Pollution in El Salvador. The trash problem we can’t ignore.

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Sep 1st, 2020
Pollution in El Salvador

Pollution in El Salvador is a pressing problem that is growing dangerously every year. The trash problem the country has right now is one of the principal reasons pollution is increasing. Almost everywhere we go in the country, we will see trash on the streets.

It is sad to say that as Salvadorans who live in the country, most of us have gotten used to seeing this problem and ignoring it.

We see trash on the streets as an everyday thing or think that it is just life in El Salvador.

Soyapango street. Photo By: @OscarMachon

We go to the beaches or lakes and don’t think twice about throwing trash in the streets, even if there are trashcans nearby. Also, while taking the bus or driving, we don’t have a problem throwing trash out the window and into the streets.

As a society, we need to look at this problem and deal with it as soon as possible. Some of our rivers are so polluted that we can’t even swim in them anymore. Additionally, some of our lakes and lagoons contain so much trash that is affecting fish and wildlife.

Pollution in El Salvador. Why do we have so much trash on the streets?

Well, this is a question that is not that hard to answer. It is a combination of society as a whole, not focusing on keeping the country clean and local governments not focusing on properly collecting trash.

We are having this problem because most of us don’t recycle and openly throw trash in the street. Additionally, the local government at many municipalities don’t see the trash problem as a priority; also, they don’t have the means to fix the problem or know how to deal with it.

By all means, not everyone throws trash on the street, don’t recycle, or don’t care about this issue.

An example of such an individual is Andrea Osorio; she is an industrial engineer with a master’s in Environmental Toxicology, who has an Environmental Management advisory company.

Andrea focuses on given talks to local schools, educational institutions, and private companies on subjects related to pollution in El Salvador.

Obviously, Andrea Osorio is not the only Salvadoran that focuses on this problem; there are many others that just like her want to deal with the pollution problem.

It is essential to mention that not all the local governments or municipalities don’t deal with the trash problem.

Suchitoto is a municipality that seems to be dealing with the trash issue the right way; every time I visit this colorful town, I see clean streets!


Today more than ever we need to cultivate the habits of hygiene, cleanliness and preserve our health and the health of the Planet.

The effects of the trash issue and pollution in El Salvador.

If we don’t do something about the trash issue, the pollution in El Salvador will continue to grow and will affect the entire country even more.

These are some of the primary consequences of the trash problem that we already have and could, in theory, get worse over time.

Contaminated rivers.

As of today, a large percentage of rivers in El Salvador are already contaminated; this is a scary fact because many Salvadorans use water from rivers to bathe, wash clothes, and prepare food. Contaminated rivers are a massive problem for Salvadorans, especially for those in rural areas of the country.

Trash polluted lakes.

The trash in lakes is another problem facing El Salvador, especially plastic. Plastic trash such as bottles and bags do not dissolve; therefore, they accumulate over time and affect the wildlife in the lake and its surroundings.

Less drinkable water.

Another consequence of trash and pollution is that there is less drinkable water available. This is a problem for the entire country; however, it is worse for the rural population. Most people living in rural areas have no access to running water either in their homes or at public faucets.

More health problems.

Piles of trash on the streets lead to more health problems for communities; this is a problem facing urban communities the most. Garbage in the street is the perfect growing ground for insects and animals that can carry diseases to communities and create more health problems.

The above-mentioned problems or consequences of the trash issue are not the only ones; they are just the most predominant.

Translation: Residents of the Texistepeque avenue of the Altos del Cerro neighborhood in Soyapango say they have not collected solid waste for more than 3 days. They affirm that they are aware of the problems in the municipality but need the garbage to be removed.

How can we help solve the trash problem in El Salvador?

Solving the trash problem to reduce pollution in El Salvador has to be done by the entire community. The following are some ideas of how we can get involve and help solve the issue; some of them might seem simplistic, but they are worth mentioning.

Stop throwing trash on the streets.

By far, this is the first thing that we need to do. A single person is not going to solve this issue; but, if you and I do our part and completely stop throwing trash in the streets, things will get better.

Teach the next generation about trash problems.

We need to make future generations aware of what this problem might do to the environment. This has to start at a young age; if we teach one child that throwing trash in the streets is not correct, and the child stops doing it, that is a win for the environment and the country.

Let’s set an example for younger generations.

To make sure kids know about the trash problem in the country and do something about it, we as adult figures need to set an example for the younger generations. How can we ask them to stop throwing trash on the street if we do it; how can we ask them to care about the environment, if we don’t care about it ourselves.

Recycle as much as possible.

We need to make an effort and recycle as much as possible. I am aware that some municipalities don’t have a recycling system, and that brings me into the next thing to do.

Get involved with the local government.

Get involved with the local government in your municipallity; make sure they are taking the steps necessary to deal with this problem. Two things that each municipality should have is a recycling system and a system for disposing of garbage the right way. Get involved!

Volunteer to clean.

Get involve and volunteer to clean a river, lake, or the beach. There are local organizations that can use your help in collecting garbage from the streets.

The ideas mentioned above can be implemented to help resolve the issue our beautiful country is dealing with. We need to get involved and find a solution to this problem.

Pollution in El Salvador

About pollution in El Salvador.

The pollution in El Salvador, especially the trash issue is a big problem that we need to solve collectively as a society; also, air quality in El Salvador is something that we need to pay attention to as well. We need to leave a better country for our grandchildren.

El Salvador Enviroment