Crews start to haul away debris left behind by hurricane in Puerto Rico

TOA BAJA, Puerto Rico (WHDH) — As Puerto Rico continues to recover after Hurricane Maria, crews have finally started to haul away the trash and debris that was left behind by the storm.

Charlie Dominguez, who lives in Toa Baja, said it has been 34 days since the storm hit and he has been waiting for crews to reach his town. Piles of debris have been sitting on the sidewalks for weeks, rotting in the sun. The garbage has also attracted rodents and become breeding grounds for mosquitos.

Environmental activisit Juan Rosario said the debris means another crisis — little to no room left in the island’s landfills. Last year, the Puerto Rican government agreed to close 12 of the island’s 29 landfills because they were “beyond capacity” based on findings from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). The EPA was also concerned about substances from the landfills seeping into the soil, which could contaminate groundwater.

“This is a disaster in the making in the sense thar we are going to pay for this not necessarily now but after,” said Rosario.

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