This vast world we live in is filled with beauty in the smallest of corners. All one has to do is take a look at the recent community trash and recycling containers that were built and installed in Bahía Ballena. The first two containers were placed at two different sites where trash is found almost every day: next to the school entrance and between the soccer field and other entrance to the school.
These trashcans are simply amazing!! How can the colorful containers not draw your eyes to look? One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, or in this case piece of art.
A bit of background
This project started several years ago with residents of Bahía Ballena noticing the amount of trash spread throughout their community. Wanting to do something about it, they started doing community trash cleanups. Over time the trash cleanup involved into trash mapping, using GPS to map the trash they would pick up in the streets and on the beaches.
With adults and students partaking in mapping the trash, little by little they started to see the problem areas. While doing trash cleanups is a great service project, life can’t be about setting dates and times to pick up trash. And as our friends at Bodhi Surf put it “trash cleanups are not a sexy service project (luckily we can do them at the beach which makes it a little better)”.
The thing about using GPS and GIS, is that we can analyze the data about the trash……and then do something about it.
Time for Action!
In December, when the tourist season was a little on the lighter side, residents met to review the trash mapped and identify where they thought public trash cans should be placed. For a town of approximately 1,000 residents and more tourists than cars, only 12 public trashcans existed. After the 3 meetings, they decided where 13 new trashcans needed to be placed. But these wouldn’t be just any special trashcans. These new trashcans would actually hold two containers: one for trash and the other for recycling.
Ronald took the lead in constructing the frame and roof for the new containers with the help of a local repair shop for tools and welding equipment. Thanks to a group of students and some help of local students, 4 recycled blue bins were painted to serve as the new containers for the two sites.
A few days after the first trashcan was installed next to the school, I returned to find trash in the container!!
Only time will tell if these incredible containers will draw people’s attention and encourage them to place their trash in the containers. As the project moves forward, the community is looking for tour companies, restaurants, hotels, and other businesses to purchase the materials for the containers. Bahía Aventuras and Bodhi Surf sponsored the materials for the first two basureros sites. If you are interested in donating to the construction of a trash can, let us know.
Only time will tell if these incredible containers will draw people’s attention and encourage them to place their trash in the containers. But one thing’s for sure, when classes start up in a few days, the students will have a place to put their trash.