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Posted by Dave Collins on February 4, 2010, 6:01 pm

I would like to take a moment to update folks on what is happening, or rather not happening, with the plastic recycling program, and make a few suggestions.

First off I would like to remind everyone that under new state legislation--NORMA 077--passed by the Secretary of the Environment for Sustainable Development (SEMADES) last year, it is the responsibility of every municipality in the state of Jalisco to provide a solid waste service to its communities whereby inorganic, organic, and sanitary items are separated and recycled. Tierralegre AC, the nonprofit organization I founded, which initiated the recycling program in La Manzanilla in 2005 used to handle all the logistics and management of the program. But that role was officially taken over by the municipality of La Huerta last year. Now, Tierralegre serves as a volunteer consulting organization to the municipality. That being said, I still believe that the plastic recycling program is a very worthy program, and Dean, Larry myself and most recently Vicky, continue to dedicate our voluntary time to help make it work.


1. Tierralegre met with Gabriela Martínez, our new Ecological Representative to La Huerta, last week to discuss the ongoing problem of inconsistency in pick-up of the plastics and strategies for getting the program back on track--e.g., creating a recycling center and securing a consistent buyer, etc. Tierralegre created a map illustrating where all the containers are found in town and provided this map to Gaby and to our new Delegado. We were promised that all the plastics would be picked up before the fiestas started on Friday. I am also waiting to hear back from Gaby as to when we will meet directly with the new Presidente Municipal of La Huerta to put the pressure on for them to finally come clear the ground for the recycling center, which we have obtained thanks to Maestro Rubén and his father who have officially donated the land.

There was supposed to be an announcement from Gaby regarding an organized community clean-up day as well. I´m still giving that announcement the benefit of the doubt and waiting.

2. Two days ago I phoned the Director of Ecology for the Municipality of Cihuatlán to see if he may be able to help us with collection of the plastics. He told me that they are having the same problem--that they don´t have a buyer either. The financial crisis has been hell on recycling programs all around the world due to the drop in demand for plastics.

3. I met with our new Delegado today to discuss the issue and the latest emergence is that the municipal collectors from La Huerta will be here on Monday to do a pick up. I´m trying to put together a meeting with Tierralegre, La Huerta collectors, the Delegado, and Gaby for Monday in order to take advantage of the collectors actually being here. Of course, I can´t force anyone to show up; I can only try.

To all those who have made constructive comments, and above all to all who have volunteered their time, I thank you, and I will be bringing your comments to the table in the upcoming meetings with government officials. I will update you on those meetings after they occur, and then perhaps we (the community) can come up with some new strategies for making sure that at least the plastic recycling program resumes a functioning status.

To those who simply criticize the state of things on this forum, why not follow up by going directly to Gaby or our new Delegado and let them know you´re not happy? Your voice then could be heard by those directly in power whose job it is to provide the service.


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