Here’s a photo of Francisco’s team squeezing the plastic into their big collection trailer. You will recall the first collection from our HQ on Encino was one month to the day of starting and weighed in at 592 kilos. The second collection took place last week, only a further 3 weeks on as we were running out of the big jumbo bags!
This collection, once sorted by the facility, weighed in at – 643 kilos! Yes, this IS working!
Recently one of our snowbirds flew in for a quick visit and she remarked that Bucerias was looking a LOT better!
Some of the team went out to the recycling facility – all visitors are welcome. It’s on the lovely road to Valle, after Los Arroyos Verdes and before Rancho El Pino. Take a dusty right hand turn where you see a horse dressage arena, and follow, it’s not very far – you’ll come to “Hermanos Ossuna” on the right.
This is a HUGE yard and is incredibly clean and tidy! We congratulated Sr Francisco and his father Celestino, who started this only about 6 1/2 years ago. Francisco says how bad the streets of La Cruz, especially, were, indicating they were full of plastic up to a height of 2 feet ! They employ between 15 – 22 people, who are all family men and who get paid, without fail. There are different piles of large plastic jugs; broken sun loungers; broken patio chairs…Under cover of a very high metal roof, here’s their team sorting all the plastic.
Sorting by colour and type, milk bottles are one pile, green bottles another, oil containers, water containers, etc…Some items (large white containers, garafons) cannot be accepted if they have become brittle – the “stamp test” determines their suitability – this is not very technical – yes, the men stamp on the container to find out!
We do a rough sort as we empty our black sacks into the jumbo bags, pulling out the rubbish that should NOT be in there! (Read the sign! NO basura! No rubbish!) From one bin alone we discarded half a pineapple, corn cobs, hardened tacos, half eaten potatoes, chili sauce covered styrofoam plates – look: a whole dinner!
And then there’s the used napkins and worse – the soiled diapers. Gross.
The facility gets a lot of plastic from other places, I don’t know if that’s had a basic sorting or not. Now look more closely at these guys – they are NOT wearing gloves – eeyeww!
Once it’s all sorted it gets a basic hosing down. Some of the plastic is crushed and forms large 3ft cubes, other plastic is fed into one of two conveyors that have large metal cutting drums – like a revolving cheese grater, shredding everything into small squares of about 2 cms. Large items are first of all cut – with a machete (of course). It’s all bagged up and stored in separate piles, awaiting shipping.
Where does it go to? It used to be sent on huge container ships to China but they have enough of their own now, thank you. This caused a big problem for the yard, nowhere to sell the plastic to, but committed to paying their employees. Fortunately there are other places. The green bottles go to Guadalajara where they are soaked in a bleach solution and the labels removed. Other plastic goes to Mexico City, and also to Texas. According to the type of plastic is what it is converted into: irrigation pipes, hose pipes, corrugated roofing, storage containers – and – Tupperware! All the drinks cans that are collected, crushed, cleaned, get reconstituted as – more drinks cans. And the same goes for the food cans.
Running this yard costs a lot of money – all the wages and the overheads. Their CFE electric bill for running the big equipment is 18,000 pesos per MONTH. They were promised financial assistance from the Government with the cost of the CFE, but nothing happened. The latest Government apparently will pay wages if the business is for the good of the community. But nothing has happened. We are asking ESun to put together an estimate for the cost of installing solar energy panels. Francisco realises the long term benefits, but says they won’t have the money to pay for the system as it all goes out in payroll.