Recycling Coordinator

(CONTACT EMAIL: [email protected] )

Neil Lamb

New Recycling  Yard Location

In the past 6 months we have had to vacate our old recycling yard location on Encino!

We would like to thank El Eden Nursery for allowing us to use a portion of their property for our Recycling Yard for the past 14 years!

Thank you David Velasco, owner of El Eden Nursery for all your help and support for the Amigos de Bucerias Recycling Program! Gracias!

The location of our new Recycling Yard is on Calle Hereida, 2 1/2 blocks in from Estaciones! So if you are traveling up Estaciones from Highway 200, go past California Pizza  location proceeding eastward on Estaciones, turn left onto Calle Hereida which is the last left before getting to MiniSuper Leo and El Paraiso! Proceed straight up  Calle Hereida 2 1/2 blocks and the Recycling Yard is on the left!

Recycling Fundraiser 

The Amigos de Bucerias Recycling program started a fund raising campaign to obtain a tow vehicle for our recycling program!

In April 2020 we have purchased  a 2016 4 door pickup truck, 4 cylinder, standard transmission, with AC from Gecko Car Rental. Gecko Car Rental supported us by giving us a good deal! In the future we will be holding fund raiser events to fully pay off our purchase!

We will be holding some fund raising events starting next high season! If your interested in donating to this cause before then you can go to the Amigos de Bucerias website and click on the donate button for Recycling and ear mark your donation to the vehicle fund! If you have any questions please contact me via email at [email protected]

 Recycling Bags 

These are the bags we need to be donated to help our recycling efforts around Bucerias. You can either donate cash, give through our donate button or provide the bags at our monthly meetings. These bags can be purchased at either Costco or laComer!

Summer Team:

Dick Pickup, Taylor Mac, Ross Cable, Glynda & Tom Ballinger, Barry Munro, Rick Kranefuss, Wayne Elliott, Jim Haklin, Dave Smith, Pam Kellar, Burney Frahm, Jane Beytagh and maybe YOU? More volunteers needed!

Winter Team:

Dick Pickup, Dave Smith, Jim Haklin, Brian Baizley, Neil Lamb, Red McKenzie, Brian Henry, Rob Spence, Bernie Brennan, Wayne Elliott, Rick Kranefuss, Rick Bigland, Grant McKinlay – we could always do with more !

Recycling Program Totals:

All the plastic collected including bags, hard plastic, loose plastic and 20 L jugs the totals are:

30,060 kg

29,920 kg

36,810 kg


37,810 kg


27,645 kg


February 2018

Fokke, Rocko, Barry (instructor), Red, Mark, Michael, Jim, Dave, Rob, Neil,  and Brian – Picture taker

November  2017

Left to right – Neil, Brian, Michael, Jim, Tyler, Mike, Rob, Red, Fokke and Barry – instructor/ picture taker

February 2017

(Lft to Rht) Red McKenzie, Dennis Henderson (kneeling), Rob Spence, Dave Smith, Rocko Lee, Neil Lamb (kneeling), Tim Mitchell, Brian Baizley

(Lft to Rht) Neil Lamb, Dennis Henderson (kneeling), Barry Munro (instructor), Red McKenzie, Rob Spence, Tim Mitchell, Rocko Lee, Dave Smith


The following  items CAN be accepted for recycling locally:

Plastic Water bottles

Plastic Soda bottles

Plastic Milk jugs

Plastic Bleach bottles

Plastic Household cleaning containers (Fabuloso, fabric softener etc) ONLY if they have #1 or #2 on the bottom in the recycling triangular logo

Containers of Yakult, yoghurt, cream etc – ONLY if they have  #1 or #2 on the bottom in the recycling triangular logo

Motor oil containers

Broken patio furniture

Plastic Paint buckets and similar and crates.

PLUS: CANS:  All drink cans, beer or soda.  All food cans, including animal food  – please rinse.

The following items CANNOT be accepted for recycling at this time:

Bottles that have been used for OJ, juice, electrolyte.

Containers used for yakult, yoghurt, cream, butter if they do not have #1 or  #2 in the recycling triangular logo.

Mayo, ketchup, mustard.

Plastic cups, plates and cutlery.  Food packaging containers, cake boxes, egg boxes, wrapping, bags.

Water 5 gallon containers (“garafons”).

Hoses.  Parts from equipment (i.e. fans, washing machines etc.)


ALL styrofoam

Paper &  cardboard

If in doubt, the rule of thumb is just follow what CAN be accepted and put the rest in the trash.  Thank you!

