Cero Basura BCS Opens Community’s First Comprehensive Glass Collection Center

Cero Basura BCS Opens Community’s First Comprehensive Glass Collection Center

Residents of Todos Santos and El Pescadero love their drink almost as much as they love the great natural beauty around them so it has long been a source of frustration that there was no place in town to repurpose colored glass. Until now. Thanks to the arrival of Omega, a glass collection company based in La Paz, Alianza Cero Basura was able to establish a public glass collection center with Palma Serena, a local regenerative farm. The center accepts all shapes, sizes and colors of clean glass, whole or broken, with the exception of light bulbs.

The glass collection center is part of Palma Serena’s Mercado Orgánico which is open to the public every Friday, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  Live music, beautiful artwork and fantastic organic local produce are other draws for those who like to multitask whilst repurposing their glass! Some of the farmers who attend Mercado Orgánico take advantage of their proximity to the collection center and “shop” the glass bins for containers for their home-made goods and other uses. Cero Basura’s own Jenny Sutton “shops” the bins for wine bottles that she can cut and repurpose into drinking glasses. There is no cost to participate in the glass collection center, either to drop off glass or to obtain glass to repurpose.

Alianza Cero Basura monitors the self-run glass collection center weekly and when the collection bins are full contacts Omega in La Paz to come pick up the glass and take it to their transfer station in La Paz. Omega also picks up from local Todos Santos businesses Dum and Natura. When it has collected enough glass Omega ships it to Guadalajara where Omega’s parent company, Owens-Illinois (O-I), repurposes it into new glass bottles.

Using old glass to make new glass – instead of making new glass from raw materials – greatly reduces our environmental impact. Glass is made from sand, limestone and soda ash which are heated until they melt, then shaped and cooled. The heating process uses a tremendous amount of energy, mainly from burning gas, which causes carbon emissions that contribute to global warming and climate change. Making glass by recycling old glass uses less emissions than making it from raw materials. In fact, every ton of glass re-melted saves 246kg of carbon dioxide emissions compared to the production of new glass.

Of course, reusing glass saves even more energy.

To get the glass center project started Alianza Cero Basura’s Community Engagement Program Manager, Carla Ramirez, took the plain bins provided by Omega and organized a group of local school kids to paint them and the signs needed to direct people on where to place their glass. The result is a welcoming and easy-to-use center that is making a big dent in the amount of glass diverted from the dump. Check out these stats: on both April 3 and May 9, 2024, Omega collected 1,440 kg of glass from the 3 Todos Santos locations – the center at Palma Serena, Dum and Natura, a total of 12 drums of glass. That’s a total of 2,880 kg of glass diverted from the landfill in just two months! It’s an exciting step in building circular economies around the waste we produce as a community.


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Organic Waste
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