By Fiona Hurrell, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In the aftermath of the New Year’s Eve celebrations on Copacabana beach, an epic clean up commenced, collecting 370 tons of waste, a 25 percent increase compared to last year. A statement from Comlurb, the city waste removal service, reported they collected 645 tons of garbage across Rio, with 3,800 workers between 6AM and 10AM Sunday, January 1st.

Over 645 tons of garbage was collected in Rio after New Year's Eve, Rio de Janeiro,  Brazil News
Over 645 tons of garbage was collected in Rio after New Year's Eve, photo Divulgação/Comlurb.

It appears that a number of people ignored requests from authorities to bring plastic bags and dispose of their own trash at the main Réveillon party in Copacabana.

Comlurb stated they placed 1,000 of the orange plastic garbage containers along Copacabana beach, yet many claimed that bins were scarce and mostly full. The following morning the cleaning in Copacabana was performed along Avenida Atlântica by 1,300 workers, with the support of over 100 vehicles.

Yet the Minister for Public Services and Conservation, Carlos Osorio, was alarmed at the number of broken Glass bottles found during the cleanup which were potentially dangerous to the revelers.

His fear was justified by the fact that medics on duty at Copacabana reported treating a high number of injuries to peoples’ feet and legs, resulting from broken glass.

Further problems arose in the early hours when heavy rain fall, combined with the rising tide, caused the sea to become littered with bottles, cans and plastics.

Elsewhere during the festivities, the Secretaria Especial da Ordem Pública (SEOP) (special secretariat for public order) were on a mission to crack down on unregistered vendors by confiscating their merchandise. The SEOP also towed 202 vehicles which were illegally parked in Copacabana.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Update is a new feature we are offering to help keep you up-to-date with major news as it happens.

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