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May 1, 2009

Nearly 400 volunteers from Costa Rican universities and organizations participated in a beach cleanup last week in Playa Guacalillo in the Central Pacific.

The annual event, which is organized by the Terra Nostra environmental association, reported record numbers this year. The volunteers collected 4,440 kilograms of solid waste this year, more than double what groups have gathered in previous years. Of the 4,440 kg, 2,780 kg were recyclable material. The GarabitoMunicipality deposited the recyclable items in local collection centers.

This year’s cleanup covered more than three kilometers of beach in eight hours of work. Terra Nostra has hosted the event for six years but never attracted more than 100 volunteers, nor covered more than one kilometer.

Last week’s numbers pleased Terra Nostra Director Nydia Rodríguez, but she said there is always room for improvement.

“Imagine if we had 10,000 volunteers out there,” she said. “We could cover 200 or 300 kilometers of beach.”

Rodríguez hopes to organize another waste cleanup for September and is working to arrange volunteer groups from across Costa Rica.

For more information, visit the association’s English-language Web site: www.terranostra-cr.org/english.html.

– Mike McDonald

 

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