The peak spring tourist season has arrived in La Paz. Throughout the city, visitors are enjoying themselves with food and drinks that make the celebration festive.
The only drawback is the amount of trash being generated. Unfortunately, the community did not anticipate the level of tourist traffic, and now the mounds of unsightly garbage are evident in many different tourist locations.
A Bunch of Trash
Just walk through the tourist areas of La Paz, and everywhere a visitor turns, there is trash to be picked up. This issue has really increased in the community over the last couple of weeks with the influx of spring visitors to the community.
The most visible area is around the community bus stops, but it is also apparent on beaches, mountains, restaurants, and outside of the town’s hotels and resorts.
The issue has even spread to some buses around La Paz, where riders are simply discarding their trash on the bus – from orange peels and plastic bags to water bottles and even baby diapers.
Town officials have been working on picking up the trash and containing the unsightly refuse on the buses. They also have plans to increase the number of trash cans available for locals and tourists to use around the community.
But, for now, it is hard to keep up with the influx of rubbish.
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The Need For More Trash Cans
It is not uncommon to walk for blocks in the center of La Paz without a trash can in sight. That’s why many that are frustrated with the lack of places to dispose of garbage simply leave it in the street or near the bus shelters.
Many merchants around La Paz have tried to help out by placing cardboard boxes outside their shops. They hope they will be used by their customers, in addition to the passers-by looking for trash cans. The issue is these are usually full.
In some neighborhoods around La Paz, merchants and residents frustrated with the trash all over the place have taken matters into their own hands. They have banded together with plastic trash bags to take to the streets and help pick up the trash on their own.
The community has even held local clean-up days where in addition to weeds in streams and rivers, plenty of trash has been proactively picked up around the town.
Not only does it make La Paz a better experience for tourists, but also a better place to call home for the community’s residents.
How Tourists Can Help
One way tourists in La Paz can help is to recycle what they can instead of disposing of everything in the trash.
Much of the trash piling up around La Paz is recyclable materials. These are commonly used in the service of guests, such as glass soda and alcohol bottles, along with plastic bottles of water.
Instead of throwing these items on the nearby trash pile, locals and tourists are instead asked to recycle these items. Not only does it help reduce the amount of trash piling up around La Paz, but it also helps to reuse these items again and preserve our natural resources.
For most tourists, recycling is part of the way of life where they come from. With an influx of tourists from the United States, many visitors are even accustomed to paying deposits on glass and plastic items at the store and getting that money back when recycling.
But when people go on vacation to Mexico, that concept of recycling at home is easily forgotten. However, we can all make a difference together by reducing trash destined for landfills in La Paz and choosing to recycle instead.
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Tuesday 21st of March 2023
Trash is a problem in San Josè as well. A number of expats and I go out on a weekly basis to pick up trash, as like in La Paz, there are very few garbage cans about. Why aren't there reusable beer bottles like in Canada? Pay your deposit when you purchase beer or liquor, get it back when you return the bottles, or if you throw it out, it is worth money so someone will pick it up. Plastic water and soda bottles should be treated the same way, pay a deposit. The trash problem is created by bad govt regulations and policies and lack of infrastructure, as in garbage containers.