In the last few years the aim of setting up a recycling centre in Punta Allen, a fishing village situated within the UNESCO Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, has become, little by little, a reality, achieved thanks to all the donors and volunteers (both local and foreigners). The recycling center started to be built in December 2011, as it was winter, it got dark around 5pm therefore, electric wires and lamps were purchased and installed to aid the labourers to continue working after daylight. The land was cleaned up and the workers started building the foundations, however, as it is a remote town, the transportation of the material increased the cost of the project slowing down the construction. After a lot of effort, the grounding and columns have been built, which will support the roof and walls (built out of plastic bottles).
This project also entitles daily collection of compost; the purchase of a hose to water the compost area greatly eased the job as it used to be carried in buckets a couple of hundred meters. Also 10 new containers were built to place around town as more people wanted to join the programme. Likewise, we had been using a tricycle donated by the municipality, however, due to the weight of the daily recycling the tires were damaged. Donations to this project helped us to purchase new tires specially designed to hold up to a ton so they can carry their waste and plastics around easily. As the tricycle now works much more efficiently larger quantities can be managed and staff are not injuring themselves while struggling with flat tires.
A lot of work and economic resources are still needed to complete the center and have it working at a 100%. The roof and walls are pending to be built; a fence to prevent strangers trespassing, lighting and a bathroom for the workers are part of the second stage of the construction, which aims to raise another 10,000 USD to complete construction and ensure its continued use by the local community, with the overall aim of reducing waste and pollution of the Bio-sphere Reserve in which they live.
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