Ayapel garbage-free. Recycling & swamp protection

by Corporacion Para El Desarrollo Integral De La Cienaga Ayapel
Ayapel garbage-free. Recycling & swamp protection
Ayapel garbage-free. Recycling & swamp protection
Ayapel garbage-free. Recycling & swamp protection
Ayapel garbage-free. Recycling & swamp protection
Ayapel garbage-free. Recycling & swamp protection
Ayapel garbage-free. Recycling & swamp protection
Ayapel garbage-free. Recycling & swamp protection
Ayapel garbage-free. Recycling & swamp protection
Ayapel garbage-free. Recycling & swamp protection
Ayapel garbage-free. Recycling & swamp protection
Ayapel garbage-free. Recycling & swamp protection
Ayapel garbage-free. Recycling & swamp protection
Ayapel garbage-free. Recycling & swamp protection
Ayapel garbage-free. Recycling & swamp protection

During the first 5 months of the year 2021 we have collected 4.7 TON of PET and 0.6 TON of other materials such as cardboard.

This was done thank to a strategy of “exchanges” or exchanges of donations collected by CorpoAyapel, for bottles or recyclable material delivered by the community.

This new approach that began at the end of 2020 has allowed us a more active participation of the community accompanied by a great commitment and a sense of belonging.

In addition to this, CorpoAyapel has carried out several days of Cleaning of public and important areas for the community such as the Parque de la Luz. These days are held with the collaboration of the community.

The money from the sale of PET after compacting it, is reinvested in the community. 

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Ayapel is one of the most important wetlands in Colombia but it is also one of the most threatened and at risk.  

Since 2019, CorpoAyapel has led a PET recycling project and in the last months we explored a totally different approach to recycling and to community engagement, which has proven to be highly successful. 

We started what we called in Spanish a “cambiatón", which means like a community exchange. 

 CorpoAyapel collected donations of clothes, kitchen supplies, sports equipment and other things that are valuable for the community. To each item, we put a price represented in plastic bottles. So for example, a T-Shirt costs 30 plastic bottles, a pair of shoes, 100 plastic bottles.  

The community has supported the collection of plastic bottles, creating cultureawareness about the issue and the same time they support the cleaning the wetland and they obtain products that they needThis initiative, added to others of CorpoAyapel, contributes to the sustainability of the ecosystem and the communities. 

The plastic bottles are compacted by CorpoAyapel's staff in a small plant that we have and then are sold, which help us generate some income for community activities. 

Our goal is to recycleeach month, 1 TON of plastic bottles 

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The project started by buying, compacting and recycling only PET (plastic bottles) which generates a significant impact to reduce the amount of garbage in the wetland.

Since the beginning of the project, more than 6 tons of PET have been sent to Ekored in Medellín. They are later converted into synthetic micro-fibers to produce clothes.

Additionally, solid waste is purchased from 11 recyclers in the municipality of Ayapel, which boosts the local economy.

As of July, cardboard, plastic bags and aluminum, tetra pack, copper and bronze have also been purchased in order to increase recycling and reduce the impact of waste on the swamp.

Additionally, educational institutions are accompanied in talks on environmental education:
• Carlos Adolfo Urueta National School.
• María Montessori School.
• Our Lady of Rosario Educational Institution (Palotal - Rural).
• El Cedro educational institution. (Rural)

All your contributions are essential to achieve the dream of a garbage-free Ayapel.


El proyecto empezó comprando, compactando y reciclando solo PET (botellas de plástico) lo cual genera un impacto significativo para reducir la cantidad de basura en la ciénaga.

Desde el inicio del proyecto, se han enviado más de 6 toneladas de PET a Ekored en Medellín. Posteriomente, este PET se procesa y se utiliza para crear micro-fibra sintética para confeccionar ropa.

Adicionalmente, se le compran los residuos sólidos a 11 recicladores del municipio de Ayapel lo cual dinamiza la economía local.

A partir de julio se empezó a comprar cartón, bolsas plásticas y también se comprará aluminio, tetra pack, cobre y bronce con el fin de aumentar el reciclaje y disminuir el impacto de los residuos en la ciénaga. 

Adicionalmente, se realiza acompañamiento a instituciones educativas en charlas de educación ambiental:

  • Colegio nacional Carlos Adolfo Urueta.
  • Colegio María Montessori.
  • Institución Educativa nuestra señora del Rosario (Palotal – Rural).
  • Institución educativa el cedro. (Rural)

Todos sus aportes son fundamentales para poder lograr el sueño de un Ayapel libre de basuras.

Education in Schools (pre-Covid)
Education in Schools (pre-Covid)
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Our waste plant needs your help

Our project to recycle PET bottles was working quite well. We were recycling 2 tons of PET bottles thanks to your support. Material that was sold to produce new bottles and clothing. Unfortunately with the current situation, schools and shops closed and the recyclers who lived from this project were left without support. Help us so that we can support the recyclers, keep the waste plant open and ensure that once this is over we can resume our actions to protect the planet. We are still working and recycling 500 kg per month but we need your help in this moment.


Nuestra planta de residuos necesita tu ayuda

Nuestro proyecto de reciclaje  de botellas PET venía funcionando bastante bien, y estabamos reciclando 2 toneladas de botellas PET gracias a tu apoyo. Material que era vendido para producir nuevas botellas y prendas de vestir. Desafortunádamente con la situación actual, los colegios y el comercio cerraron y los recicladores que vivían de esta proyecto se quedaron sin producto para vender. Ayúdanos para que podamos apoyar a los recicladores, conservar la planta de residuos abierta y lograr que una vez termine esta situación podamos retomar nuestras acciones para proteger el planeta. Necesitamos tu apoyo.


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We are really happy because with the support of many people we could start the operation of our PET compactor plant in Ayapel.

We managed to structure a work team responsible for the collection, mobilization and compaction of PET bottles. The first month we managed to compact 2 tons and we want to reach 3 tons in the coming months.

We still need your support to be able to advance in infrastructure and endowment issues, to be able to reach more Ayapel homes and ensure the sustainability of the project.

You can support us from 10 dollars. We still need 11,759 dollars to reach the goal. Tell a friend or family member to support us and we can continue to recover the Ayapel swamp: The second most important swamp in the country.


Estamos felices porque con el apoyo de muchas personas pusimos en operación la planta compactadora de PET en Ayapel. Después de esto logramos estructurar un equipo de trabajo encargado del acopio, la movilización y la compactación de las botellas PET. El primer mes logramos compactar 2 toneladas y queremos llegar a 3 toneladas en los próximos meses. 

Aun requerimos de su apoyo para poder avanzar en temas de infraestructura y dotación, para poder llegar a más hogares de Ayapel y asegurar la sosteniblidad del proyecto.

Nos puedes apoyar desde 10 dolares. Nos faltan 11.759 dolares para alcanzar la meta. Cúentale a un amigo o un familiar para que nos apoye y podamos seguir recuperando la ciénaga de Ayapel. La segunda ciénaga más importante del pais.

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Organization Information

Corporacion Para El Desarrollo Integral De La Cienaga Ayapel

Location: Medellin, Ant - Colombia
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Corpoayapel
Project Leader:
Alejandra Serna
Medellin , Antioquia Colombia
$3,902 raised of $14,000 goal
58 donations
$10,098 to go
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