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#441402 - 06/25/12 10:28 PM Plastic Recycling Program
elbert Offline
I've just returned from a three week stay on the little Caribbean island of Utila.
Friendly people involved in the tourism industry and many similarities with our Caribbean island of Ambergris.
I found it humors that they complained about the same things we complain about...except for one, plastic litter on the beaches and in town, there just wasn't any! The place stood out among many other islands like ourselves in that it was amazingly clean and free of plastic litter.
I spent the time to investigate. Here is a little photo essay, with the hope to spark some ideas.







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#441403 - 06/25/12 10:50 PM Re: Plastic Recycling Program [Re: elbert]
Amanda Syme Offline
They crush the plastic, then where does it get shipped to?

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#441404 - 06/25/12 10:56 PM Re: Plastic Recycling Program [Re: elbert]
elbert Offline
Its sold on the mainland to a recycling factory.
This is not a charity, money makes it work. Money is paid to hotels and restaurants for what is collected by the van and money is paid to individuals that collect and turn in to the plant, then money is paid to the company from the recycling plant.
Its a business.
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#441405 - 06/25/12 10:56 PM Re: Plastic Recycling Program [Re: elbert]
pamkillen Offline
I think the chinese buy it but Guatemala also buys it. The machine is the first step followed by a huge education camapign. They also buy bags of plastics from people who collect so it is great way for someone to make some extra cash. There are no plastics littering the beaches or streets in Utila......none. It take one full time employee to operate.

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#441408 - 06/25/12 11:06 PM Re: Plastic Recycling Program [Re: elbert]
Nick Barton Offline
Sounds great but I guess there is a fairly high up-front capital cost for the machinery?

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#441409 - 06/25/12 11:12 PM Re: Plastic Recycling Program [Re: elbert]
elbert Offline
Just one machine in a simple building operated by one person.
I'm sure the compactor cost a bit, like any business it would require some start up.
Here is a shot of the Ambergris Caye site inspectors interviewing Albert!
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#441410 - 06/25/12 11:20 PM Re: Plastic Recycling Program [Re: elbert]
elbert Offline
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#441411 - 06/25/12 11:23 PM Re: Plastic Recycling Program [Re: elbert]
SP Daily Offline
Some years ago Barry installed a machine to crush and compact plastic bottles from Crystal and Fanta/Coke. He then offered a bounty on them. I never heard any more about it.
Anyone know what happened to that program?

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#441412 - 06/25/12 11:39 PM Re: Plastic Recycling Program [Re: elbert]
elbert Offline

That would work in part because most societys have an element that would collect for the little bit of money it will get them.
This Utila program has that aspect but more comes from the collection from the hotels and restaurants with the pickup from containers provided them and then the streets are all equipped with containers for plastics like the photo above. The van is the pick up van , similar to a garbage collection route.
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#441414 - 06/26/12 12:12 AM Re: Plastic Recycling Program [Re: elbert]
Amanda Syme Offline
Elbert, there are already groups at the dump that collect plastic bottles, bundle it and send it to the mainland. I see entire truck loads every week.

I guess the trick now is to actually set up a central location for these folks to pick the bottle up at - then they wouldn't have to spend so much time at the dump.

I know if the UK we have to remove the plastic tops and separate the clear plastic from the green and brown plastics.

We are overwhelmed with the plastic bags of water too.

The water company does take back the empties. And I send back the coke and fanta bottles too.

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