Growing heaps of trash piled up in the streets of Chapala, Ajijic and neighboring towns last weekend after management at the landfill facility in Ixtlahuacán de los Membrillos shut its doors to garbage trucks coming from the municipality on Thursday, August 30 due to back bills owed by the local government.
According to City Manager Sergio Hugo García Díaz, the landfill company charges the municipality 250,000 to 280,000 pesos per month in dumping fees, based on a rate of 230 pesos per ton. He told local reporters that the government had fallen behind on payments, coming to the end of a three-month grace period in the final days of August.
With no place to unload, the private outfit that operates Chapala’s trash collection service was forced to suspend its pick-up schedule. Some of its trucks emptied their contents in vacant lots while others were parked the rest at various locations, still filled with refuse.
García indicated that after a financial settlement was arranged, garbage collectors hustled all day and into the evening of Monday, September 3 to pick up the slack, resuming normal rounds the following day.
Residents were quick to jump on social media to express dissatisfaction with both the government and GIRSSA, the company it chose for a 25-year contract to collect the community’s solid wastes. Mayor-elect Moisés Anaya has pledged to review the concession deal once he takes office and come up with solutions to this costly public service and environmental problem that plagues the constituency.