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20 years

San Ramon residents concerned over garbage incineration plan

June 10th, 2014 ( San Ramon residents are at odds with their municipality over a planned multi-million dollar contract that would have the city receive more than 1,000 tons of garbage per day for incineration as part of a waste-to-energy project.


The contract between the city and WRA Environmental Engineering, Inc. is scheduled to be voted on today, and would include a commitment by the city to receive garbage from around the country for an initial period of 25 years.


Under the contract, the municipality must provide the company with 1,000 tons of garbage daily for the first year, or pay for the difference in lost production.


After the third year, the municipality would be obligated to provide 1,500 tons of garbage per day.  That amount represents at least one-third of all the garbage produced in the country, and would result in some 100 garbage trucks passing through the city each day.


Residents are concerned the trucks would deteriorate the city’s roads and cause foul odors, while others are concerned over possible health effects.


San Ramon mayor Mercedes Moya said the contract is only a draft and would likely be rejected by the Municipal Council.


“[The contract] was just a proposal that needs to be thrown out like 19 others that have been submitted.  I think it will be rejected,” Moya said.


Residents however are not convinced.  Rumors have circulated in the community that the contract may in fact have already been signed, in a move reminiscent of the contract with Brazilian firm, OAS to expand the highway between San Ramon and San José which was terminated last year after public outcry.


“We’re going to go from the ‘city of poets’ to the city of garbage,” one resident commented in a Facebook post.


Moya denied such rumors and said the matter would be decided by the Municipal Council during today’s session.


A similar waste-to-energy project is planned in the Coyol Free Zone in Alajuela.


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