Recycling comes to the Costa Maya
One of the challenges of running an off-grid Inn is what to do with your garbage, especially your recyclables. There really are no government services here. Our garbage is collected once a week by one of our neighbors dragging a trailer. He just takes the trash to a landfill outside of town. When we first moved down here, we looked into recycling, and found a recycling center in Chetumal which is a 2.5-hour drive away and dropping off your recyclables is a half day ordeal. And we also found out they wouldn’t accept beach plastic, which is what we get mostly.
Fast forward to today and we now have a recycling collection point in Mahahual which is only a 1 hour drive away. They take HDPE (No 2 plastic), PET bottles (no. 1 plastic), other hard plastic, aluminum, and glass. They even take beach plastic as long as it is still flexible. Cassie and Pablo and the Takata Research Center started this operation up last November, and have been working to get more awareness and education into recycling in Mahahual. As more people have heard about their service, they have been growing. They have collection hours from 4:00 to 6:00 pm on Thursdays.
A testament to their outreach, some neighbor kids came by while I was there. They had gone around the whole neighborhood collecting aluminum cans and plastic to sell as recycles. I think they walked away with almost 100 pesos. Not a bad haul for the group of kids.
Their operation is running on a shoestring, They pay out 1.5 Pesos/Kilo for plastic, and 10 pesos/ kilo for aluminum. They do collect glass and they will take it but no-one will buy it so they cannot pay for collection. They have also found a transporter out of Filipe Carillo Puerto that will come pick up the recycles and take them to a facility in Merida, once they have over a ton of materials. They have so far done several tons.
So what does that mean for you if you stay at Acocote Eco Inn? We now separate out our PET bottles and aluminum cans. The collection point is under the stairs. So when you come, if you have any plastic or cans, please put them in there and we will get them to Cassie and Pablo.
Rumor has it that we might get recycle pick up here in Xcalak relatively soon. So check back and we will keep this article updated as things change.