• Recycling

Recycling Program

Mahahual is beautiful and surrounded by nature. Yet, human presence and the polluted open ocean have a big impact on this once pristine site. Plastic and other garbage are coming from the land and from the sea, it pollutes the ocean, the beaches, the mangroves and the town. We have teamed up with people of the community to find a solution to this unfortunate problem. We are installing containers and buying plastic and aluminum from people in the community, creating jobs and cleaning the environment. The project will eventually expand to glass, hazardous waste and organic waste management.

As part of a solution to Mahahual’s waste management issues and their consequences for human health, biodiversity and coastal ecosystems, our research center started a local recycling program. We consider recycling to be a common practice in many countries, and think Mahahual should not lag behind but on the contrary, should be a pioneer in the field and an example for any city that calls itself ecotouristic.

Our strategy is to buy recyclable material, therefore creating an economic incentive for waste sorting and recycling. The obtained materials are later sold to a processing center. The generated income is reinvested into the project, which makes the program economically viable and allows us to constantly grow our processing capacity.

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The project was started by obtaining and preparing a terrain in the “55th” urbanization, where the material is accumulated and sold. We also opened a recovery point at the local Bachilleres school. We work with the local population, which guides us and informs us of their own perspectives on the local situation. This allows us to develop appropriate long and medium term strategies.

So far, our recycling program has collected and sold more than three tons of recyclable material. A lot of people bring us not only their personal domestic recyclables, but have also started to clean up the streets to collect a greater quantity of material. The local population is informed about our program thanks to a varied approach like our participation in community events, social network messages, leaflet distribution, among others. We work with local schools as well, which have started to practice recycling school-wide. We will soon start working with local business, particularly hotels and restaurants, to promote waste sorting and recycling.

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