Guatemala city is lacking proper wastewater and solid waste treatment facilities. A large part of these waste streams ends up in the rivers Las Vacas and Motagua which, in turn, are exhausting their contents near and on the Honduras coast to the Gulf of Mexico. In 2017 Guatemala requested assistance from the Dutch government.
The Netherlands deployed a DRR (Dutch Risk Reduction) team to the area to assess the situation. The solid waste part of this assessment was performed by Hans Breukelman. The conclusions of the team were that Guatemala, indeed, is in need of urgent actions on all aspects related to the collection and treatment of wastewater and solid waste. An overview of the most urgent problems and possible measures was provided. The baseline however was that the authorities have to improve their organisation and governance and have to introduce taxation schemes with compulsory payments by the inhabitants to pay for (future) public services in this field.