A new recycling network of 20 convenient waste drop-off stations has been launched in the Santiago municipality of Providencia, with easy-access recycling receptacles now available in parks and community spaces throughout the neighborhood.
In large urban areas throughout the world (Santiago included), it’s common to have large-scale recycling centers on the outskirts of the city, often requiring a car for access. But the new Providencia project aims to initiate a decentralized approach to recycling – bringing collection points to citizens, instead of the other way around.
Providencia Mayor Cristián Labbé told El Mercurio that he sees the community-centered approach as not only more convenient, but also better for the environment.
“People here [at the new stations] do not have to take a car to recycle, which in itself causes pollution,” said Labbé, who considers this one of the greatest benefits of the project.
Residents can now deposit newsprint, magazines, plastic bottles, glass bottles and tetra-paks at local stations. All of these materials are light and easy enough to transport by hand or bicycle, further decreasing the need for automotive transportation.
Providencia already prides itself on being an active recycling community. Labbé explained that the new system is part of the larger recycling initiative Providencia recicla ayudando which has been promoting recycling in the municipality since 2004 with help from local non-profit foundations. The city hopes to collect about 7.8 tons of waste a month with the new localized system.
The environment and sustainable living are becoming increasing concerns for people in Chile, as Chilean cities seek new ways to achieve world class standards of waste management, and the country’s school system increasing places environmental education in the classroom.
For a map of the new recycling drop-off points, click here.