Costa Rica's largest public event, a yearly pilgrimage to the city Cartago known as La Romeria, attracts over 2 million people in early August. This event produces an estimated 100 tons of garbage in just two days, including 80,000 plastic bottles. Through this project, EARTH University will assist local municipalities in combating waste by placing 70 reusable recycling bins along the route and running an educational media campaign in the weeks leading up to this "green" EcoRomeria.
Each year, millions of people converge upon a route from San Jose, Costa Rica, to Cartago, Costa Rica, for a religious pilgrimage. The impact on Costa Rica's fragile environment is severe, as there is the potential for over 100 tons of waste to be discarded along the route, with no way to stop pollution of the area's rainforests and rivers.
EARTH University will work with local municipalities along the route to place 70 reusable recycling bins and to launch an educational publicity campaign surrounding this "EcoRomeria." Recycling bins will be placed every 400 meters to allow for ease of use by the participants. With approximately 85% of the participants making the trek from San Jose to Cartago over the course of one day, August 1, the bins' impact on waste management will be seen immediately.
Though the EcoRomeria will take place over the course of one day, the impact will be far-reaching as waste is collected and diverted from polluting farm lands, rainforests, and rivers in one of the most biologically diverse countries in the world. During the EcoRomeria, over two million people will learn the benefits of recycling, and each of the 70 recycling bins will be retained for use at future large scale events.
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