Costa Rican cities are starting to see yellow recycling containers. The goal – to capture plastic bottles, newspapers, aluminum cans and paper cartons.

Costa Rica’s waste management plans are expected to improve dramatically over the next year, providing new opportunities for waste management businesses and the environment.

A community collection service, Recicle Escazú for recyclable material, now in its ninth year, is the oldest plan of its kind in Costa Rica. There are 10 municipal recycling plans being implemented in the country to date.

The municipality reports having collected 169 tons of domestic recyclable material in 2002, a number that has climbed to over 725 tons in 2008.

The recyclable material is taken to the privately owned Escazú Collection Center, and items are sorted and redistributed to private companies, to produce new products.

This is attracting new business ventures to more closely examine the waste management industry in Costa Rica. Waste management has proven to be big business in other parts of Latin America, and Costa Rica will also be reaping the rewards of this emerging industry as well.