The lost art of recycling being reclaimed in Panama?

Blog by Terry Richmeier.

Here at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast we try our best to be environmentally friendly. We re-use, reduce, and recycle what we can.

When we first came to Panama we arrived at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama City. We had arranged for a taxi pick us up and drive us to our hotel. On the way, we noticed piles of trash all over the city in the northwest neighborhoods of town. When we moved to Boquete, Panama we noticed the same thing here as well. We were also told by others that the beaches in Panama City were completely covered in trash as well. Amazingly, most of those piles are now gone! So is the trash along the way to Boquete. The future looks better for Panama in regards to recycling and trash control. There is more awareness and efforts underway to clean the surroundings and volunteer programs are popping up in places. Here is a message from a former guest Joyce Kinnear:

This Sunday morning before Halloween, I got up at 5:30, so that we could join the Boquete Recycling group at 7 to “clean up Boquete.” The whole team split into at least four groups. For two hours, we picked up trash (7 bags with our small group), as well as a bag of recyclable metal and recyclable plastic bottles. We would have stayed longer, except that we had another event to go to.

Boquete is attempting to get “reuse/recycle/reduce” and “clean up” to be a larger part of life. It’s been difficult to get recycling service in town, so far from everything in Panama. We always say we are at the end of the distribution line here in Boquete, and that includes recycling.


It was heartening to see so many people gather together so early in the morning to pick up trash and recycling along the main road into town. We had a number of people thank us and help us—one young woman staying with our team for an hour to help in cleaning up the trash before she had to go.
Now, we just need to figure out how to get the beer and water bottling companies to pay for recycling efforts, since their products are the majority of what seems to get dumped. Wouldn’t that be something?

Another former guest that lives in Panama City named Colin, has started, with a group of friends, picking up the trash from the beaches. This was discovered by the city and now has become a city effort as well. The beaches are starting to look like beaches again.



Here in Boquete, as you can see, efforts are being made. Perhaps one day we will have our recycling company back in action.

The Panamanian government has just signed a law that starting in 2019, there will be no more plastic grocery bags allowed in Panama! Another great move forward.

And, we here at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast, continue to do what we can to reuse, recycle, and reduce. From picking up trash in our yard to reducing usage of our precious resources and recycling by sharing in the community programs.


When you come down and stay with us, just let us know what you would like us to do in order to save our environment. Things such as placing a note on the door that you would like to re-use your towels, or leave your room to not be disturbed or cleaned. Whatever way you prefer to help us reuse, recycle, and reduce.


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