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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Senate confirms González Ruiz as DACO secretary

By The Star Staff

During its regular session on Thursday, the Puerto Rico Senate confirmed Lisoannette González Ruiz as secretary of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DACO by its Spanish acronym).

The delegation of the Citizen Victory Movement, along with Sen. María de Lourdes Santiago Negrón of the Puerto Rican Independence Party and independent Sen. José Vargas Vidot, did not support the appointment of the nominee.

The Upper House also approved a measure that proposes granting the Committee of Experts and Advisors on Climate Change the duty to collaborate with the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DRNA) to guarantee that agencies comply with the obligations set forth in the Law for the Reduction and Recycling of Solid Waste.

Senate Bill 1048, which is authored by senators from each delegation, proposes amending the aforementioned law to update definitions, clarify public policy regarding the management of waste or solid waste, and for other purposes.

As can be seen from the measure’s preamble, in Puerto Rico the goal was established to reduce the volume of solid waste that is deposited in landfills to 35% by 2006. Three decades later, the island has not come close to that goal. There are no educational campaigns or guidance for citizens on what can be recycled and how it should be done.

“We presented the bill to reinforce the policy of Law 70, and increase transparency in the processes that municipalities have to manage the recycling program,” said Sen. Ana Irma Rivera Lassén, who is one of the authors of the legislation. “Meanwhile, it establishes that the DRNA will provide technical assistance to municipal governments. We consider emphasizing that climate change and the landfill crisis require a true commitment from institutions, communities and private companies.”

Vargas Vidot added that this is “a headache for mayors.”

“They have had to allocate huge amounts of their budget to hire companies,” he said. ““We are talking about a bill that is established with immense anticipation of the problems of climate change.”

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