Recycling in Todos Santos and Pescadero

Recycling in Todos Santos and Pescadero

Does recycling work?

Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Refurbish, Repair, Repurpose, Recycle. Recycling is the last option on the R strategy list for reducing waste that reaches landfills as it is the least effective means for doing so. Even in countries such as the US and Canada where the recycling industry is mature and separation and collection processes are often mandated, less than 10% of recyclables reach a final processing destination and get converted into usable material. (Further reading here, here, and here.

What specific recycling challenges do Todos Santos and Pescadero face? 

Our community does not have proximity to a large town with scaled industrial recycling. This means that local recyclable materials must be packed and transported to other parts of Mexico, which makes recycling expensive in both economic and carbon emission terms. Changing this would require a significant investment in local recyclable processing capabilities. As such an investment is not currently part of the municipal waste management plan, it would have to be funded by our community or an entrepreneur. We currently do not have the volume to attract investors to this type of project. 

What can you do with recyclables NOW?

Punto Verde is a non-governmental collection and management center for recyclable waste, operated on a best-efforts basis by Ecorrevolución A.C. Their website explicitly defines which materials they can receive and the condition it must be in to be accepted.  To “obtain high quality end products through mechanical recycling, the key is separation, washing and waste preparation” which is entirely the job of residents and business owners in our community who choose to participate.

Many residents of our community hire intermediaries such as private collectors or gardeners to manage their recyclables. Generally speaking, these are people who have no experience working in waste reduction or recycling programs and who are simply trying to make a living. To increase the chances of success, residents should make sure that such intermediaries are only given clean/acceptable recyclables to manage, and that these intermediaries are properly trained, incentivized and managed to handle these materials appropriately.

What is the position of Alianza Cero Basura?

Recycling is likely to remain a major challenge in our community, so ACB’s strategic programs are focused on reducing, reusing and repurposing.  While we do cooperate with Punto Verde, our main focus is uniting the community to work together to reduce the waste we produce by rethinking consumption options, particularly for plastic. We will continue building a local sharing economy that channels waste for reuse, such as working with local vendors that reuse bottles, jars and containers, and repurposing waste such as sending cardboard and egg cartons to local farmers for mulch and seed starters.

If you would like to learn more about Alianza Cero Basura and contribute to waste management solutions for our community, please contact us.

What about organic waste?
ACB conducted a waste audit in 2021 through which we determined that 60% of all waste generated by our community is organic matter. Our strategic programs therefore focus not only on reducing the amount of waste we generate, but separating and managing organic waste, both simple and complex. Proper management of organic waste allows it to be reintroduced into the system in a way that is beneficial to the community and transforms a waste problem into a waste solution for the soils of our region. You can read more about ACB’s organic waste and composting solutions here.


Keep reading


Organic Waste
School Engagement
Community Engagement
Waste Reduction
Waste Separation

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