Recyclers of Bucerias is a not for profit program run totally by volunteers. All of the money generated from recycling is used to improve the lives of the citizens of Bucerias.
Bucerias recycling first started under the leadership of Barry Munro and Jerry Knapp back in October 2006 and in the 5 years that they organised this, they and their team of volunteers collected 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 kindly donated free of charge - and still does. This project was handed over to PEACE in April 2012, who developed it as part of their Action for Food program from Punta Mita to Mezcales.
However, PEACE declared themselves bankrupt as of April 1, 2013, just before Easter. and were unable to continue with this or the other project that impacted on Bucerias, the Spay n Neuter program. Following upon membership's approval, Amigos de Bucerias took back the responsibility for both projects, and teams were formed accordingly.
Barry drove around Bucerias collecting all the existing recycling baskets and took them back to our yard where they were repaired or "cannibalized" for parts. We set a target to put out 150 baskets, and had 150 updated waterproof signs printed, generously paid for by Don Thompson who was in a hospice fading away from lung cancer, which read:
"Recicladores de Bucerias" using the original logo and advising "Sólobotellas de plástico, botes de aluminio y latas. No glass/No Vidrio, No Basura/No trash".
Baskets were made available for sponsorship by individuals or businesses, and within one week we had enough money to purchase the materials necessary from which we created 40 new baskets!
We started putting the baskets back out on the streets on Monday, April 22, 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 bin 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 all the printing costs for their own signs. We have achieved our target and now have a total of 150 baskets out on the streets, with about 15 in reserve.
The plastic we collect is in turn collected from us by the Recycling Company just outside of Bucerias. We gather in so much now that we have to request the truck to come almost every two weeks - the cage type trailer it tows is 40 ft long, 7 ft high and it gets filled to the top!
You know how light plastic is, well in the four months we have been operating we have collected in 3,245 kgs! The money raised is used to maintain and add to our supplies of baskets, and to purchase rubbish bins. Unfortunately both types tend to disappear, despite our various design alterations to render them worthless for anything other than the task in hand.
We welcome anybody's help or donations, and we are always happy to answer questions, especially if you wish to start up your own project. Please contact Veronica "Ronnie" Barker, President of Amigos de Bucerias: (329) 298-0053 or email Ronnie at email@example.com.
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Eleno Ulloa endured ridicule, rejection, drug and alcohol addiction, and two deportations from the United States. Today, he is his family’s breadwinner and, with his recycling business, a sign of hope for many in Nayarit. Read more >>>
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