FROM RUBBISH DUMP TO GARDEN. AN EXAMPLE OF SUSTAINABILITY
The Palmetum is located on the south coast of the city, on land claimed from the sea. Its name, “The Lazaretto”, bears testimony to the fact that people with contagious diseases were originally housed here; later it was home to various industrial facilities. The hill, with a surface area of 12 hectares and a height of 40m, was formed by the disposal of Santa Cruz’s municipal waste up until 1983, when it was closed.
As the city grew, it became necessary to close the rubbish tip. Proximity to this inhospitable place, where fermenting waste released polluting gases and fumes, became a problem that was extremely tricky to resolve.
At the beginning of the 90s, the town council decided to transform this mountain of waste. Manuel Caballero’s proposal, with the approval of the artist César Manrique, led to technical experts putting their minds together to plan the conversion of this wasteland to a botanical garden for recreation and culture, which would be a welcome asset for the city of Santa Cruz.