Since 1998 the greater Puerto Viejo area has been on the cutting edge of recycling in Central America. An energetic group of women volunteers scratched and scraped their way to make recycling a reality for the developing community. After decades of support from the progressive Talamanca region the non-profit association known as ReciCaribe (the Caribbean Recycling Association) is now led by the Biological Corridor of Talamanca and the Caribbean (CBTC) and a new and excited board of directors. ReciCaribe announces that Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID) and its massive bi-national sustainable development project for the Sixaola River Valley has awarded ReciCaribe a large grant. Of the more than 90 sustainable development projects proposed to BID in March, CBTC’s was the fourth to be accepted.
With the grant money from this program CBTC plans to purchase two new trucks to pick up recycling from local businesses and families, receptacles for businesses to collect their recycling, and new machinery to process these materials.They will also promote educational programs and make the association at long last profitable! According to Mauricio, ReciCaribe’s treasurer, they will be working closely with another well respected neighbor long working to make solid waste into practical items, Producol.
Since 1998 ReciCaribe has provided the service of collecting recyclable materials (aluminum, clean glass, and rinsed out #1 and #2 plastics) for businesses and homes from Manzanillo to Puerto Viejo, through Black Beach, Hone Creek and up to Cahuita, with more recent service to BriBri, Gandoca, Sixaola, and Valle de Estrella. It has been held together by the energy of a few local volunteers, donations from local businesses and friends, and grants from international groups such as Fundecooperación and Avena.
ReciCaribe services more than 300 businesses involved in eco-tourism such as hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, homes, schools, public institutions, and protected areas. It is a non-profit association that could not pay for its staff, transportation, and maintenance of the recycling center without support to of the community. At this time the income generated from the sale of the recyclable materials collected is not enough to cover costs; the community must participate in order to keep the service going. Last week the truck broke down again. Without the financial support of local businesses the truck couldn’t have been repaired.
This week is Semana Santa when lots of recyclables are being generated. After the grant comes through ReciCaribe will be one step closer to becoming a self-sustaining businesses, but that money isn’t expected until June or July and even after it comes through, local businesses will be asked to financially support recycling in Talamanca, just as they pay a small fee for garbage pick up.
The main goal of ReciCaribe is reduce contamination in Talamanca, to keep recyclable materials out of the landfill. More than 100 tons of recyclable material are kept out of Talamanca’s antiquated open pit landfill each year. The other goal of educating local youth about the importance of managing their consumption intelligently can only be reached when ReciCaribe can maintain its collection service sustainably through collecting more materials.
Mauricio is the Treasurer:
or you can call the Biological Corridor:
There is a partial list of ReciCaribe supporters at http://www.recicaribe.org/usuarios.
Donations to the Biological Corridor’s Bank account with specification to go to ReciCaribe in Banco Nacional account number: