Adventures in being a good world citizen

By January 6, 2009 Insights

Some habits die hard, especially throwing recyclables in the trash. But as one would expect in Mexico, curbside recycling isn’t automatic.

So as the empty bottles of wine and water accumulated in the corner of the kitchen, I decided it was time to research recycling in San Miguel. A little Googling revealed Reciqla just a short drive outside of town. Cool. Right.

Deciding to make a fun afternoon of it, Carlos and I loaded up the car with our glass and plastic stash and couple small bundles of old newspapers and magazines left by the previous tenants, and first headed off to the hot springs located a few kms beyond the recycling turnoff (we assumed). I also had a flyer from a weaving factory in the vicinity that looked like an interesting diversion we could check out on the way back.

After a quick soak, back in the car we did our best to decipher the directions we had. Before we knew it we were back in San Miguel, never having spotted any of the roads, neighborhoods or turnoffs we needed for the recycling center nor the weaving factory. Bottles rattling in the backseat provided an insistent reminder of our goal, so Carlos stopped a taxi heading in what we hoped was the right direction (back the way we came) who offered to guide us to the right road.

Heading west and still not seeing anything resembling the street names we sought, we decided to turn around and try again. Finally the word ‘reciclabes’ painted across a cement wall caught our eye, though the brightly colored Reciqla logo was nowhere in sight. Turned out this scrap metal place took paper but no glass, so we dropped off our bundles and collected….. 7 PESOS!!! We also found out that another recycle place was just up the street 200 meters. And there it was finally – Reciqla – a small scrap lot with a happy logo and a little brightly painted truck out front… and a statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe in a little cinderblock niche. Our bottles were lined up on the scale, a receipt given which we redeemed at the caja for a big whopping…. 3 PESOS!!

Ten pesos burning a hole in our pocket, we glanced across the street and there sat the little weaving factory we sought and a tiny tienda next door. Two minutes later we enjoyed the fruits of our quest… one Dos Equis for 10 pesos.

Now, what to do with the can?

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • contemporánea says:

    You missed a Mexican classic on your picture. “La Pasadita” corner store!!!! Every neighborhood in every city in Mexico has at least one “La Pasadita” store, literally “the quick stop”.

  • ninita says:

    I have been thoroughly enjoying reading your adventures, as have Aunt Rita and Uncle Bud. Let me know if you are going to Sao Paolo when you go to Brazil. I think it would be really cool if you could meet my friend Alejendre while you are there!! Have fun, cuz!!