reuse or recovery thereof. (more…)

Corporate environmental education. How can it be managed effectively?

The issue of environmental education plays a critical and transformative role in modern business: it guides workers, from the executive level to the lowest rank and grade, about the intelligent use of natural resources, safer operating conditions, reduced offenses, and good management of the final destination of waste.

In business, many environmental problems arise and may seem complicated, but the solution is simple if there is proper training in the field. Environmental education in the workplace can become a true educational program, designed and based on didactic-teaching documents, courses, workshops, seminars and meetings that can incorporate respect for the environment and existing good practices within the philosophy of the company.

In industrial companies, for example, environmental education is an effective instrument in controlling pollutants. It can also become a tool to reduce costs by establishing recycling policies that result in savings of disposable material.

Implementing a model of environmental education at the enterprise level can help create a culture that can transcend communities, promoted by industry associations, professional associations and business clusters, as long as it is properly implemented and defined from the academic perspective.

In modern times the exploration of environmental education in business is positive, especially considering that many organizations are being strategically sensitized to adopt a new business management model that involves a vision of respect for the environment.

In the Dominican Republic, the legal system provides a strategy for environmental education for sustainable development. This strategy is framed within the principles and objectives of the General Law on Environment and within its purposes, it assumes that there are deficiencies in environmental education that need to be addressed jointly.

One of the sectors that the state’s strategy calls for involvement is the productive sector. The implementation of policies to increase the level of environmental education would lessen any negative effects that industrial activities may have on the environment, resulting in an improvement in the quality of life of the population.