Pollution & Waste Management

Pollution & Waste Management

Countries renowned for their natural beauty and biodiverse landscapes often face the challenge of developing economically in a way that sustains those resources. SFS Centers are located in regions where this challenge is common.

When increased industrial production and involvement in global markets take precedence over sustainable development, pollution and waste issues can quickly mount. Public perceptions and cultural values can also influence programs and policies that encourage waste reduction. Through natural and social science lenses, SFS programs explore sustainable approaches to these challenges.



The Costa Rican ‘paradise’ is increasingly threatened by population growth, urban development, and inappropriate waste disposal and inadequate waste management. The result is that solid waste ends up in rivers and in the ocean. Students assess public perception and the environmental impacts of poor waste management, while also implementing sound waste management practices at our Center and our mango and orange farm.


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Waste management in small island systems is extremely challenging as options for removal and disposal are limited. In Bocas del Toro, resources to maintain waste removal services are scarce, leading to a great abundance of waste and pollution throughout the archipelago. These challenges, however, have led to grassroots community efforts for change. Students learn about the importance of public-private partnerships as they relate to waste management in an island system.


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