The Recycling Truck of Antigua Guatemala

The Recycling Truck of Antigua Guatemala

Recycling the recycling truck of La Antigua Guatemala. Keep reading and I promise the previous sentence will make sense.

My dear green friend Kara Andrade had this to say about recycling in La Antigua Guatemala:

For weeks I’ve been asking different people about recycling centers, pickup services, anything to stop the madness of the trash we’ve been generating in our house for the past two months. Everyone’s says “Oh yeah, La Antigua recycles.” or “Have you tried that place in Ciudad Vieja?” “The capital has a few places, go there.” All so vague and unhelpful that it made me question whether  it was sheer urban legend.

… I looked in the yellow pages, I tweeted, I asked other “greensters,” but nothing satiated my need for convenience, conservation and practicality.  So I spent a few hours on Facebook looking for Facebook groups with the keyword “Guatemala” in them and poured through 500 pages until I found these folks:

Guatemala Green: How it Works

We called and spoke to Pedro Morales  Tel: 5104 8447 (there’s also an English speaker – Becky Harris (English Speaking)  Tel: 5778 4009) and scheduled a regular pick-up from our home on Tuesdays. We neede  to improve our sorting/storing methodology, per their requirements, but an hour of sorting, washing out and rearranging everything did the trick. We got some neighbors in on it and they brought their recyclables over. (Continue reading… It’s worth every penny)

Of course, being a wholehearted greenster, Kara Andrade went the extra mile and organized a colonia recycling program in her neighborhood and even created two flyers; Recycling at El Calvario in English and Reciclaje en El Calvario. Below her one paragraph summary about the recycling program at her colonia (residential neighborhood):

What is Guatemala Green Recycling?
Guatemala Green is a recycling program that picks up already sorted materials for recycling in the La Antigua area. The centre is based in “El Tigre” next to Mastil on the road out of La Antigua towards Ciudad Vieja.

¿Que es Guatemala Green Recycling?
Guatemala Green es un programa de reciclaje que recoge los materials que ya están ordenados para el reciclaje en la zona de La Antigua. El centro se basa en “El Tigre” junto al Mástil en la carretera de La Antigua a Ciudad Vieja.

What my green thumb friend Kara Andrade didn’t mention was the fact that the vehicle used for the recycling pick up belongs to Biopersa, Antigua’s Biodiesel Project. Biopersa and Guatemala Green joined their resources to create the first viable recycling program in Antigua Guatemala. The biodiesel truck main purpose is to pick up restaurants’ burnt oil and other liquid fats which are then converted into biodiesel. The biodiesel truck, of course, runs on biodiesel and now is used for the recycling program as well.

That’s what I call 100% ecological recycling program!

I’m inspired by people like Kara Andrade from HablaGuate and Alejandro del Valle, the Quixote behind the Antigua’s Biodiesel Project and their team members. When I grow up, I want to be like them! 😉

How does it work the recycling program where you live?

© 2010 – 2016, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.

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  • Eric

    Pues…where I live, a truck will come by the street every Monday morning. Recyclables are washed (rinsed) and sorted, more or less,placed in large blue bins (or if you don’t have a bin from the city, a paper bag will do)out by the edge of the street, and the fine recycling folks are SUPPOSED to pick it all up for sorting at our city recycling center. Unfortunately, when our recycling crew is in a hurry, they drop most of the materials on the ground and do not pick them up. And our trucks are diesel, but not bio-diesel. I hope the city follows Guatemala Green’s example…soon!

  • Reginald Whibbey

    Were we will we have to sort the paper, metal, plastic, glass and take it to the recycle center. The recycle centers are run by the county and the locals keep america beautiful.

  • Stephanie

    Our program is pretty typical in the USA: curbside collection 1x/week. We don’t have to do much separating — all the glass and plastics go in one bin; the paper goes in a paper bag; the cardboard gets cut up and bound together with twine. We can recycle almost all types of plastic and paper. It’s easy and works well for us.

    Where we live the municipalities do NOT take care of recycling or trash pick-up. As a homeowner we have to contract with one of about three companies that provide the service. This is the only place I have lived that is like this. It took me a while to get used to the fact that some of my neighbors have pick-up on a day different than we do.

  • We have a tiny recycling station nearby for paper and glass. For other materials there’s a bigger station a few kilometres away.

  • Alexandra

    Great series of posts on recycling in Guate! That makes me really happy!
    In the US, I worked for some years for the Environmental Services department in a NC County. That was a county big in recycling, lots of different programs, there was curbside pickup of commingled material, cardboard pickup, recycling centers for other types of material such as hazardous waste (paint, oil, things like that), tires, construction material, electronic material, phonebooks (those are my sworn off enemies!), there was even a program for collection of oyster shells from restaurants to take them back to provide a habitat for new oysters!
    Then I moved to Ohio and that was a different story, the service wasn’t operated by the local municipality, but was a private service, only about 3 houses in my block had recycling bins, very disappointing. I don’t know if it’s because there is more space in the Midwest, they maybe don’t see the importance of recycling, because they have plenty of space to build more landfills and they don’t see it as a big problem. But now I’m back on the East coast, and again, recycling is more promoted here.

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