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Puerto Rico Contractor Begins Recycling Excess Water Bottles

Release date: 
December 6, 2018
Release Number: 

GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico—A local contractor has begun safely disposing 20 million liters of surplus water that FEMA brought to Puerto Rico in response to the devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria.


FEMA had purchased the water as part of its commodity distribution operation and later determined the needs of the island’s municipalities were being met after more than 4 million bottles of water were distributed.


The contract for the disposal of the water was awarded Nov. 20 to a local company for $69,000.

The company’s plans to recycle the water bottles and the wooden pallets were approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


The contractor, which has six months to complete the disposal, has agreed to compact and grind the plastic bottles into 4-by-4 boxes that will be delivered to a plastic recycling facility in Jacksonville, Fla. The contractor will also shred more than 20,000 wooden pallets to sell as mulch.


Pallets of water bottles were delivered in January to the former Roosevelt Roads naval base in Ceiba, saving the federal government millions of dollars in container fees.


FEMA continues to provide maximum support to disaster survivors while also being mindful of its responsibility as stewards of taxpayer dollars.


For more on Puerto Rico’s recovery, visit



Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362) 711/VRS - Video Relay Service). Multilingual operators are available. (Press 2 for Spanish). TTY call 800-462-7585.


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Last Updated: 
December 6, 2018 - 13:27