The past week’s intense rainfall in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, has caused more than the usual flooding and transportation problems; it has also swept trash through the city’s streets, blocking storm and sewer drains and exacerbating the problems that come with tropical storms in this region of the country.
According to Mayor Luis Guillermo Benítez Torres, who toured the area after the storm, some of the city’s flooding was specifically due to the large amounts of moving trash and while he confirmed that city workers were committed to clearing the trash and resolving the problem, he called on local citizens to stop throwing trash in the streets.
“So far we have collected around 11 tonnes of trash from all the blocked gutters, and we aren’t even finished counting all the trash yet,” said David Ibarra, the head of municipal public services.
“We need to call on citizens,” Ibarra said, “to stop throwing trash in the street that blocks the drains. For the well-being of everyone and more than anything else to avoid flooding like this.”
Secret trash dumps and areas that accumulate garbage can be found throughout the city. The public services crew pulled plastic containers, plastic bags, food scraps, cartons, branches, and leaves out of local drains, as layers of trash covered the city streets.
Mazatlán has had problems with trash in the past, such as earlier this month when residents complained to the municipal environmental department about bags of trash left outside by local businesses and rental apartments. They protested that the trash was ruining Mazatlan’s historical downtown and making the city’s streets an eyesore. As one of Mexico’s most popular beach destinations, the summer season is especially difficult for the city because of the influx of tourists.