Recycling in Nosara

Phrases such as environmentally friendly and ecologically sustainable comprise marketing slogans used generously by many of the businesses, and indeed the residents of Nosara. For the most part use of these phrases is warranted. In all likelihood Nosara probably does rank higher in terms of ecologically responsible practices than many other towns and cities. Perhaps this is a result of the hippie foundations on which it was built. Nevertheless, humans, for the most part, even the ones who try to their best to do the right thing find it all but impossible to leave no ecological trace whatsoever. And Nosara’s most readily identifiable manifestation of this ugly environmental footprint can be found conveniently tucked away on the road between 5 points and Arenales in the form of the Nosara garbage dump.

Whether down to apathy, sloth, or a plain lack of awareness the ugly reality of the situation is that the Nosara dump is expanding in size from season to season. Although the law places responsibility for the collection and management of this waste on the municipality of Nicoya, the reality of the situation is much different. Despite that garbage collection is ostensibly included in owner property taxes, the municipality of Nicoya has for years created a barrage of excuses as to why municipality garbage trucks fail to make the journey to Nosara, the net result of which is the growing trash piles that form the scarred landscape of the Nosara dump.

Fortunately, the good news is that in 2008 a small, industrious group of residents decided enough was enough. The time had come take matters into their own hands. In response to the trash problem, and with  the mission to educate, promote and advance environmentally and economically sound waste management practices in Nosara and the surrounding communities, this small but determined band of concerned residents formed the Nosara Recycling Association.

Since its inception the Nosara Recycling Association is arguably the only reason that the dump site hasn’t spilled into massive areas of the surrounding woodland. Without the Nosara Recycling Association the hills of trash would be mountains, yet despite their crucially important role in the community their work often takes place below the radar and, like the dump itself, out of site from the local community.

Recycling in Nosara Costa RicaThe fact is, the work of the Association survives on donations, and donations don’t always cover it. Nevertheless, the Nosara Recycling Associations work is recognized and supported by a number of local businesses, financial patrons, and individuals who appreciate and value this vital community service. From this support, they have been able to continue their mission to educate people via workshops and school visits, as well as organize various clean up campaigns and programs aimed at eradicating the local use of styrofoam and other such toxic materials. Furthermore, they have  strongly promoted a campaign regarding the education and increased awareness of recycling – an activity they say if embraced by the community as a whole could drastically reduce the amount of waste that shows up at the dump courtesy of residents with neither the inkling or awareness to separate materials destined for their home garbage cage.

On the Nosara Recycling Association website they ask the question:  Did you know that more than 30% of what goes to the Nosara dump is recyclable and 50% is organic material that can be compostable? 

In simple terms, what this means is that through increased recycling and management of organic waste over 80% of the waste materials the dump receives could be entirely eliminated. This is a huge number which is entirely acheivable if residents both foreign and native adhere to the following guidelines and suggestions for managing their waste.

Before proceeding the following steps MUST be undertaken to ensure an efficient means of collection and management. Firstly remember to place all recyclable items in the clear plastic bags available for purchase at bothe Super Nosara or Super Paloma. Secondly, and this is of huge importance, please do your utmost to ensure that everything that goes in the recyling bag is dry.


The guide to effective recyling in Nosara:

reciclarResidents of Nosara are extremely fortunate to live in a place where the local environment rapidly and hungrily eats their organic trash for them. In some cases this means it’s as easy as throwing your organic waste into your garden if done in a responsible manner. Alternatively, and especially if this method of disposal threatens to encroach on a neighbors land, simply dig a hole and throw the organic waste inside.

1.Take it our on Wednesdays

Every Wednesday, a pickup truck visits all areas of Nosara which is dedicated to the collection of only recyclable materials.

2.Separate the recyclable categories

Seperate the plastics, aliminium and paper.

The following contains a list of materials and categories considered optimal for recycling. This information was retrieved from the Nosara Recycling Association website. For more information please visit



#1 & #2, (identified by the triangle on the bottom, with a # in the middle).  


 Soda bottles

 Water bottles

 Vegetable oils bottles

 Bleach bottles

 Disinfectant bottles

 Most salsas, mayo, mustard, salad dressing  jars

 Most peanut butter or jelly

 Lids (ONLY) of yogurt, ice cream & sour cream  containers

Does NOT include:

 Yogurt, ice cream & sour cream  containers

 Any container with petrol or other toxic chemicals (check   labels!)


  Beer& soda cans


i.e., cat food, tuna cans, jar lids, etc….


 All glass containers with lids removed:

Includes throw-away bottles (we do not recommend purchasing these – no deposit, thus no interest in reusing):





Miller Lite                                




Stella Artois

Peroni-Gran Reserva 


Smirnoff Ice

Twist cap Imperial (Deschable)          





Rock Ice


Bavaria (all)                



Club soda                   


Seagram’s Ginger Ale

Tropical fruit drinks                             


**Should not be included for regular collection as they leak:

.Panasonic is the only company that will accept used Panasonic batteries. They can be taken to the supermarkets for collection.


 Collapsed and kept dry


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