Reduce! Reuse! Recycle! - We hear the mantra every day. We see the ubiquitous symbol for the 3 "R"s everywhere. Our children attend classes and workshops teaching them the importance of recycling and how it benefits our lives and our environment. In an encouraging development, the current municipal administration has implemented a mandatory recycling requirement which must be fulfilled by many business owners in Solidaridad. Applicable businesses which do not comply and cannot provide proof of participation will be fined! As the Municipality of Solidaridad creates approximately 450 tons of garbage every day, the time has come for action. It is obvious that the government recognizes the importance of recycling and is actively creating strategies to make it a part of everyone's daily life.
Some of the schools in the region run their own ongoing recycling programs and this is a huge help to families such as ours. Recycling bins also can be found now at most if not all of the supermarkets and big box stores. Still, without the regular pickup service that many of us were accustomed to in the U.S. and Canada, many people living in Playa del Carmen are unaware or confused about their options for recycling.
As tomorrow is the first "Kilo Verde" collection date for 2013, I thought this would be a good time to remind "Life's a Beach" readers about the opportunities for recycling in and around Playa del Carmen.
Municipal Centro de Acopio - On the first Friday of every month, the Municipality of Solidaridad accepts all recycled items including appliances and batteries at the "centro de acopio" in downtown Playa del Carmen. The collection center is set up in front of the Municipal Plaza and is well marked. Although vehicular traffic has now been prohibited on Av. 20 between Calles 8 and 10, authorities will allow you to pass if you are unloading your monthly recycling.
This is the primary recycling drive for the Municipality of Solidaridad
and the option that accepts the widest range of items. Alternative collection
locations for Solidaridad are arranged monthly and announced in advance of the collection date. In Puerto
Aventuras, you may leave your recyclable items in the "centro de acopio"
skate park. Business owners will obtain a receipt for their contribution
which can be presented to Municipal officials as proof of compliance.
Recyclable items include:
- Plastics (PET) - clear plastics, water bottles, etc.
- Paper - must not have crayon on it or other oily substances
- Cardboard - clean with no food oils or residue
- Tetrapak (milk/juice cartons)
- Old Electronics
- Scrap Metal
- Toner Cartridges
- Aluminum - cans, clean foil, etc.
- Used Cooking Oil - in a sealed container
Kilo Verde - Of the recycling options available to the residents of Playa del Carmen, Kilo Verde is my favorite. An initiative led by the Ayuntamiento de Solidaridad, Kilo Verde was established to promote recycling, environmental care and proper waste management. Kilo Verde encourages residents of the Riviera Maya to properly separate their household waste and, at the same time, contribute to the reforestation and beautification of their own neighborhoods.
This innovative social program began in 2008 and over the past
few years, thanks to some new governmental recycling requirements, has
steadily grown in popularity. Individuals and businesses in Playa del
Carmen are welcomed to the Kilo Verde collection center where they may
exchange their recycling for a lovely indigenous plant or tree. They
have a variety of species available and the plants you can choose from
depend on the amount of refuse you turn in. As long as you turn in at
least one kilo of recyclable items, you can take a plant of your choice.
Kilo Verde does not yet have the ability to accept the range of
products that the other monthly "Centro de Acopio" can. They do take paper, newspapers, magazines, clean cardboard, plastics #1, #2, #4 and #5, cans, glass bottles and jars, and electronics.
Everything should be sorted and will be weighed. This fantastic new
recycling project is really gaining force! It is funded by
the Mexico Environmental Protection Agency and is held in a different
location every month in order to be able to service as may regions of
the city as possible. The center will operate from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. In
order to support the needs of local business people trying to comply
with the local government's new regulations, Kilo Verde is able to
provide receipts valid for proof of participation. These are the dates
and locations for Kilo Verde 2013:
- January 19 Fracc. Guadalupana
- February 16 Fracc. Mision de las Flores
- March 16 Col. Luis Donaldo Colosio
- April 20 Fracc. Villamar II
- May 18 Fracc. Mision del Carmen
- June 15 Domo del Ejido
- July 20 Colonia 28 de Julio
- August 17 Fracc. Villas del Sol
- September 21 Colonia Zazil Ha
- October 19 - Fracc. Balam Tun
- November 16 Fracc. Las Palmas
- December 21 Colonia Nicte Ha
Last year in a Kilo Verde collection in Fracc. Villamar I, 280 regional plants were given out in exchange for 863 kilos of recyclable waste. The exact location of the Kilo Verde collection center in each neighborhood is sometimes announced a few days prior via a flier distributed on Facebook. Generally, if you drive to the area and ask around, someone will know where they have set up. Come early to get the best choice of plants!
Parque la Ceiba - An oasis of calm in the midst of urban sprawl, Parque la Ceiba maintains over 75% of its space as natural green space and has carefully interspersed several classrooms, a recycling education and collection center, an open amphitheatre, restroom facilities and a small café on its grounds. The park designers have also created numerous creative play areas which are placed along paths which wind through this urban jungle.
For Playa residents who do not have access to an ongoing recycling service such as those provided by some of the schools, the recycling collection center at Parque la Ceiba is the best option. Not everyone has the space in their home or apartment to store three weeks' worth of recycling and for them, a trip to la Ceiba once or twice a week is a great option.
The collection center at Parque la Ceiba will accept: certain plastics (PET), paper, newspaper, magazines, cardboard, Tetrapak, batteries, lighters, old electronics, scrap metal, toner cartridges, aluminum, and used cooking oil - in a sealed container.
Not only does Parque la Ceiba operate the most complete ongoing recycling center in Playa del Carmen, they also provide many educational programs for schoolchildren to teach them the three "R"s. Modern compost bins are also set up in this area which utilize the organic remains left over from the café, banana peels left by visiting children, and trimmings and leaves from the trees and bushes in the park. That compost is put to good use as the park maintains an onsite nursery, raising and selling plants native to the region. Residents do well buying these plants because they are the most suited to the area's soil and climate, and grow very well in containers and home gardens. Profits from sales go toward ongoing projects and park maintenance. Even if you don't have any recycling to drop off, the park is well worth a visit.
Parque la Ceiba is located at Avenida 60 and Calle 1 south, just one
block off of Juarez, two blocks west from the carratera 307. The park is
open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. There is generally plenty of
parking on the streets surrounding the park. Admission to Parque la
Ceiba is free.