Environmental protection in Dominican Republic


Environmental protection is a challenging issue for all the countries around the world. Would you say this issue is deemed of significance in Dominican Republic?

Is the country going green through initiatives like waste management and selective sorting programs, renewable energies, public transport, green awareness campaigns and so forth?

How do you personally commit to improve the environment in your daily life?

We would greatly appreciate if you could tell us more about the various local initiatives for sustainable development in Dominican Republic.

Many thanks in advance!


Wow great topic.  Here  it is a "political" tool to say you are for environmental protection etc.  Money is  awarded, granted etc for "programs" and most of it goes into someone's pocket. New companies and enterprises get around laws and rules with bribes!   

Garbage is a huge issue in this country. Lack of education is a major contributor to this issue. As expats we can lead by example doing what we can when we can.

We do not have clean water and in many cases  there is no water treatment plants,  its dumped into the ocean!  You do not want to be down current from that!

The country is making strides but for now its not a pretty picture.

Let me to say few words about our family business new product.
We collect used kichen oils from some  "confiable comedors". Just vegetal oils, no margarine, butter, fat  etc. after a cleaning process, this oils are used for "Eco soaps".
On our way, and possibilities we relieves our enviroment, offer for peoples cheap eco- friendly products, and not fol last make some benefit as well.

Planner, we expats already " lead by example " by not throwing trash all over the place, unlike the locals.

Exactly my point honey!

Remember the U.S. TV commercial with the native American Indian seeing someone throw garbage out of their car and a tear running down his cheek? I am reminded of that constantly here. It kills me to see people throw stuff out their car window, let alone throw a bag of garbage on the street. Complete disrespect for the country, it's beauty, it's people and the tourists. There are no garbage cans on the streets to throw anything in. (there are in Santiago) If there is one it is overflowing. I don't entirely blame the people. The government has to provide for the containers and the pick up. If there is no place to put it what are they supposed to do?

Just as monumental is the air pollution for the vehicles. Many times you see a truck, a bus, a car and even a motorcycle spewing out black soot from their exhaust. Walking on the streets in Santo Domingo can be nauseating. Recently a DR1 article said over 50% of Dominicans have allergies. Wonder why? This is a very expensive thing to clean up but life expectancy here will never improve until the government starts making some laws and enforcing them. Catalytic converters on all cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles to start. Annual vehicle emission inspections. I see people running on the Malecon, on busy streets and think they are killing themselves breathing in that polluted air. You are better off to sit on your coach and eat potato chips.

LED lighting, solar power, Nuclear power, all of those things are great and help the cause. However, in my opinion the money should be put in the first two items first. (I sell LED lighting if anybody needs some) The cost savings, reduced carbon foot print are generally ignored by people here. They just won't pull out the checkbook to make the investment. Even though they get their money back in 6 months to a year in cost savings. Amazing.

You said " if there is no place to put it, what are they supposed to do""  what actually do you do?   Are you saying that you're like the locals,  and NOT like most gringos?

I don't really care for your insinuation Colonel. Who are you? I carry my empty water bottle and paper wraps for miles if I have to to throw it In the garbage. Don't throw stones if you don't know who you are talking to.

One comment you made about "investing" in more energy efficient that pays back in 6 months. Are you talking people or government?

Remember most people here don't have enough money for basics. They aren't going to invest in anything with a 6 month pay back.

I am talking about businesses that do have money.

My 'implication' was that even though the gov. supplies is with nothing, we don't throw trash around, as the locals do.

How about for diesel alternative bio diesel.  I had a neighbor while in Panama who was into that.  As far as I know he never got very far.  He wanted me to use it in my Renault Kangoo.  I tried it and about that point in time started having problems with the motor in the Kangoo.  Never was able to decide if the problems with the motor came direct from the biodiesel or not.  I did some reading at that time and found that there are 2 types of diesel motors.  Direct injection and indirect injection. I don't recall which was good for the biofuel, but mine was the other, I do  remember that.
  But what about plastic recycling.  I read a year ago or so about someone who claimed to have found a way to make manhole covers out of recycled plastic bottles and was gonna start doing so to replace the stolen manhole covers with recycled plastic ones at less than 700 pesos each.  Any one heard of that?

Or maybe talk about us gringos who mostly have enuff income to not be concerned if we will be able to still be eating when the 28th of the month comes around.

That doesn't even make sense.  What would poverty levels have to do with throwing trash around?

Lack of education and poverty go hand n hand!

What happens to your garbage when it leaves your house? Our maintenance man carries it out to a dumpster. I don't watch or look but if the dumpster is full I'm sure it ends up on the ground. A dog breaks open the bag, or a homeless person breaks it open looking for food or clothes and it is all over the street. I will go back to my original statement that the government or private garbage removal has to provide containers and pick it up regularly. If not the locals throw it in piles on the street. They don't have cars to haul it to a dump. They have no means to get rid if it.

You all make good points,  garbage is just one of our issues.  Vehicle pollution is another big one.  How many of the vehicles on the road should even be there?

As many know we have huge electrical issues here. Meaning - not enough electricity is supplied or paid for.  The gov't in its wisdom is now building 2 coal fired plants! Is this the best use of gov't funds?  Not likely is my reaction but I do not know enough. Maybe someone else can educate us.

What about unsafe drinking water?  Another HUGE issue here that has massive environmental issues and concerns.

From a story run on Dominican Today recently:

Santo Domingo.- The cleanup of some 80 dry creek beds and the construction of 13 sewage treatment systems in Greater Santo Domingo forms part of the project to recover the Ozama and Isabela rivers, declared a national priority by a president Danilo Medina executive order.

The facility being currently built at a cost of 55 million euros for the two rivers is the country’s largest wastewater treatment plant, also called La Zurza, and spans the watershed around Santo Domingo North.

The government said it will be operating within 24 months.

The project, part of the Sewerage Master Plan of the Santo Domingo aqueduct utility (CAASD) will treat runoff from neighborhoods of the northern National District, and Santo Domingo Norte.

The plant will also recycle the water now spilled by 54 industries into the Isabela river.

CAASD senior official Luis Baez said the plant will treat 1.2 cubic meters of wastewater per second from 450,000 inhabitants in barrios and slums of the National District, Santo Domingo Norte and of the Villa Mella subdivision.

waste management??????? I do not see any waste management
public transportation with standards for air quality and safety and noise reduction???????? does not exist

There are programs being created,  funded etc.  Unfortunately little actually gets done as the money goes into the wrong pockets!

there is no consciousness here of environmental protection that i have seen in almost two years.
In Puerto Plata the people throw trash in the rivers which wash out into the sea in front of my house .
Raw sewage is dumped into the ocean.
There is no recycling here except what starving people take from the dumps and sell.
They burn diesel fuel for power generation.
What more can I say?

It all sounds very lovely, yes?

I see clean up campaigns all the time..............by gringos.

Again there is some work being done but not anywhere near enough.  Not sure what we can all do except be more proactive personally.

There is an annual shoreline clean up done by volunteers here in Santo Domingo. I think it is done in September. They collect tons of garbage, mostly plastic bottles that wash ashore, many of which come from cruise ships. This is a Dominican organization/group that organizes it. They need to do it monthly not annually. Maybe someone else knows more about it.

We have a monthly beach and reef clean up here in sosua sponsored by one of the dive shops.

Bob K

I don't believe that cruise ships are throwing their trash into the sea.  But we do know for sure that the locals do.

Not the cruise ships as a corporation. The people on the cruise ships.  I have heard this several times.

They have all sorts of trash compactors etc and facilities for storage; it's finely calculated.  Sounds like just another lame apologetic for the locals, who are the ones we see throwing trash around every day.

I guess you are always right.

No, it's paso me I'm wrong about locals throwing so much trash around.  What we might do then is to look at Dominican places where there are no cruise ships around.  Do you think we would find trash? In fact, wasn't the original message about Sousa? When I was there, there were no cruise ships in Sousa bay.  But if you looked at the beach on a Sunday, after it was full of locals, it sure was full of trash.

Marine debris

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Ocean dumping" redirects here. For shipping of waste across international borders, see Environmental dumping.

Marine debris, also known as marine litter, is human-created waste that has deliberately or accidentally been released in a lake, sea, ocean or waterway. Floating oceanic debris tends to accumulate at the centre of gyres and on coastlines,[1] frequently washing aground, when it is known as beach litter or tidewrack. Deliberate disposal of wastes at sea is called ocean dumping. Naturally occurring debris, such as driftwood, are also present.

With the increasing use of plastic, human influence has become an issue as many types of plastics do not biodegrade. Waterborne plastic poses a serious threat to fish, seabirds, marine reptiles, and marine mammals, as well as to boats and coasts.[2] Dumping, container spillages, litter washed into storm drains and waterways and wind-blown landfill waste all contribute to this problem.

Hey Colonel you are right on the button. Maybe you hit the nail right on the head. "It is just another excuse for the locals" they do not know how to protect their own environment and even some treasures that exist in the DR. I have seen it so many times. Tooooo many people say "it is what it is" and that is a cop-out.

Way to go at presenting.........no evidence that cruise ships dump trash.
Way to go at ignoring the point that we see locals dumping trash all over the place, including those places where no cruise ships ever go.  Check out the beaches of Las Terrenas tomorrow morning and tell me if you think all the trash, not just on the beaches, but all over town, was dumped by cruise ships, gringos, or locals.

You completely missed the point of my comment regarding the snnual clean up of the beach in Santo Domingo. I have never defended nor have I said the locals are not the problem.  They obviously are. I was not talking about streets, alleys,  and creek beds.  Enuf said.

Guys this is counter productive.  Stop arguing over this.  Lets all realize that there is a huge garbage problem and stop deciding who is more right or wrong. Good grief!

The fastest way to house break a puppy is to tie it near his food.  Even a dog knows better than to sh" t where it eats. Perhaps a similar cure woul be applicable for our government & much of our local business's to adhere to. When forced to see & smell your own crap you'll find a solution.. The word corruption also means infection with its' attendant puss & stink. It is time for all to wipe their own ass & dispose of the remains properly.  Beware !! the Gypsy - Tinker _ Tuba is returning with a renewed propensity for truth & anger at the purveyors of B S wherever they may reside. 

   To kindred spirits, PM me & move forward with truth, compassion, wit & knowledge.  Perhaps cast a stone in the path of ignorance. Off our butts, throw aside personal accretion of wealth & help our island into the future.   For those that don't care for my thought, reply & I'll happily provide directions of where to go & how to get there.  The Tuba has emitted a small fart indicative of what is to come.   NOW, if only they would enlarge the type size & rid this site of the almost invisible blue color of the text, I might be more tolerant of the so called "Up Date" to expat.com.  So far it hasn't responded to those of us who need this change.  Perhaps a Va caraho is in order.     Where are you, Groby & Max??

Hey Gypsy, words well spoken. Like I say too many Expats might say "It is what it is" but I disagree. I have seen the filth at every level from poor folk (pobre) to resort areas and where should be protected as a treasure to the country. I have seen no relief and no respect. "It is what it is" ............................... that is a cop-out.

Y donde podemos conseguir estos jabones ?

My post was 2 full years ago.  What's up with this? Too bad it took two years for a reply.  I guess no one else gives a shit.  They don't let me post as Gypsy401 anymore. I'm now The Tinker 40.

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