Here’s a history of our Bucerias Recycling:

Recycling first started under the leadership of Barry Munro and Jerry Knapp back in October 2006 and in the 5 years that they organized this, they and their team of volunteers collected in 162,000 kilos of plastic… that’s 162 tons!    Headquarters was land owned by and adjoining to El Eden nursery, on Encino, which Sr David Velasco has kindly allowed us to use free of charge – and still does.  Collecting from the containers was only a fraction of the task, the main work was the sorting of the plastic, sifting thru the piles, removing the discarded Styrofoam containers complete with leftovers, the soiled diapers, removing bottle lids, and then the plastic milk jugs erupted their rancid contents.  They handed over this worthwhile project to Peace in April 2012, and they developed it as an Action for Food program from Pta Mita to Mezcales.

However, Peace declared themselves bankrupt as of 01 April 2013, just before Easter.  They were unable to continue with this or their other projects.  After emergency meetings with Amigos de La Cruz, and following upon membership’s approval at our breakfast meeting on 06 April, we decided to take back the recycling for Bucerias, and Amigos in La Cruz were going to do the same for their town.

Barry drove around Bucerias collecting in all the existing recycling baskets and taking them back to our yard where they could be repaired or “cannibalized” for parts.  We had 150 updated waterproof signs printed:

“Recicladores de Bucerias” using the original logo and advising: “Sólo botellas de plástico, botes de aluminio y latas. No glass/No Vidrio, No Basura/No trash”.

These signs were generously paid for by Don Thompson who was in a hospice fading away from lung cancer.

We publicized that bins could be sponsored not just by people in business but also by private individuals, and the community stepped forward and paid 300 pesos per basket, which included their own personalised sign.  Within one week we had enough money to purchase the materials necessary from which we were able to create 40 new baskets!

We started putting the baskets back out on the streets on Monday 22 April 2013 – a very auspicious date as it was officially Earth Day.  That was by pure coincidence but certainly a good sign for us.  And as the team reinstated the baskets, people of all nationalities applauded!  Cheered! A tránsito officer waved us down – not to admonish but to praise.  And as we do our rounds, folks are still appreciative, thanking us for doing this – and so many of the Nationals are asking to “have my basket back” and indicate which street.  They are as keen as we are to keep the plastic off the streets, off the beaches, out of the ocean, out of the landfill.

We contacted ESun Energy (solar panels based just before Mezcales) for help.  They totally approved of this environmental action and promptly paid for materials for a further 40 baskets!  And saved us money by paying separately for their signs.

recycling-goods-sortedWe have divided Bucerias up into two zones.  We collect the Ocean side of the highway on Mondays and the inland side on Thursdays. That’s two different drivers towing the trailer, each accompanied by 2 riders.  We kept this going with reduced numbers – 6 of us! – throughout the summer.  As snowbirds returned our summer team have been able to stand down.   The riders put black sacks on the baskets and empty the contents into them, and then put them into the trailer.  Back at the yard they unload the sacks.  We not do wholesale sorting any more, although some volunteers like to do a little, and empty the contents into the  “Jumbos” – cubic meter “laundry bags”.   There is a team of 15 employees at the recycling depot to do the final sorting.  When they take from our yard they empty the black sacks into their 42 ft long trailer – and we re-use the black sacks as much as we can.

Some of the baskets have walked, sometimes only a few yards, but sometimes disappeared all together, which is really dispiriting.  And unfortunately some of the baskets are being used to collect rubbish, despite the sign on the basket, but we reason that at least the rubbish is not rolling around on the streets.    In fact in recent months there is less rubbish being put into them, which is encouraging. The obvious answer is to put out more rubbish bins – and we have started doing that. They also disappear!  But the money raised from recycling is being ploughed back into the provision of both recycling baskets and blue rubbish bins – we are modifying these to be half size-  and have both at all the major bus stops.

So, we had “been in business” exactly one month when on 21 May Francisco and helper came to take away our plastic. They came with a metal mesh cage type trailer that was approximately 42 ft long, and over 7 ft high.  Francisco put a plank on top of the cage and stood on it.   It takes 2 of us “girls” just to haul a Jumbo across the ground into place, but young “Popeye” hauled a jumbo onto the truck, climbed up and … threw it up to Francisco!  Who – even more amazing – caught it without falling off!  And upended the contents into the trailer.  And so it went on – for 31 bags!  The top photo shows him on top of the trailer.

A couple of days later I went out to their plant – which is kept incredibly clean and tidy –  to learn that in our first month we had collected 592 kilos of plastic! That’s 1,302 lbs – just over half a ton!  And you know how light plastic is!  Needless to say we feel pretty pleased with ourselves!

As of 10 January 2014 apart from whatever other rubbish has been collected by us, we have collected a nett weight of 6,922 kilos of plastic.

We desperately need volunteers! The do morning shifts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and a shift starts at 8 am and are all done by about 11.00. If you want to volunteer we are only asking you to one shift a week! If you can help please: Contact Us